HAMPTON BAYS, N.Y. — Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd pleaded guilty Tuesday to a misdemeanor drunken driving charge and was placed on interim probation nearly a year after he smashed his Cadillac SUV into a utility pole on eastern Long Island.
In exchange for the guilty plea, Kidd agreed to speak to Long Island high school students about the dangers of drunken driving. If he fulfills his community service, his plea will be reduced to a violation — driving while ability impaired — when he returns to court on Sept. 30.
Kidd, who retired as an NBA player after last season, was recently hired to coach the Nets — the team he took to two NBA Finals as a player when the franchise played in New Jersey.
“Because of his status as a professional athlete Mr. Kidd is the perfect person to reinforce the important message we’ve been trying to send, which is don’t drink and drive,” Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said in a statement.
Police said Kidd crashed his SUV into a telephone pole in the Hamptons community of Water Mill on July 15, 2012. He was treated at a hospital for minor injuries.
Defense attorney Ed Burke Jr. said Kidd was returning from a charity function before the crash. A Southampton Town Police report noted the 10-time NBA all-star and Olympic gold medalist was unsteady on his feet, smelled of alcohol and had bloodshot and glassy eyes.
Heat designates Miller
MIAMI — The Miami Heat are designating Mike Miller as their amnesty player, a move that may save more than $30 million in luxury tax payments over the next two years.
Miller was due $12.8 million over the next two seasons, which he still gets. But his salary will not count against Miami’s cap, nor factor into a luxury-tax hit that would have exceeded $30 million in 2014.
Knicks lose J.R. Smith
NEW YORK — Just as they got Metta World Peace, the New York Knicks lost J.R. Smith.
So the enthusiasm over landing a player that general manager Glen Grunwald said could be the Knicks’ “missing piece” was tempered by the news they could start next season without one of their key contributors.
Smith dealt with knee pain all season and wanted the chance to deal with it his way in the summer.
When it wouldn’t get better, he agreed to surgery that could have him on the sideline when next season opens.
Billups excited for return
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Chauncey Billups is back with the Detroit Pistons, and he’s eager to be more than just a mentor.
The Pistons brought Billups back on a two-year deal for $2.5 million each year. The five-time All-Star turns 37 in September.
Billups tore his left Achilles tendon during the 2011-12 season, when he was limited to 20 games with the Los Angeles Clippers, and he played 22 games for them last season.
Billups helped Detroit to the 2004 NBA title. The Pistons dealt him to Denver on Nov. 3, 2008, and they are almost 100 games under .500 since making the unpopular move.
Detroit formally re-introduced Billups at a news conference Tuesday.
Larkin has surgery
DALLAS — Mavericks rookie guard Shane Larkin underwent surgery to repair his broken right ankle.
The team said Drs. T.O. Souryal and Richard Levy performed the surgery at Texas Sports Medicine in Dallas on Tuesday. Recovery time is expected to be about three months.
The former Miami point guard was the 18th pick in last month’s draft. He was injured Friday in the last practice before the team flew to Las Vegas for summer league games.
The son of Hall of Fame shortstop Barry Larkin is expected to battle for the backup job behind Jose Calderon, who signed with Dallas as a free agent.
Bucks waive Gooden
MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Bucks waived forward Drew Gooden and designated him as their amnesty player.
Gooden had two years and about $13.4 million remaining on his contact. He still receives the money, but it doesn’t count against the Bucks for salary cap purposes.
Gooden signed with the Bucks in 2010, and the 11-year veteran averaged 11.3 points and 5.9 rebounds in 107 games.