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May 26, 2022

Jason Kidd

Dallas Mavericks

Game 5: Postgame

Warriors 120, Mavericks 110

Q. What was your message to the team after the game? Did you summarize the game or the season?

JASON KIDD: Yeah, I just told the guys, unfortunately we didn't play our best game, the season ended. We tip our hat to Golden State. They won the series. But we accomplished a lot, and it started with the two words that we talked about, with "accountability" and "chemistry." That's who we are. We've come from October to the end of May playing when no one had us playing at the end of May. But those guys in that locker room believed that they could compete and play at a high level.

Now it's about what is our appetite come next season. Are we going to tiptoe into the season or are we going to be hungry, and then are we going to train this summer to understand what it means to play into May and June, because it's a long season.

That was the summary.

But what a great thing that group of guys in the locker room achieved this season.

Q. Could you just talk about this journey? You guys were 16-18 at one point in December, and to go from there and get to the Western Conference Finals, what does mean to the franchise and the city of Dallas?

JASON KIDD: I think it means a lot, especially where we've been in the past. We'd be on our second vacation by now.

To be able to play into May and to make it to the Western Conference Finals is a great accomplishment for this team and for everyone, coaching staff included.

We have to go back, we'll review the last three series and see where we can get better as coaches, and then we'll spend time with the players this summer to make sure that they're working on the right thing.

Q. Seeing Nico standing over here, I'm thinking back to the press conference when you guys were introduced together. Did you guys exceed what you thought? You guys made a lot of bold statements that day about establishing a culture here. Do you think you accomplished everything you set out to do this season?

JASON KIDD: That's a good question. I would say yes, but he's standing right there, so you can ask him, too.

But I think -- I don't know if it was bold. It's just I think the way that we see things. We were able to accomplish a lot. But this is just the start of the marathon or the journey, however you want to look at it.

Now we reflect on what we -- it wasn't perfect. We made mistakes. But we'll look and see how we can get better as an organization.

But we started, I think we've laid the foundation, and now we can start building.

Q. I remember asking you after the trade deadline whether you felt kind of the lone star, bunch of good fitting role players construction could form a contender as opposed to having to go find a second star. After this run, what's your feeling there?

JASON KIDD: Oh, that's a great question, Tim. You know, this group fought. We didn't, so-called, have a second star, we had a team. Luka got a lot of the attention, but I think when you look at what Cuban and Nico will do this summer, and Fin, they're going to look to improved the team. I think that's just a natural thing in sports that you're going to try to improve, and if you can, you will, but if you don't, you have a core here that's pretty good.

There are decisions to be made, but that's out of my pay grade. That's up to Cuban and Nico.

Q. We talked a little bit about this before the game, but after a night like tonight and an experience like this series for Luka specifically, how do you anticipate how he'll internalize this this summer and use this as a foundation like you said going forward?

JASON KIDD: Yeah, we can all agree it wasn't his best game, but this is a great lesson for him and for everyone. You look at Steph, it probably wasn't a Steph type night, but Klay goes big. So just understanding that we need Luka to go big a lot of nights just to give us a chance, and unfortunately the ball just didn't go for him tonight.

I think he carries the load as well as anyone, and I think for us as an organization, we'll help lighten that load as we go forward. But I thought the group of guys around him helped carry the load, also, when he didn't have the Luka type night. Unfortunately tonight no one shot the ball well, and it happens, but it doesn't mean that we had a bad season. We just had a bad night at the wrong time.

But we'll learn from it. Again, this is a great group that has fun, and I'm excited about this summer.

Q. In your estimation, what went wrong tonight? Was it the slow start or the fast start on their part?

JASON KIDD: The beauty of the game is we got it to 10 and we had two opportunities to cut it under 10. I think there was a three and a paint touch. It's just the ball didn't fall for us tonight. We had great looks, and anytime we got it to 10, they made the run where they got to the free-throw line or they made a three.

Got to give them credit, but again, this group fought being down. We won that quarter in the third. Normally we lose the third, but we won the third, and we won it by seven. We talked about that at halftime and we got it to 10, and we just couldn't get over the hump.

Q. When you look back on this season, could you talk about the buy-in factor that you think you got from this group and how that can pay dividends getting ready for next season?

JASON KIDD: That's a great question. I thought the buy-in was high. It was off the chart. I know we made bold statements at the press conference about playing defense, and we did. Some would say it was bold. Some would just say that we just asked in a nice way, and they did it.

But again, that group in there, we're young and we want to win, and we want to win together as a team. Again, I thought the buy-in was high on the offensive end and the defensive end.

Q. I'm curious, when you sit down with Luka for exit interviews and you guys have that point guard conversation and that team leader conversation, where does he need to take his game? Incredible already but he's still only 23.

JASON KIDD: Yeah, he's incredible. I don't have exit meetings. I just had it with the team.

Q. What's your vision then?

JASON KIDD: I'll go visit him at some point. I'll go see him on his turf. Then we'll sit down and I'll talk about a game plan and he'll tell me if it's good or not, and if it's good, then we'll roll. If not, then I've got to go back to the drawing board.

I think his growth of playing off the ball, we asked him to come off the ball and get behind the defense, and he was all for it. So I think the next step is just understanding how long the season really is if you want to win a championship, and I think this is a good start for them.

Q. Do you feel like you made a mark on him this year relationship-wise and on court?

JASON KIDD: I hope so. He's part of the council. We run things by him. We have a great relationship. Again, I'm here to help him achieve that goal, and that's to win a championship.

But I think when you look at the parts of his game, they're all above average. They're all excellent. It's just now being able to play the game within the game, and that's what we'll really talk about.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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