Jason Kidd told Kevin Garnett he planned to cut his minutes, KG did not like that

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Doc Rivers tried to limit Kevin Garnett’s minutes a little in Boston last season, having him sit out some games, but Garnett still averaged almost 30 minutes a night when he did play. (Rivers’ hands were tied, when KG came off the court the Boston defense turned to mush.)

New Nets coach Jason Kidd want’s to keep Garnett’s minutes under control as well, keep the 37-year-old fresh for the playoffs. He’s got a little depth up front to give him some options, such as not playing KG on half of a back-to-back.

So Kidd went to tell Garnett the plan and… that didn’t go to well. Those are not my words, they’re Garnett’s, as he told the USA Today.

“It didn’t go too well,” Garnett said. “I understand what he’s saying. He just wants to make sure I’m durable. … I just don’t want to be told anything. I think I’ve earned the right to have an opinion on something that I’m doing. From a chemistry standpoint, I think it’s important for me to be out there with everybody.”

To paraphrase Sgt. Hulka — lighten up, Kevin.

Yes you need to form a bond with your team, and you have the right as a veteran to have your voice heard (I have a feeling that is the big issue here, he wants to be consulted). That said, Kidd is right. If you came to win a ring — as you keep saying — you need to be fresh come the playoffs. It’s a long season, you’ll get your bonding.

But you need your rest, too. Brooklyn is potentially very good but there are a lot of questions and not a lot of margin for error in a conference with the Heat, Pacers and Bulls (plus those Knicks just over the bridge). The Nets need to be right come the playoffs to have a chance.

That means a rested KG. So listen to your coach.

Report: Rockets lure assistant coach Jeff Bzdelik out of retirement with ‘significant raise’

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After a slow start, the Rockets got assistant coach Jeff Bzdelik to come out of retirement.

How?

The usual way employers attract someone to a job.

Tim MacMahon of ESPN:

Fertitta was alarmed enough to personally recruit defensive guru Jeff Bzdelik, who retired just before training camp, to return, offering what sources say was a significant raise that pushed his salary to a range that ranks among the NBA’s highest-paid assistant coaches.

Good for Bzdelik using his leverage. He looked like a defensive whiz last season, and Houston slipped without him. Of course, personnel matters, too. There’s no guarantee these Rockets – minus Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute – reach last year’s defensive level.

Bzdelik has been back around the team, but isn’t working full-time yet. It’ll take a while to assess his impact on Houston.

And good for Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta paying up. Fertitta is still trying to determine the right amount for him to spend, but the team is better off if he’s willing to pay what’s necessary to attract the most desirable coaches.

Charles Barkley addresses Draymond Green-Kevin Durant dynamic (video)

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Want to hear an entertaining guy address an entertaining topic? Here you go.

Trae Young: I’ll be better than Luka Doncic

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Trae Young and Luka Doncic will be forever linked by their draft-night trade.

The Hawks took Doncic No. 3 then traded down with the Mavericks for No. 5 pick Young and a future first-round pick.

Young, via Andrew Sharp of Sports Illustrated:

“The thing with Luka,” Young says, “he’s a great player. I don’t understand why it can’t work out for both situations. I hear [Atlanta made a mistake] all the time. Luka’s a great dude, and I think he’s going to be a really good player. But at the same time, I’m going to be a better player. Just because of my ability to stretch the floor, get others involved, I think I’ll be better.”

Of course, Young was never going to say Doncic would be better than him. But Young didn’t have to address this so directly at all. By going out of his way to make such a bold statement, Young puts more pressure on himself.

So far, both Doncic and Young have impressed. I’ll still stick with Doncic, though. Enough to justify Dallas surrendering that extra first-round pick? That’s a far tougher call and the one the Hawks will be judged by.

Young doesn’t want that leniency, though. He’s aiming to be better than Doncic straight up and unafraid to say so publicly.

Markelle Fultz’s new free throw stroke is… different.

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Philadelphia’s Markelle Fultz is in his own head with his free throw stroke now. (And, likely much more than that, but we’ll stick with the free throws for now.)

Earlier this week Fultz double-clutched a free throw attempt and his stroke was a mess.

Each game that stroke seems to change and the latest one is… different. Very different.

As Vecenie notes, this is actually an improvement in terms of the release, but that doesn’t make it good. Fultz was 1-of-2 in his one trip to the stripe (as of this writing).

Still, I have never seen someone pass the ball back-and-forth between their hands as they go into their shooting motion like that. Very, very odd.