DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Jason Kidd’s first training camp as a head coach went down as a success.
None of his Brooklyn Nets got hurt — even though most everybody got tired.
The Nets wrapped up their five-day training camp at Duke University on Saturday and Kidd praised his players, saying they “fought through the fatigue.”
The 40-year-old Kidd, who took over in Brooklyn days after ending his long playing career, spent much of camp putting his imprint on this team. The Nets put in “a little offense,” but Kidd added that “we’re strictly thinking about defense right now.
“As a player, I probably never went through five days, but as a coach, it was good,” he said. “We threw a lot at them early, concept-wise, and then the last couple of days, being able to get up and down and play a little bit to see how guys were going to respond. … You’ve got to compliment those guys for coming to work.”
He said the Nets return home without any new injuries, though point guard Deron Williams (ankle) and new acquisition Jason Terry (knee) remained limited.
“This is a veteran group that knows how to work hard and just came in and really prepared, ready to learn,” Williams said. “We got a lot accomplished in these last few days.”
After a busy offseason in which they stockpiled some big names, the Nets wanted to find out which combinations worked well together on the court.
Brooklyn added some significant size to its roster over the summer. The Nets acquired Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Terry from the Celtics, signed free agents Shaun Livingston, Alan Anderson and Andrei Kirilenko, and drafted Duke big man Mason Plumlee in the first round to strengthen a group of returnees that include Williams and Brook Lopez.
“We are a big team — starting with our point guard throughout, we are big at each position and we have to use that as one of our strengths,” Kidd said.
Kidd didn’t specify which groups clicked but said that “to be able to see different guys at different positions with different teammates, we accomplished that, too.”
And Williams said that having Garnett and Pierce on the floor with him will be “a great option — once I get out there.”
Kidd said the Nets developed some chemistry off the court, too — a byproduct of holding camp on a college campus far from Brooklyn.
“The biggest thing is, the guys were together — not just on the floor but when they left to go to dinners,” Kidd said. “I think it helped to be away and hopefully we can do it again next year.”
Williams said earlier in the week that there wasn’t much to do in Durham. So if they wind up leaving the New York area next year, he has a suggested destination: Follow the defending champions’ lead and train in the Bahamas.
Said Williams with a laugh: “Maybe we go the route like Miami and go somewhere a little more exotic next time.”
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