Basketball: Warriors’ Mark Jackson praises Kidd

On Wednesday night, before the Nets ended the Warriors’ 10-game win streak, Golden State coach Mark Jackson defended former Cal star Jason Kidd, in his debut season as Brooklyn’s coach.

Kidd had won just 10 of his first 31 games, prompting questions about his qualifications to jump directly from his playing career to a head coaching position.

But Brooklyn’s 102-98 win over the Warriors was the club’s fourth straight in a stretch that also included an upset of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

 “I truly believe that Jason Kidd did not have to be an assistant coach to become a head coach,” said Jackson, who worked as a television analyst after retiring before entering coaching. “Because I watched him run teams and I played against teams that he was orchestrating. I got a lot of respect for him.

“He played the point guard position at as high a level as you can possibly play it. He’s been a coach on every team that he’s played on. He won a championship being an offensive coordinator, with all due respect to Rick Carlisle. But I am sure Rick will tell you the same thing.”

Kidd’s reign seemed in some jeopardy a month ago when he demoted assistant Lawrence Frank. Jackson took Kidd’s side on that one, too.

“I have never seen any one of The Pips try to lead,” Jackson argued. “That’s Gladys’ role. Let Gladys be Gladys.”

Jackson said Kidd should get a big share of the credit for getting the Nets pointed in the right direction.

“Give Jason a lot of credit,” Jackson said before the Nets’ win. “When you have adversity is when true leadership shows up. They’ve responded (to him). There’s a long time left to go in this season.”

Jeff Faraudo