Dallas Mavericks coach Jason Kidd has a very close relationship with Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski.Kidd

Kidd was a player on the USA Men’s National Basketball Team that won a gold medal at the FIBA Americas Championship in Las Vegas in 2007, and a gold medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. The coach of those teams was none other than. . .


So, when Krzyzewski coached his final home game Saturday since he became the Duke coach in 1980, Kidd couldn’t help but praise the man who won five NCAA titles, in addition to Olympic gold medals in 2008, ’12 and ’16.

“Coach K is one of a kind,” Kidd said before Saturday’s wild 114-113 victory over the Sacramento Kings at American Airlines Center. “He’s the G.O.A.T.

“He set the standards for college coaching. But not just college coaches, but coaches period. I think he said it best. Tonight is senior night for him and it’s kind of cool.”

Kidd applauded Krzyzewski – he’s retiring after the upcoming NCAA tournament– for not only having one of the most storied programs in the history of college sports. But also for carefully teaching his players about the game of life.

“(He had) an incredible run, and the young men that he has helped — not just on the basketball court but off the court — is countless,” Kidd said. “So, it’s a special, special evening for him and his family and I wish him the best with the next part of his life. Hopefully he doesn’t get bored.

“I can see he’s doing podcasts and that kind of thing, so he’s having fun. What he’s done for Team USA and the University of Duke is incredible.”

When asked if he took any of Krzyzewski’s coaching acumen and instilled those principles into his job with the Mavs, Kidd said: “The things that I picked up are, ‘Be yourself, but be honest and they’ll respect you.’ He’s just very honest. He shoots straight.

Spencer“He’s coming from a very good place. He wants the best for you, but he also wants you to work, and you can’t be afraid to work around him. It’s real simple.”

GENTRY HIGH ON MAVS BACKCOURT: Count Sacramento Kings coach Alvin Gentry among those who believe the addition of Spencer Dinwiddie has given the Mavs a different look that could carry them a long ways in the playoffs.

The Mavs acquired Davis Bertans and Dinwiddie in a Feb. 10 trade with the Washington Wizards for Kristaps Porzingis and a protected 2022 second-round draft pick. A point guard, Dinwiddie joins a very talented backcourt that includes Luka Doncic and Jalen Brunson.

The trio puts the Mavs in a position where either of the three players can initiate the offense.

“Obviously, if you take away Porzingis and you put another wing player in there, the one thing that they can really do is they switch a lot of things and they play in space quite a bit because of the way Jalen and Luka can create double-team situations,” Gentry said. “I think they’re a really good team and I think the chemistry is probably a little better than it was at the start of the season.”

And for that, Gentry gives a nod to Mavs management for pulling off that memorable trade.

“Brunson, we know about,” Gentry said. “He’s been able to play with Luka and they’ve played great together.

“I see Dinwiddie as a guy that is pretty much the same thing. I think all of those guys are interchangeable and can play together.”

While Doncic didn’t play in Saturday’s 114-113 win over the Kings due to a left toe sprain, Dinwiddie scored a team-high 36 pointsJalen and handed out seven assists, and Brunson collected 23 points and six assists.

“Obviously, Luka is the head of the snake,” Gentry said. “I don’t know if there’s very many people Luka can’t play with, or (people who) can’t play with Luka.

“They’ve just got depth at that position and have the opportunity and the ability to come at you in different ways.”

GENTRY IMPRESSED WITH MAVS’ DEFENSE: When the Mavs didn’t allow Stephen Curry to even get off a shot in the fourth quarter of Thursday’s 122-113 victory over the Golden State Warriors, that had Sacramento Kings coach Alvin Gentry taking a step back and taking another look at coach Jason Kidd’s stout defense.

It was the first time in his illustrious 13-year career that Curry had played the entire fourth quarter of a game and failed to get off a shot.

“I think it’s a great defense,” Gentry said. “Obviously, if Steph is not getting a shot up there’s really, really, really good defense out there.

“We watched that game and they did a tremendous job of not letting him have very much space to even create shots. And I think with Steph, he takes some really tough shots, but I don’t see him forcing shots up. They did a good job on him, but he’s not going to force shots if they’re not there.”Luka

WHO IS FASTER?: The question of who is faster was posed to coach Jason Kidd on Saturday.

Is it Spencer Dinwiddie, Luka Doncic or Jalen Brunson? Inquiring minds want to know.

“I don’t have a clock on him,” Kidd said, in reference to Dinwiddie. “Maybe he’s going faster than Luka or JB, but I know that he’s getting to the basket.

“He may have taken Luka or JB’s (slower) pace. He’s taking his time.”

And what does analytics have to say about this probing question?

“I know analytics is saying we’re probably playing a little bit faster with (Dinwiddie) on the floor,” Kidd said. “But he’s a bigger guard and that’s something that’s helped us. And he’s not afraid.

“As you can see in games, he’s making big shots for us. So, he’s making great plays of being able to read what the defense is giving us.”

Twitter: @DwainPrice

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