Mon, Jul 14, 2003 - Page 19 News List

Byron Scott wants to clear the air a day after Kidd deal

AP , EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY

A day after Kidd agreed to a six-year, US$99 million contract to stay with the two-time Eastern Conference champion New Jersey Nets, coach Byron Scott said Saturday he hopes to talk with the All-Star as soon as possible.

The main topic probably will be a published report that Kidd wanted Scott fired as a condition for his returning to New Jersey.

"I was shocked when I first heard it," Scott said after the Nets' rookies and free agents finished a summer league practice. "But again, I didn't have any comments about it or any reaction."

Scott said Kidd never approached him during the season about problems with his coaching. He added that the two spoke daily and that they had a good working relationship.

"Unless I hear from Jason, it holds no water as far as I am concerned," said Scott, who added he got 20 calls from friends and family offering support after the Kidd report surfaced Thursday.

"I told them all the same thing, `I am fine,'" Scott said. "I have always been just as I am now. I have always been on my feet. That's how I am going to continue to be, no matter what."

Scott said he will re-evaluate his coaching this summer. He said some things will change with Eddie Jordan and Mike O'Koren leaving for the Washington Wizards.

"I am still going to be me, let's get that straight," said Scott, who admits to being a little stubborn. "I am not going to all the sudden change and be totally different than I have been the last couple of years. I am still comfortable with who I am."

Scott plans to discuss his contract with Nets president Rod Thorn. Scott has a year left on his original four-year deal and he wants a new one after leading New Jersey to consecutive trips to the NBA Finals.

"I have no comment on contract talks with players or coaches," Thorn said.

Scott talked with Thorn Friday and they planned to talk again this weekend.

"I know how Rod feels about me," said Scott, who will earn between US$2.6 million and US$3 million this season. "I don't have to be sitting right in his presence and have him say: `You're my coach or this or that.' I know how he feels. I don't need to hear that."

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