Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010 at 2:02 pm  |  71 responses

Links: Jason Kidd is The Informant!

Look what the Kidd did…

by Lang Whitaker

During the Hawks/Mavs game on Friday night, I saw one of the most curious things I’ve ever seen in an NBA game.

Late in the game, the Hawks were clinging to a two-point lead and Dallas had the ball. Jason Kidd, who was in the midst of an incredible game, had the ball and as he crossed halfcourt, he accelerated down the left sideline — it looked briefly like he was trying to reach the timeline before calling a TO. Hawks coach Mike Woodson was standing just on the court, and Kidd suddenly ran veered directly at him. Woody jumped back just as Kidd reached him and swung out his left arm and made contact, and the refs blew the whistle. Then all heck broke loose.

I wasn’t sure exactly what had happened. Did Jason Kidd really go over and initiate contact with Mike Woodson? Seriously? Here’s how it looked in real time with just the one quick replay of it…

Upon watching about a dozen more replays, and seeing it in slow motion and from varied angles, we now know what really happened:

• Kidd ran up the court and saw that Woodson was out on the floor directing the Hawks defense.

• Kidd decided to make contact with Woodson, because if he made contact with Woodson the refs would presumably be forced to call a technical foul on Woody.

• Kidd ran over to where Woodson was.

• Woodson saw him coming and attempted to jump backwards off the court.

• Kidd continued on his crash course with Woodson, stepped out of bounds with his left foot, then swung his left arm out and touched Mike Woodson.

So what should the call on the play have been? The refs had three options…

1) Kidd was out of bounds before he made contact with Woody. On replays, this is the correct call, the one that should have been made. The refs, however, didn’t see his foot, probably because they were so shocked that he was going out of his way to run into the coach.

2) If Mike Woodson got back out of bounds before Kidd touched him, then it should have been the Hawks ball because Kidd touched someone who was standing out of bounds.

3) A technical should have been called on Mike Woodson for being out of the coach’s box.

After a brief consultation, the refs went with option three, which was the most obvious call and, in retrospect, the most incorrect call of the choices available to them. Let’s just say I have a feeling we won’t be seeing Ronnie Nunn break this one down in slow motion anytime soon.

Mavs fans immediately pulled out their rule books and resorted to arguing semantics. Hey, they said, coaches are not allowed to outside of the coach’s box at any time. OK, then explain this. Technical! Call it! Look, the ref is right there!

I sent an email to my main man Mike Fisher over at Dallasbasketball.com about this, and he ran it and responded, and noted that it’s not illegal for coaches to exit the coaching box, but once they exit they have to make an immediate effort to return. To which I’d say, didn’t you see Mike Woodson leap backwards into the coaching box? I’m not sure what that was if it wasn’t an effort to return to the coaching box.

Look, regardless of whether or not the refs got the call correct — and they didn’t — the question I’ve wrestled with is, Was this the right play to make on Jason Kidd’s part?

Mike also wrote that the best way to describe what the Kidd did is that he “tattled” on Mike Woodson — Kidd pointed out to the refs that Woodson was doing something illegal. I thought that was a great description, although as I wrote to Mike, the thing is, nobody likes a tattletale. Is Mike Woodson the only coach in the League who does this? Good grief no. I’d go so far as to say every coach in the NBA goes out on the court, except for maybe Phil Jackson, and that’s because Phil has bionic hips and has to sit on a throne.

NBA coaches wander all over the place, and the general rule seems to be it’s OK to do this as long as they don’t interfere with the play. Mike Woodson was not interfering with the play in that Hawks/Mavs game.

Was it a smart play to make by Kidd? I guess it worked for Kidd and Dallas. He forced the refs to make a call, the refs blew it, missed the correct call and made a call in Dallas’s favor, and the Mavs came back and shut down the Hawks in OT for the win.

Lost in all of this is that Jason Kidd had probably his best game of the season, with 19 points, 17 assists and 16 rebounds. That’s what we should be talking about, instead of all this other crap.

But that’s what happens when you are the whistle-blower in order to get a whistle blown. Instead of us talking about a great Dallas comeback and an amazing performance from one of the League’s premium point guards, Jason “The Informant!” Kidd made it about rules and interpretations.

Also, I think this is what happened after the game…

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  • http://www.slamonline.com James the Balla

    lol neat. It was only funny because of the eye brow comment. Too bad you can’t have a guy with no eye brows.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/farmer-jones/ Ryan Jones

    Genius by JKidd. End of story.

  • A.

    Kidd never stepped out of bounds. Your video doesn’t show it, but from another angle you can clearly see that he was never out of bounds on the play. 2 and 3 would have been the only choices. But 1 is totally wrong.

  • Steven

    Lang, coaches gets out of the box all the time, but the difference with Woodson is that he was inside the court while the game was still in play. He was causing obstruction on the gameplay. While Rick Carlisle was on the court after the ref blew the whistle and he went into the court for a little while to protest, but the game had already stopped so he didn’t cause any obstruction to the game.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ben York

    Punk move by Kidd. I loved the choice words Woodson directed at Kidd. I would’ve done the same thing if I were him.

  • A.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kquAEihYS0M. It was a heads-up and ballsy play by Kidd. Woodson was on the court, he got hit, he’ll get the tech. Had he gotten off the court 2 seconds before the contact then it would have been a turnover. He jumped back at almost the same moment that Kidd iniciated the contact. Too late.

  • Dan Ilika

    Tough call, really. Sure, Woody being on the court was against the rules, but so was intentional contact, touching someone out of bounds and stepping out of bounds on Kidd’s part. But in my books, the video makes it alright.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    When I watched it live that night, I could only think of what a savvy f*cking play it was (and it did matter that there was the potential for an extra point to be added to the Mavs total at that time in the game) and it seemed to take the air out of the Hawks wings for the rest of it.

    A week later, and it still seems to be one of the headiest plays in recent NBA history. It was ason’s night that night….can’t say much more than that.

  • Steven

    Now you may say he jumped back just in time to avoid Kidd. Well if that’s the case, what’s keeping coaches to get in the court and jump back out at the last second to avoid contact with the players?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Steven

    Lang, coaches gets out of the box all the time, but the difference with Woodson is that he was inside the court while the game was still in play. He was causing obstruction on the gameplay. While Rick Carlisle was on the court after the ref blew the whistle and he went into the court for a little while to protest, but the game had already stopped so he didn’t cause any obstruction to the game.

    Now you may say he jumped back just in time to avoid Kidd. Well if that’s the case, what’s keeping coaches to get in the court and jump back out at the last second to avoid contact with the players?

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    Jason Kidd obviously forgot, you never want to start trouble with a man willing to shave off his eyebrows.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Although, if ason would have tried that with the Grimace, he may have been enveloped in a wave of blubber and gone missing for the rest of the game.

  • http://digitalthread.com AlbertBarr

    cosign Ryan Jones. C’mon Lang, you wouldnt have broken it down and tried to paint Kidd as a tattletale if it weren’t for your undying devotion to the Hawks. That move by Jason was awesome. ANd I hate it when coaches are on the court regardless of the team or whether it is making a direct impact on play. GET OF THE EFFIN COURT COACHES!

  • riggs

    smart effin play and shows his veteran savvy

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    @Albert: I didn’t paint Kidd as the tattletale, that was the Mavs’ own fan site.

  • http://digitalthread.com AlbertBarr

    Fair enough, Lang. But you did write that “I thought that was a great description.” So you endorse the idea (of him being a “tattletale), no?

  • David

    Terrible analysis Lang. Kidd did something absolutely legal, so you attack him for it, and attempt to defend Woodson’s actions. Kidd was never out of bounds before the contact was made (please show us how you came to the opposite conclusion if you’re so certain of it), so option 1 is out. Woodson clearly was too far on the court and could have impeded/did in fact impede the game, and despite his best attempts to jump back out of bounds, did not establish himself out of bounds before contact was made, so 2 is out as well. You say that option 3 is clearly the “most incorrect call,” but I don’t see how this could be any further from the truth. If option 3 was in fact the call being made, the rule is that coaches get technicals when they’re outside of the box. Woodson was outside of the box, so he should get a T. Just because refs choose not to call it on a regular basis when a coach does not impede play, doesn’t make it call the “most incorrect” call here, or when it is called. Furthermore, option 3 wasn’t even the call the refs made – the call was that Woodson was on the court and made contact with a player. Contact with a player who is clearly in bounds, regardless of who initiates the contact or either party’s intent, is a per se violation of the rules and warrants a technical. Additionally, (even if it is an issue, which it really isn’t) Kidd wasn’t tattling on Woodson being outside the box, for he could have done that without running into him if he truly wanted to. He was just ensuring that the refs made the right call on a seldom-used rule, because most coaches know enough to get the hell off the court when the ball is down on their end of the court.
    Woodson didn’t. Kidd saw it and took advantage. Smart play, no different than pump-faking and then jumping into the defender.

  • underdog

    Smart play by JKidd, it just too bad he pulled it off against the Hawks. I wonder what would have happened if Charles Oakley had been the coach on the court…

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/farmer-jones/ Ryan Jones

    I like how the announcer notes Kidd “initiated the contact.” While we’re at it, were Woodson’s feet inside the circle? This might actually have been a charge…

  • http://aspov.blogspot.com Cheryl

    I wondered when Slam’s own Hawks fanatic was going to address this play. Face it, Lang, Kidd made a savvy play and it led to a Mavs victory. And I doubt seriously if they’ll meet in the playoffs anytime before say 2013. And what’s with the toothpick in JKidd’s mouth?

  • Tommy Patron

    This shows how overdone everything is in pro sports currently. The inclusion of a coach’s box in the rules means that is the way the game is supposed to be played. Get off the court.

  • JB

    Don Nelson is laughing from his seat court side.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com BETCATS

    I saw this game, and when Kidd did that i was really really confused. Sh!t is crazy

  • DIO

    Sorry Lang you are one of my favorite sportswriter but you are clearly biased, Kidd made a smart, veteran player that gave Dallas the win, period..life ain’t fair, you play to win the game!

  • Rusty

    thats a bad ass half-white boy

  • Logues

    co-sign Rusty, j kidd is the man

  • davidR

    i wish all nba games were as good as that dallas-atl game. the 4th quarter was insane! kidd had a monster night. josh smith had 8 steals. back-to-back-to-back-to-back 3s and lead changes. AND the drama from kidd&woodson? that was one of the best games i’ve seen this season.

    oh, and +1 for farmer jones & eboy & riggs.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/officerbarbrady what

    I’m a Hawks fan who was at the game, and maybe the refs did get the call wrong, but Kidd made a smart play. A hateable play maybe, much like flopping, but a smart one, since it helps the team. The no-coach-on-the-floor rule is a pretty well known one, and Woody should have known better than to put himself in that position.

  • JoeMaMa

    The next time Varejao flops like a dying fish on a weak call I want to see ‘savvy’ and ‘heads up’ notes of approval. The next time a player steps on the floor during a fight I want to hear “suspend him” and “enforce those rules!!” too.
    It was a weak move. Win or lose, it was the equivalent of that annoying try hard kid in gym class doing a similar thing and then screaming out at us all to read the rule book. We don’t like that kid, remember?

  • Tommy Patron

    Not sure about you, JoeMaMa, but nerds such as you describe were not allowed the run of the place when I was coming up.

  • geof

    How can you people blame Woodson for this? Sure he was on the court, but it’s not like Kidd had no other choice but run into him. Kidd made a conscious decision to run into Woodson to get the tech. It strikes me as cheap – just like when players used to kick out their feet on jump shots to get fouls called on their defenders (and now that’s a foul on the shooter) Seems to me some sort of discretion should be implemented.

  • David

    It would have been fun to see Woodson shoot a free throw…

  • JoeMaMa

    Tommy: Me neither. We smacked/ridiculed him. So why are we congratulating one now?

  • http://www.slamonline.com melvin ely

    @JoeMama: I think the reason we’re praising the play is because, aside from it being perfectly legal, it’s never been done before. Flopping is easy. That’s a pretty lame defense for it, but again rules are rules. It took guts and, let’s face it, smarts to come up with that move on the fly on the exactly the situation when you’re team needs it. And come on, I wouldn’t compare it with flopping; it’s not like some punk is going to tailor his entire game to always exploit this particular rule (looking at you Andy), running around the court patrolling for coaches outside the box to collide with. Anderson is perfectly hateable whenever he flops; he does it EVERYtime. I don’t see Kidd doing this again in the future if he can help it. So yeah: my argument basically boils down to the fact that this move is a novelty, that’s why I think it was pretty cool. Come back to me when every PG in crunch time is pulling this stunt every game, I may have another opinion :)

  • MikeC.

    Woodson was on the court while the ball was in play. Kidd has been around long enough to know the rules, thought quickly enough to take advantage of that rule, and it benefited his team. Easy way to put this issue to bed is for coaches to stay the hell off the court when the ball is in play.
    @underdog – If the Oak Tree was the coach when Kidd ran at him, Oak would have clotheslined him, or dropped him with the rock-solid right (picture the Vince Vaughn punch in Wedding Crashers). Nobody steps to the Oak Tree.

  • erich

    The thing is that as a coach woodson should have known better.
    Kidd is smart. Can’t say that there is another player in the league with the awarenes for such a play.
    “We’re not worthy! We’re not worthy! We’re scum! We suck!”

  • T-Money

    That’s just a great play. Lang, you’re about the only one still talking about it and didn’t overshadow his crazy stat line as well. Saying that other coaches step outside the box is a weak argument. Mike Woodson shouldn’t have been on the court, end of.

  • Mr. Sniffles

    b!tch move by Kidd…no questions about it…save that mess for Lisa Leslie and the rest of the WNBA.

  • http://Www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    Great heads up play by a team leader doing all he could to get his boys back in it. Ason (still no J, don’t let the improved 3pt % fool ya, he shoots set shots) is impressive this season, healthy, feisty and still a PG force to be feared. Lang’s just miffed it was against his Hawks/Mr. Potatohead (as i would have been if it were vice versa), pretty sure the incident didn’t really deserve a column though, but that’s just my opinion.

  • http://Www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    More to the point though, can players now make a conscious effort to make this a part of their gameplan? Imagine Artest steamrolling Doc Rivers next time they meet. Pretty sure Artest would be put in a staightjacket and sent off to Arkham Asylum within minutes.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Smart, savvy move by Kidd.
    They ended up getting an extra point, AND the ball back to help bring it to OT.

  • http://hoopistani.blogspot.com Hoopistani

    Kidd did the right thing – Lang you just have your Hawk bias talking here when you try to justify Woody.
    Btw, I know you’re a Hawks fan, but its starting to seem that you have been concentrating most of your writing only around one team.

  • http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3445/3357407353_c868c2d95c.jpg larrylegend

    Kidd’s Krazy Moves!

  • gkchump

    Lang, I’m done with your bias. If you’re going to be a sportswriter check it at the door.

    Take a leaf out of the Sports guys book. He’s Celtics born and bred, but at least he’s honest about them.

    It always seems like your just trying to kiss the Hawks ass so they might let you go on a road trip or announce for them.

    Get back to covering all the teams cause it’s evident by the comments here that your losing our respect.

  • http://www.clutchfans.net nick

    The guy isn’t still an all-star caliber player at 37 without being whip smart. I feel like you gotta give this to kidd, just for the cleverness…

  • http://slamonline.com AlbertBarr

    Lang, you haven’t lost my respect at all…and I like your in depth coverage of Hawks basketball and I don’t think that is all you write about…regardless of your occasional (and fully disclosed) bias.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Spaceship Jay

    Lol at Dark for the Arkham comment.

  • RV

    kidd didnt go out of bounds Lang…not sure what angle shows this…the only somewhat clear angle of his feet shots him stepping on the line after he “lands” from crashing into Woodson, not before. You also can’t clearly know if Kidd touched someone that’s out of bounds because woodson could have been in mid jump at the time, therefore the foul occurred prior to woodson being out of bounds.

  • RV

    also i think this is something kidd had though about before…coaches have a habit of stepping to far on tot he court to direct their players before the other team dribbles upcourt. Most PGs that see that would automatically slow down and let the coach move first before setting up the offense. I can see how that would get annoying after awhile. Kidd decided to do something about it.

  • http://www.hoopsvibe.com/features/overdribbling chiqo

    wow, a week later. is this even an issue still? also, i don’t think the great game got lost in the talk about the forced collision, i think the collision added to what was already a great performance by kidd. he had a nutzo stat line, plus he did this. from everything i saw and read, anyway.

  • http://Twitter.com/pdxgaybball Dma

    I’m assuming Woody does this a lot?

  • http://Twitter.com/pdxgaybball Dma

    I’m assuming Woody does this a lot?

  • The Philosopher

    It let’s me know that Kidd doesn’t respect Woodson. Would he have done that to Larry Brown? What about Doc? D’Antoni? Woodson is second class to Kidd. Still a brilliant play especially given the circumstances.

  • The Philosopher

    It let’s me know that Kidd doesn’t respect Woodson. Would he have done that to Larry Brown? What about Doc? D’Antoni? Woodson must be a second class coach to Kidd. Still a brilliant play especially given the circumstances.

  • Sparty’s Law

    I’d be willing to bet that Woody could kick Kidd’s a$$. Easily.

  • RV

    i think the best part of all though was the next play down…kidd swished a 3 from that same spot as Woodson yelled at him to disturb him.

  • Aaron

    Definitely a clever move. Woody was interfering with play. He was basically in Kidd’s path. He deserves it for being a numskull.

  • http://www.rich-imaging.com Dutch Rich

    On nights when Jason is “ON” like that, he really seems to have an extra sense of every single square inch on the court. That stat line is just crazy.

  • Mike

    I´m not an expert but Lang got burned by his biased article. Kidd showed big time smarts and it hurt your team, get over it.

  • DMC14

    Kidd’s always been a smart player. I learnt that from reading SLAM. Go Suns.

  • buppie

    Punk move by JK. At least it wasn’t his wife this time! go SUNS

  • BostonBaller

    Come on man!! (#1) If you actually look at the video you see that Kidd did NOT go out of bounds before contact. (youtube below-clearer than the one you used) (#2) Woodson did try to get out of the way at the last second and as we all said as a kidd..Tie goes to the runner. lol. (#3) No technical should have been called on Woodson b/c as you said, ALL coaches take that liberty. Yes, we should focus on Kidds stellar game but why can’t we celebrate an extremely INTELLIGENT basketball decision by a true point guard? how is being smart and actually knowing the rule book well enough to try and take advantage of it being a punk? Sometimes I ? the bball IQ of some fans. Put this in and just watch Kidds feet.

  • BostonBaller

    Come on people, I doubts if Kidd was trying to disrespect Woodson and I believe he would have done the same to any coach to gain an advantage that ultimately one them the game. I also doubt he did it b/c he is tired of coaches being on the floor or in the way. Woodson was coaching and really did nothing wrong except be in the wrong place at the wrong time therefore got used to the advantage of a player with a working knowledge of the game. Case closed. Go Celtics!

  • LetsGetIt

    Just a smart play thats it

  • therighttoremainsalient

    Jason Kidd is awesome. Nash used to try and get similar calls by heaidng butting players with his nose, or getting richochetted off into the bench….this tactic works far greater.

  • riggs

    people criticizing lang for being hawks biased….ON HIS OWN BLOG?!?! OMG THE HORROR!, now if it was the whole site then I’d understand, but come on…

  • Erika Badu

    Lang is the most annoyingly smug writer here at SLAM. Had Joe Johnson done the same thing he would be writing how Dallas fans are babies and they should quit whining because Joe Johnson made a clever veteran move (which is what i think Kidd did). And then the annoying meter went up x100 when i saw him on NBA TV and found out he even has the face and voice of a super smug SOB. Lang, you’re really not that smart or funny. The INFORMANT! good one!!!!

  • Jay

    Obviously not out of bounds for 1.
    for 2…

    If you make a play, and it wins you a game, shouldn’t that be considered a good play?

    Its laughable to see people say this was a bad move by Kidd. People who say that obviously don’t understand smart basketball.

  • http://dgcoursereview.com Bro. D.

    I didn’t see Kidd step out of bounds either. And on point #2, why would touching Woody while Woody is OB make Kidd OB? I thought that only applied to players? Can fans start bumping into players courtside in their team’s favor? “Excuse me ref, that corner 3 didn’t count b/c his sneaker was touching my shoes.” IDK about that one.

  • Roc


    I can sense some serious bias here, obviously due to your time with the Hawks.

  • God Sammgod

    Remember when Jason Kidd beat his girl? Oh yea we aren’t supposed to talk about that.