Jason Kidd got off to an extremely rough start in Brooklyn in his first year as head coach, but eventually was able to gain his players’ trust and guide the team to a trip to the second round of the postseason.
Kidd was feeling pretty good about the job he did in his rookie campaign, apparently, and went at ownership with a demand to gain more control over player personnel decisions.
After his request was denied, the Nets granted the Bucks permission to speak with Kidd about an opportunity within their organization.
According to a league source, Kidd recently approached ownership with a series of demands, including the role of overseeing the Nets’ basketball operations department in addition to his head coaching responsibilities. The source said Kidd didn’t want general manager Billy King to be dismissed, but wanted to be given a title and placed above him in the organizational hierarchy.
Ownership declined to grant Kidd that kind of power, which is rare for any coach in the league to have. The source said ownership felt Kidd wasn’t ready for that kind of responsibility after having only one year of coaching experience — the team finished his first season on the bench with a 44-38 record, good for sixth in the Eastern Conference — and allowed Kidd to seek other opportunities.
The franchise then was approached by the Bucks for permission to speak with Kidd about the prospect of hiring him, and the Nets granted permission.
This, essentially, is pretty nuts.
Every head coach in the league would want to have input on the players they end up coaching, but even those long-tenured in their position don’t go to ownership with these kinds of demands. Kidd turned things around after a slow start, but didn’t do anything to prove he knows better than anyone else who would best fit the team from a personnel standpoint.
Depending on how contentious the talks between Kidd and the front office were, if I’m the Nets, my message is this: Have fun in Milwaukee.
The Bucks have been historically terrible, and play in a small and undesirable market where no free agents will sign. Contrast that with Brooklyn’s billionaire owner that will pay whatever it costs to assemble a roster capable of contending, and it’s tough to imagine a scenario where Milwaukee would be a more favorable choice, even with the more prestigious title and the added responsibility.
As to the question of, ‘why the Bucks?,’ Ken Berger of CBSSports.com has an idea.
Bucks new co-owner Mark Lasry is close with Kidd, serving at one time as his financial advisor.
— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) June 29, 2014
Nets Daily reports that Kidd is “likely to leave,” although for the reasons just mentioned, it would be pretty tough to envision. With that being said, the fact that it’s gotten to this point means that there may be a significant rift that exists now between Kidd and the Nets front office.