Jason Kidd is already talking about how he'll mentor Jeremy Lin even as the New York Knicks aren't ready to formally announce the young point guard will be returning.
The Knicks introduced newest members Kidd and Marcus Camby on Thursday, though the transaction everyone kept asking about was when they'll re-sign restricted free agent Lin.
While the 39-year-old Kidd made clear he believes he can help the Knicks win games in crunch time, he also embraced the role of tutoring Lin in the intricacies of the point guard position.
"To have a chance to mentor a very good player in Jeremy -- be able to share my secrets or what I've learned in my 18 years -- for him hopefully to take it to another level, it's something I look forward to doing," Kidd said.
A day after coach Mike Woodson reiterated that Lin "absolutely" would be back, general manager Glen Grunwald said New York had yet to receive the Houston Rockets' offer sheet.
Kidd talked with certainty about his future teammate Lin. The first lesson he plans to impart: Don't play in "fifth gear" all the time.
"He just plays at one gear and that's a very high gear," Kidd said. "We need to sit down and talk about trying to find that fourth and third gear so he has the energy to finish ballgames. We want him to play the whole season. If you have just one gear, it's hard to play 82 games."
Lin missed the last 17 regular-season games and the first-round playoff loss to Miami after surgery to repair torn cartilage in his left knee. Kidd recalled that at the start of his career, he, too, was always stuck in fifth gear. After arriving in Phoenix in his third season, he learned how to conserve energy.
"Now I only have two gears," he joked. "There's no shifting."
Kidd said he was comfortable backing up Lin -- at the start of games. He still wants to be on the court at the end and hinted he and Lin could share the floor then.
"My job is to make Jeremy better in practice and stuff like that," Kidd said. "At the end of the day, it's about six minutes. If I've learned anything in the last 18 years is the last six minutes of any NBA game, if you're down 15 or up 15, you can win or lose."
Kidd said it was surreal to return to the New York area, where he led the New Jersey Nets to two NBA Finals appearances in seven seasons. Now the Nets are in Brooklyn and Kidd will be playing at Madison Square Garden.