As the Nets started 10-21 last season, Jason Kidd was reportedly in danger of being fired.
But, once Brook Lopez got hurt and Kidd turned to a small-ball lineup, Brooklyn surged into the playoffs. Not only did the Nets fall into something that worked, Kidd appeared to be coaching much better. The Nets even won a playoff series.
But after the season, everything went haywire.
Kidd reportedly made a power play to lead Brooklyn’s front office, and when the Nets rejected him, they gave him permission to speak with the Bucks. Eventually, Milwaukee sent Brooklyn two second-round picks to get Kidd.
“Did I want to be traded?” said Kidd, whose Bucks play the Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Monday. “I think once [the Nets] OK’d the talk to Milwaukee, that just showed, whatever you want to call it, rumors or no rumors that they wanted to fire me in December had to have some legs.”
This just sounds like Kidd trying to paint himself as the victim.
Did the rumors in December have legs? I sure hope so. When someone with no coaching experience inherits a team so talented and it fails so spectacularly, his job should be on the line.
But I find it difficult to believe those rumors – after Kidd led a turnaround – affected him this offseason. Every indication is Kidd burned his own bridge out of Brooklyn, separately from how the Nets treated him in December.
Kidd’s job was on the line. He coached better and kept it. That’s how it should be. That’s how it was.
The Nets allowing an employee who requested to leave to explore that option is not a continuation of a witch hunt. It’s something between courtesy and a willingness to let a headache leave.