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T.J. Kidd: 'Kyrie doesn’t have to come in and be the next Jason Kidd for the Nets'

Jul 31, 2019 0 comments

Comparisons between Jason Kidd's arrival with the Nets franchise and Kyrie Irving landing with Brooklyn are aplenty, but don't tell T.J. Kidd, son of the former Nets great that. Speaking with Nets Insider, T.J. Kidd weighed in on what intangibles Irving will bring both on and off the court at Barclays Center and how his circumstances are much different than his father's when the Nets made a blockbuster trade to acquire him back in 2001.

"Kyrie Irving is a top tier point guard in the league as my dad was when he came from the Suns," said the son of the first ballot Hall of Famer. "Both had all-star seasons before joining the Nets. When my dad came it was via trade. Kyrie joined via free agency after playing for the Celtics last season. So I wouldn’t compare their arrivals. Two incredibly talented basketball players for their times. Kyrie doesn’t have to come in and be the next Jason Kidd for the Nets. He’s won a championship already with the Cavs. He’s a championship caliber player. He just has to come in and be the same Kyrie Irving he’s always been. I think he’s going to be great for the Nets. When my dad came the year before they won 26 games. Kyrie is coming to a team fresh off a playoff appearance. I wish Kyrie the same and even more success my dad has and I look forward to seeing him in a Nets uniform."

Prior to Kidd joining the Nets, the team was mired in medicority and destined yet again to be another lottery-bound squad. The man they called "The Captain" transformed the culture of the team, while bringing a winning attitude and much-needed change in leadership to the Meadowlands. As T.J. Kidd noted, the Nets won just 26 games prior to trading for Kidd, and in his first season with the team he doubled its win total and at the time completed the best single-season turnaround in NBA history.

On the contrary, the 2019 Brooklyn Nets won 42 games--good enough for the sixth seed in the East--and bowed out in five games to Philadelphia 76ers. Not only are the comparisons between Kidd and Irving off, this version of Nets basketball is far different from the one fans experienced in the early-2000s, according to T.J. Kidd.

"I was very young when the Nets acquired my dad," admitted T.J. Kidd. "I wouldn’t really compare the two off-seasons because I don’t like to compare two different eras of basketball. Also we haven’t seen this new Nets team play yet. Back then the pace of the game was more physical than it is today. The Nets of that time was a different team. That team was extremely lethal on the fast break. They played with a different type of physicality on the defensive side of the ball. My dad was a walking triple double. I wouldn’t necessarily say that they can dominate the east just yet. At full strength this new Nets team on paper I believe will be very tough to beat. I’m not sure if they’ll dominate the east like that team did. That’s for them to prove. I think we all are going to have to wait and see on what they can do. I think that this with this Nets team at full strength the sky is the limit."

T.J. Kidd is a lot more hopeful than some skeptics who believe that Irving is not cut-out for a leadership role in Brooklyn, while Kevin Durant's Achilles injury will likely sideline him for the entire 2019-2020 season and criticscontend that he won't be the same player he was before the injury when he returns to the court. From a leadership standpoint, Irving and Kidd aren't even in the same stratosphere, but the former Cav and Celtic has championship pedigree and can forged a heck of a dynamic duo alongside Durant when he returns healthy. Beyond just Durant and Irving, T.J. Kidd took special notice to the rest of the roster that helped carry the team to a playoff berth last year.

"I believe the Nets had a fantastic offseason," offered T.J. Kidd. "They went out and got two max superstar free agents in Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. I love them signing Deandre Jordan as well. I think that having a big man that plays his style of game and he does it well. I think he’s going to be huge on how they develop Jared Allen going forward, who I believe is going to be a great big man in the league down the line, learning from a big man like Deandre Jordan will only benefit him. I like how deep they are as well. Joe Harris can shoot the lights out. I think Caris LeVert is going to have a great year and I’m excited to see what he’s going to do. I like their bench a lot. Solid role players that complement the guys I’ve already mentioned. The Nets are cooking up something special. I believe that their front office did a tremendous job at building a strong basketball culture and that’s why I believe they’ll have a lot of success going forward and that they had such great success this past offseason. At full strength I believe they’ll be a very tough team to beat. I’m excited to watch them next season and going forward. Nets fans have a lot to be excited about."


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