During a quiet moment, in the locker room in Toronto, on the eve of his 40th birthday in March, Jason Kidd asked a group of Knicks beat writers if they thought he would make a good coach and whether he would enjoy being one. Kidd said jokingly that dealing with the media several times a day would be one drawback. Kidd’s potential coaching career might be coming into sharper focus as he goes through a perplexing and historic nine-game scoreless streak. That day in Toronto, Kidd admitted he wasn’t sure he would finish his entire three-year contract. Most assumed, though, he would come back next season and the Knicks really hope so. But after this season, there’s no telling if Kidd wants to jump-start a coaching career and forgo the $6 million left on his deal. Kidd’s playoff struggles have been well documented, and coach Mike Woodson benched the veteran the entire second half of the Knicks’ 85-75 Game 5 win over the Pacers. “Jason’s going through a tough stretch,’’ Woodson said on Friday’s conference call. “But do I have confidence in putting Jason on the basketball floor? Absolutely. That will never go away.’’ Woodson limited Kidd to just 5:20 of playing time before a quick hook after he blew a layup and let a rebound bounce off his hands. Woodson said he would have a similar rotation for tonight’s potential final game of Kidd’s career as the Knicks-Pacers battle in do-or-die Game 6. Nevertheless, Woodson also said he still thinks Kidd has some big moments in him. “Jason played early on in the game and our lead grew when he was in the game,’’ Woodson said. “Those are the things that go unnoticed. Everyone’s so focused on him making a shot. Eventually he’s going to pop loose and make a big one. And we’re all going to say, ‘OK, that’s the Jason we know.’” Kidd has been scarce with the media recently. Perhaps he is playing with an undisclosed back injury. Or dead legs. Kidd is arguably the smartest player of his generation, but it’s not inconceivable tonight is his last game as a player in a Hall-of-Fame career.
Woodson not giving up on Kidd
New York Post | May 18