The Nets are off to a 1-1 start to the season, after losing in Cleveland on opening night and then taking down the defending champion Heat at home on Friday.
Both games were played without Brooklyn head coach Jason Kidd patrolling the sidelines, as he served a league-mandated two-game suspension for a DWI conviction over the summer.
With that behind him, Kidd is set to make his coaching debut on Sunday when his team travels to Orlando to face the Magic.
From Tim Bontemps of the New York Post:
“He can make his debut finally,” Deron Williams said with a smile after the Nets’ 101-100 victory over the two-time defending champion Heat Friday night in Brooklyn.
After serving a two-game suspension for pleading guilty to driving while ability impaired, Kidd will take the reins from assistant Joe Prunty, who served as acting head coach in Kidd’s absence.
“Definitely,” Williams said when asked if Kidd’s return meant things would return to normal for the Nets. “But I think our coaching staff did a great job of filling in for him. They’re going to be there no matter what. They did a great job, especially [Friday night]. … They made a lot of adjustments out there and did a really good job.”
Williams’ comments are of interest because the assistant coaches on Kidd’s staff will have as much to say about the team’s success from a coaching standpoint as Kidd will in his first season in charge.
No one questions Kidd’s basketball IQ, after playing 19 seasons and putting together a career that’s almost certainly going to land him in the Hall of Fame.
But managing egos, being the one responsible for doling out playing time, and making key adjustments throughout a game or a series in the playoffs are all going to be challenges in this first season — even for someone as tenured as Kidd who has been around the professional game for so long.
The NBA is still investigating and can take its own action. In theory people involved in the incident could decide to file a civil lawsuit (although Fisher said he would not).
However, Memphis’ Matt Barnes is not going to face any criminal charges for an altercation he instigated with Knicks’ head coach Derek Fisher at the home of Barnes’ estranged wife in Los Angeles, according to police, who talked to TMZ.
Matt Barnes will NOT be charged with a crime for allegedly attacking Derek Fisher over the weekend … the Redondo Beach Police Department tells TMZ Sports.
Cops tell us they did respond to an incident and a police report was filed regarding the altercation — but officers say the case “was reviewed and there is no basis for criminal charges.” As we previously reported, a witness at the home says Barnes struck Fisher in the face and a fight ensued. However, the NY Post is reporting that Fisher did not want to pursue charges against Barnes.
Fisher has been seeing Gloria Govan — Barnes’ estranged wife and star of the “Basketball Wives” reality series — for several months, and was over at her house in the South Bay of Los Angeles Saturday night, along with other friends. Barnes said he got a call from one of his two sons, who “looked distressed” that Fisher was over, and that caused Barnes to drive over to the house. Once he arrived an altercation broke out between the two men, with Barnes allegedly texting a friend that he beat up Fisher and spat in his wife’s face. That’s not going to scar the young boy any further, well done.
If Barnes did this as described (and we don’t know the details), the NBA has to look hard at this. Barnes does not get to decide for a woman he is no longer seeing who she can and cannot see, and who she has over to her home. She is not property. That is the level of control seen in domestic abuse situations, and the league can’t sit back and tolerate it.
I like the Knicks’ offseason moves. Well, not blowing the meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge before it ever started — you say the right things and take him to a nice dinner because that is the kind of elite player you need to try to land. Take the meeting.
However, bringing in Robin Lopez and Arron Afflalo were smart pickups, and I like the Kristaps Porzingis draft pick more than many (although we need a couple of years to see how good he will really be). Combine that with a healthy Carmelo Anthony and…
The Knicks suck less. They aren’t good, but they aren’t embarrassing. And that is step one, as I discuss with Jenna Corrado in this latest PBT Extra.