Jason Kidd broke the unwritten rule of the coaching fraternity — you don’t go after another man’s job. For example, have you noticed how over the years Jeff Van Gundy’s name comes up in a ton of coaching search lists but ask him about the jobs and he refuses to discuss it if said team has not yet fired their coach.
Jason Kidd cut Larry Drew off at the knees in Milwaukee (and since he got hired directly by ownership without consulting Bucks GM John Hammond about it at first, Hammond can’t feel too safe about his job either) and it seems the only question left is compensation.
The Bucks have offered second round picks, the Nets want a first. But they may want to just move on more, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
Kidd will find Milwaukee a vastly different experience, and we’re not just talking about butter burgers and fried cheese curds here.
The Nets have spent big on veterans to win now (with limited success but the effort is there). The Bucks are small market and building that way — draft well, develop the talent you have, bring in a few mid-level free agents to round it out and grow all of that into a team over years. Kidd will have to turn a front line of Jabari Parker and John Henson into something over the next couple years, plus get Larry Sanders’ head screwed back on. Then you have the ultimate test of developing impressive raw talent in Giannis Antetokounmpo.
It’s about patience, teaching, and using the right scheme to showcase and grow these players. Kidd couldn’t meld the Nets roster into something that worked well with the best scoring center in the game in Brook Lopez, he only stumbled into lineups that worked when Lopez got hurt. Kidd seemed to grow as a coach as last season went on, that is now about to be put to a real test — the Bucks’ job is about some old-school coaching.
CLEVELAND (AP) John Wall scored 37 points, Bradley Beal added 27 and the Washington Wizards began a challenging road trip by beating LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers 127-115 on Saturday night.
Wall scored 18 in the first quarter, when the Wizards shot 82 percent, and Washington held on down the stretch to avenge an overtime loss to the NBA champions last month.
James, who briefly wore goggles to protect an eye injury sustained Friday night, scored 24 and added 11 rebounds and eight assists. Kyrie Irving added 23 points and Kevin Love 17 for Cleveland, playing at home for the only time in a seven-game stretch.
Washington’s victory cut Cleveland’s lead in the Eastern Conference to a half-game over idle Boston.
Utah and the L.A. Clippers are almost locked into a first round, four vs. five battle in the Western Conference. The only question is which team will have home court, and the Clippers took a big step towards that beating the Jazz at home Saturday. While the Jazz still has a half-game lead, the Clippers have a much softer schedule the rest of the way.
After that loss, Jazz center Rudy Gobert was ticked off and called out his teammates. Via Tim MacMahon of ESPN.
“We’ve got guys that compete, but some of us don’t compete. Some of us just think about scoring. That’s what it is. … Coach keeps repeating it: We’ve just got to compete. We’re too nice. Those guys, we know they’re going to get calls. We’ve just got to come out aggressive and ready to fight.”
Interesting comments for a team that is third in the NBA in defensive rating and 13th in offense.
Gobert is frustrated as Utah has dropped four of its last five, and the slump has been on both ends of the court. The defense has struggled, but if guys are looking to score too much they aren’t doing it efficiently because the offense has been worse.
This slide likely costs Utah home court in the first round, which could matter in what will be a tight matchup with Los Angeles. Utah needs to find its grinding rhythm again heading into the playoffs, at their best they can knock off the Clippers in the first round. Just not like they are playing now.
One thing to watch, Utah’s Gordon Hayward asked out of the game in the fourth quarter due to what is being called a bruised muscle in his leg. If he misses any time or if this lingers, it could be trouble for the Jazz in the postseason.
LeBron James suffered a scratched cornea Friday night when he went up for a layup late in the third quarter and Jeremy Lamb tried to contest and caught him clean across the face. LeBron got the and-1, but had trouble keeping his eye open in postgame interviews Friday.
Saturday he did play — wearing protective goggles. As you can see above.
That lasted about a minute.
LeBron was likely frustrated as the Cavaliers defensive woes had the Wizards up double digits much of the first half.
For the first time since he walked off the court in his final game, Kobe Bryant was back at Staples Center Friday night.
The reason was Shaquille O’Neal was getting a statue out in front of Staples Center (a building that may not have gotten built without the two of them). The two famed feuders sat next to each other and joked around through the ceremony. Time heals all wounds.
With the new management of the Lakers — specifically Kobe’s former agent Rob Pelinka as GM — there has been speculation Kobe could take on a role. He’s not looking for something formal, according to reports, but he didn’t say no, either, when asked.
I picture Kobe as a guy who someday buys a team, not a guy who wants to haggle with agents over the details of a contract. He’s not going to take on a day-to-day role, he likes the retired life and what he is building with the Kobe brand.
That said, the Lakers front office can use all the smart voices it can get as they try speed up a rebuild. They should give him a call every once in a while.