HIRING JASON KIDD AS HEAD COACH A RISKY MOVE FOR BROOKLYN NETS
Added by Jason Mast on June 24, 2013.
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY
Stop me if you’ve heard this story before; Star player retires and decides he’s cut out for another role in basketball. Perhaps he decides to coach a team, let’s just say the Knicks, or maybe he thinks he’s qualified to own and manage a club, lets just say the Bobcats.
If you have yet to realize, this is the story of Isiah Thomas and Michael Jordan, the latest two Hall of Famers who, lacking any coaching or managerial pedigree, declared themselves fit to run a basketball organization. Thomas, the former all-star Piston point guard, became head coach of the New York Knicks in 2006 after a brief, albeit successful, stint with the Pacers. During his two year tenure, Isiah led the Knicks to an anemic 56-108 record, all the while miring them in expensive, dead contracts (Ed Curry anyone?) and a myriad of scandals.
Michael Jordan became the director of basketball of operations for the Bobcats in 2006. Since then, Jordan has taken a team that won 44 games in 2009 and, through arguably the worst drafting in the history of professional sports, turned them into a club that went 7-51 in 2011, the worst record in NBA history.
The Brooklyn Nets, with their choice of former all-world PG Jason Kidd for their vacant head coach position, are about to feel the same sting and anguish as the Knicks and Bobcats.
Kidd was a unique player. He did it all on offense, ranking third all time with 105 triple-doubles. He was a Jordan-esque defender, making four NBA All-Defensive First Teams and five Second Teams. He was a winner, leading the Nets to consecutive Finals appearances, getting a ring with the Knicks in 2011, and taking home two Olympic gold medals.
As a coach, however, the future Hall of Famer has much to prove. Kidd’s former leadership position as point guard and de facto captain is far different from a head coaching job. Gone will be the respect and reverence that Kidd received simply for being the best, and most unselfish player on the court. Instead, Kidd will have to assert authority over tenured and talented veterans like Gerard Wallace and Deron Williams.
As a player, Kidd could dodge the media during a prolonged losing streak as he was generally playing well and was not the proximate cause of his teams struggles. Now a head coach, Kidd will be left out to roast in the New York media firestorm the first time the Nets lose four games in a row. One of the primary reasons for the hiring appears to be the ten time all star point guard’s ability to mentor current Nets PG Deron Williams, but Kidd has yet to prove any teaching capability in any assistant or coaching capacity.
This hiring doesn’t appear to be a well thought out move by Billy King, the Nets GM, either. Kidd was offered the job just a week after his retirement and a mere three days after it was reported that he first met with King. This propensity for rash decision making isn’t an isolated incident. This past year, King fired tenured coach Avery Johnson just 28 games into the season, and just after he had been named NBA head coach of the month for October and November. Then, only days after they were eliminated from the playoffs, the Nets fired interim coach PJ Carlesimo, who had led the Nets to a solid 35-19.
The day Carlesimo was fired, Nets players, led by Deron Williams, were stating a need for a proven and experienced head coach. A month later, the Nets hired a man who had never coached a single game in the NBA, college, or high school. Mikhail Prokhorov, the enigmatic Russian owner of the Nets, promised a championship by 2015, he just bet it all on Jason Kidd.