Nets coach Jason Kidd told reporters Friday that his decision to intentionally spill soda on the court to delay the game during the closing seconds of a Wednesday night loss to the Lakers was a simple matter of pursuing victory.
''It's about trying to win and those guys in that locker room, and I tried to put those guys in a position to get a basket, a good look and we did,'' Kidd said, according to the Associated Press.
With 8.3 seconds remaining and the Lakers leading 96-94, Jodie Meeks prepared to take the second of two free throws. Without any timeouts remaining, Kidd began a conversation with second-year guard Tyshawn Taylor while holding a plastic cup of soda and ice in his right hand. Taylor bumped into Kidd’s arm during the conversation, causing the soda to spill on the court, and Kidd initially bent over as if he was going to scoop up the ice cubes and cup before an official stopped the game so that an attendant could clean up the mess.
Video replay of the sequence suggested that Kidd instructed Taylor to "hit me," causing the spill and the subsequent delay of game. During the stoppage of play, which happened to ice Meeks at the free throw line, a Nets assistant coach diagrammed a play for Brooklyn's final offensive possession.
Despite receiving a $50,000 fine from the NBA on Thanksgiving Day for his action, Kidd said the plan, which he said he concocted after "listening to other coaches or other owners talk about coaches and what they've done," worked as he had hoped.
''Paul [Pierce] got a great look, but the league fined me for something that I probably shouldn't have done,'' he said. ''We'll move on.''
The Nets fell to 4-11 after Meeks made his second free throw and Pierce was unable to hit a potential game-tying three-pointer during Brooklyn’s last possession.
TheBrooklynGame.com reported that Kidd initially told reporters during his postgame comments on Wednesday that the spill was not intentional.
“Cup slipped out of my hand I was getting Ty,” Kidd said. “Sweaty palms. I was never good with the ball.”
“In the heat of the battle, you’re trying to get guys in and out of the game, and the cup fell out of my hand.”
Kidd came clean about the messy spill before the Nets faced the Rockets in Houston on Friday. The Associated Press reported that Kidd's opposing number had a humorous take on the unusual events.
Houston coach Kevin McHale offered a one word answer when he was asked for his opinion on the move before Friday night's game against the Nets. ''Expensive,'' he said with a smile.
Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni had a harsher take.
"I don't think that's very savvy or cool," D'Antoni said, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Kidd did have at least one high-profile backer.
Here's an animated look at Kidd's mouth movements, the spillage and his reaction.
Kidd announced his retirement in June following a 19-year career and he was hired by the Nets as coach less than two weeks later. The Nets retired his No. 5 jersey in October. Video via YouTube user TheBrooklynGame