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NBA [HOME] June 12, 2003

Jason Kidd Interview




New Jersey Nets guard Jason Kidd spoke with the media after the team's 2003 NBA finals game 4 win in New Jersey over the San Antonio Spurs. With the win, the series is now tied at two wins apiece.

Q: Richard Jefferson told us a few minutes ago that he learned from you in one aspect of your game: When it isn't going how you would be like, there are other ways to contribute. Is that something that you guys have talked about and do you think that he has learned that from you?

Jason Kidd: Well, I hope so. The big thing about the game of basketball is that you don't always have to put up big numbers offensively, and I thought he did a great job of getting going to the basket, but also getting his hands on the ball defensively and rebounding. And so, I thought that helped Tim open up his offensive game, which we needed tonight.

Q: It seemed like you guys might have been a little bit out of sync when Tim got into foul trouble and then that sort of seemed to, pardon the pun, but spur you guys; is that how you saw it, too?

Jason Kidd: I think we kind of got going there in the second quarter. We got out, we started running and no matter, we didn't probably get as many fast-break points that we really wanted to get, but we drew fouls going to the basket and that kind of opened up the game and that really got us going.

But the third quarter is kind of the opposite because they went on a run and we found ourselves down, but we kept our composure. We got stops when we had to and we made some free throws down the stretch.

Q: David Robinson has criticized Tony Parker for taking some ill-advised shots. Did you play him any differently than previously, No. 1, and No. 2, when they pulled him and you're leading by 15, did you guys relax a little bit?

Jason Kidd: Well, I did play him a little bit different; I was over on the sideline. I was guarding Ginobili or Bowen, so I guarded him a little bit differently in that sense. (Laughter).

Q: That was at the end, wasn't it?

Jason Kidd: That was during the whole game. That allowed me to play 47 minutes tonight. To chase Tony around, it wears on you offensively and defensively. So we made a little adjustment in that sense to give me a chance to play off the ball.

So in that sense, Kerry was the reason for him maybe taking some tough shots. I thought Kerry did a wonderful job. We talked about making that change and we did it on the run right there, three minutes left in the first quarter and we kind of stayed with it.

Q: There's sort of a sense that your crowd here is -- this is a new thing, they are learning this with your team. Is that something that you're aware of? I know you're preoccupied, but are you aware of that?

Jason Kidd: I think they had a crash course the other night with the Devils. They learned pretty much what it means to cheer on a champion. The Devils have won a championship and now the basketball aspect, we are all going through this together, and that's what makes it really special. If we can go through this and win a championship together, and understand that they stuck through the bad times and we'll now enjoy the good times.

Q: For some flashes tonight, you also rediscovered your running game. In this series, that's never going to be an extended thing but how great did that feel?

Jason Kidd: It felt great to get out and run. The big thing is, we got out and ran, and we might not have gotten -- we got fouled on a lot of penetrations or layups that guys had and we made free throws. But to get on the run, that's when we are at our best. They have gone a great job of trying to slow us down, but tonight I thought we made a conscious effort to get the rebound and try to push it.

Q: It's 2-2 now, two-out-of-three, the rest of the way, just your overall thoughts on where your ballclub is as you head into this crucial stretch?

Jason Kidd: Well, this was a big game for us tonight and so we understand that. If this was a big game tonight, then Game 5 is going to be even bigger, because whatever team wins that is in control of the series. So it's kind of reflective of what Game 3 was, because a team can control the series.

So for us, Game 5 is just as big as Game 4 because now we put ourselves in a position to maybe take the lead going down to San Antonio.

Q: Aaron Williams came in at the first quarter and you seemed to find him really well, why do you guys connect so well? Tell me what he brings to the table and should we be seeing more of him when you struggle on offense?

Jason Kidd: Well, Train is a true professional. He doesn't say too much. That's probably why I can find him a lot of times because he doesn't let the defense know where he's at.

You know, Train is a true professional. He just goes out there, whatever you ask him to do, guard Duncan, Rose, he'll do it. I thought he gave us a spark coming off the bench. If we are going to have any success, we need somebody to come off the bench, not just Lucious, but a big guy to come off the bench and give us a spark and he did that this evening.

Q: Just the thoughts on the things you did in the final minutes, the offensive rebounds, the defense and things like that?

Jason Kidd: Well, again, I think we got shots that we wanted down the stretch. We got stops when we had to. You know, we made free throws. You're not going to shoot over -- it used to be 50 percent, but if you're not going to shoot over 40 percent, then you've got to be able to get stops.

Down the stretch, again, we did this in Game 2 and then we did it in Game 4. This group has been through a lot, but, you know, when it's time to get a stop or make a basket, we have always been able to do that.

Q: Deke's rebound?

Jason Kidd: Deke's rebound was huge. I didn't even see Deke. He called a time-out, which was great, but Deke has been at the right place at the right time. He made a little jump-hook over David and Tim and then he had -- I gave him a little pass for a layup and he had a great look, unfortunately it didn't go in. But we need those type of plays if we are going to be successful and he's just at the right place at the right time, so we have to be leery of where he is at on the floor. He snaps back and got his hands on some balls that caused some turnovers. That will be something that we have to look at on tape. The big thing, you worry about Duncan and Robinson, the big guys, but he got his hands on some balls and then also made a 3 to tie the game up. He's a competitor so we can't overlook him defensively. is the online leader in pro basketball coverage.

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