Summer school tends to be a relaxed operation in the NBA.
Monday, among the players who took the court for the Heat at the Orlando Pro Summer League were Dewayne Dedmon, Michael Dunigan and D.J Kennedy. (No, we don't know either.)
The games are played with 10-minute quarters. Players can't foul out. The event is closed to the public.
Nothing is real.
With one exception: the team the Heat faced in Monday's 93-86 victory on the practice court at the Amway Center.
For the Brooklyn Nets, it's for real now, for real this coming season.
With Wednesday's end of the NBA's offseason personnel moratorium, the Nets will make official the trade that will land them Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce from the Boston Celtics in a deal that effectively mortgages Brooklyn's NBA Draft future.
A team that couldn't make it out of this past season's first round against a Chicago Bulls team lacking Derrick Rose now will be able to field a lineup of Brook Lopez, Garnett, Pierce, Joe Johnson and Deron Williams.
On paper, it could be argued that the Nets' impending starting lineup stands second-best to the Heat's in the Eastern Conference. Of course, developing the type of chemistry that again will have the Bulls and Indiana Pacers as prime pursuers to the Heat is another story.
The first chapter of that story is being written here in Orlando, because the man who brings it all together finds himself amid a crash course of getting it all together.
Unlike each of the other nine teams putting young prospects through the motions in Orlando, the Nets are the lone team with their regular-season head coach serving as their summer-league coach.
While guiding Jamelle Hagins, Matt Janning, David Lighty, Keith Benson and Dominique Sutton might not be the same as coaching Lopez, Garnett, Pierce, Johnson and Williams, it is bench time that is essential for Kidd's growth curve.
"It's everybody's training ground, the coaching staff, the officials, the players," Kidd said.
To some, Kidd merely is the face of the Nets' bid for renewed relevance, with former Nets and Detroit Pistons coach Lawrence Frank handling most of Brooklyn's Xs and Os at summer league, essentially operating as a shadow head coach.
"This is a process," Kidd said after Monday's loss. "I know you guys would like me to draw up plays on day one."
But as Mark Jackson showed during this past season's compelling playoff run with the Golden State Warriors, sometimes it's about more than Xs and Os. Sometimes it's about establishing the face of change.
"It's all a learning experience," Kidd said, now 0-2 in summer league. "This is summer school for me and so, hopefully, I'm going in the right direction."
Pacers President Larry Bird said Monday the transition directly to the bench should test Kidd.
"It's a lot of hours," said Bird, who made a similar transition when he coached the Pacers. "It's tough. It's grinding. And it was easier when you had the ball in your hands. He'll find that out."
When the Nets and Bulls went into Game 7 of their opening-round series, the sense was the Heat's preference was Brooklyn. The Heat, after all, have won 13 in a row from the Nets, their last loss in the series at the end of 2008-09.
Now the Nets have a new look, new leader.
One Eastern Conference scout here in Orlando scoffed the notion of the Nets' remix. "They're just throwing anything they can against the wall," he said. "But they're willing to throw the money at it."
Bird isn't as cynical.
"Obviously," he said, "Brooklyn should be a lot better."
Monday was a warm-up, months before it becomes real.
But it also was another step for the point guard-turned-coach.
"It's role-reversal," Kidd said. "I looked over as a player to the bench to see what coaches wanted me to do. So I kind of understand the quicker I can get it to my point guard, the sooner he can relay it to his players. So in that sense, I feel comfortable."
He figures to feel less comfortable the next time it's Nets-Heat, when the challenge will be LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, instead of dealing with Monday's 22-point performance from the Summer Heat's Scotty Hopson, with Ian Clark adding 19 for the Heat and James Ennis 17.
"They're the champs. They have the blueprint of success," Kidd said of soon facing the Heat for real. "For us, we got to work hard each day as players and as coaches if we want to have any chance to compete with the Heat."
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