Jason Kidd has spent 2014 trying to undo the reputation he developed in 2013.
In 2013, Kidd’s Nets looked lost. His most notable coaching was spilling his drink. Most damaging, a scout reportedly said, “He doesn’t do anything.”
In 2014, Kidd has turned Brooklyn into a winner. When Brook Lopez got hurt, Kidd chanced using a small-ball lineup, and it’s worked brilliantly. That’s partially luck (Lopez’s injury) and partially improved coaching Kidd’s lineup change), but the results have been strong.
That’s why an incident like this can happen and fly under the radar:
I’m pretty sure Paul Pierce was joking, at least partially. The reason I think that: The Nets have a winning record. If this were 2013, Kidd arriving late would have just been the latest exhibit in the case to fire him.
This also speaks to the challenge Kidd faces. Pierce was drafted just four years after Kidd. You think the Nets’ veterans would take kindly to being fined by Kidd? It’s difficult to engender respect as a coach when you don’t act like a coach and arrive on time.
For now, Kidd is riding high. If the Nets start losing again, all the questions about his ability to handle his new profession will quickly return.
The Cavs are shorthanded in the backcourt right now, with Kyrie Irving still out and Iman Shumpert sidelined for up to three months. Yahoo’s Marc Spears reports that they’re bringing in former Temple guard Dionte Christmas, who played for the Suns in 2013-14:
In 31 games for the Suns two seasons ago, Christmas averaged 2.3 points and 1.2 rebounds in 6.4 minutes per game. He probably won’t get very many minutes if he makes the Cavs’ final roster, but there’s a chance they’ll keep him around on a non-guaranteed deal until Irving and Shumpert are healthy, just to have another body in the backcourt.
LeBron James sat out the Cavs’ preseason game against the Sixers on Thursday night, but Cleveland still held the lead for all but the final 5.4 seconds. Then, Sixers rookie Scottie Wilbekin did this:
Wilbekin, who played college ball at Florida, has a chance to earn legitimate minutes for the Sixers this season as they try to find young talent on the cheap. This is a good start.