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NBA notes: Kidd interested in Nets' coaching position

Published June 9, 2013 9:51 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Brooklyn Nets, in search of a coach to secure their future, are reaching into their past.

Jason Kidd, whose arrival in 2001 transformed the franchise from laughingstock to contender, has placed his name in the candidate pool, according to a person briefed on the team's coaching search.

Kidd retired last week at age 40, after 19 seasons. His coaching aspirations were well known, although his decision to pursue a head coaching position so soon was a bit of a surprise.

It is unclear how seriously the Nets are considering Kidd, or how they will weigh his inexperience as a coach against his reputation as a leader and basketball savant. Kidd was known throughout his career as a highly intelligent player and a virtual coach on the court.

Kidd's appeal goes far beyond the usual considerations. He led the Nets to the finals in 2002 and 2003, is widely respected by players across the league and is close to Deron Williams, the Nets' star point guard.

Billups honored

Chauncey Billups wasn't familiar with the touching tale of friendship between Jack Twyman and Maurice Stokes.

After being selected the first winner of the NBA's Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award on Sunday, Billups was overcome with gratitude and humbled to be mentioned in the same sentence. The Los Angeles Clippers' veteran guard studied up on the back story in the last few days.

The award is named in honor of two players who broke into the league with the Rochester Royals in 1955. Stokes emerged as one of the league's bright young stars, but was paralyzed in an on-court accident in 1958.

Then just 23 and with a young family, Twyman became Stokes' legal guardian and watched over him for 12 years until Stokes died in 1970. In an era that still dealt with a harsh racial divide, Twyman, who is white, organized charity games to help pay the medical bills for Stokes, who is black.

"For him to make that sacrifice, it's unbelievable and the utmost sacrifice," Billups said Sunday in Miami. "So for my name to be mentioned with his and anybody else going forward to be mentioned with his, I really don't feel worthy, to be honest with you."