Jason Kidd did a fine job in his first year as an NBA head coach, guiding a Nets team that struggled in the first two months of the season to a nice second half turnaround that culminated in a trip to the second round of the playoffs.
But in what came as a substantial surprise, Kidd reportedly made a power play within the organization, and when he failed to gain more control, found that Milwaukee’s ownership group was more than happy to bring him aboard the team’s historically sinking ship.
Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov hadn’t spoken to the media since the coaching change, but did so before the Nets tipped things off against the Thunder on Monday. And he made it clear that he doesn’t miss Kidd in the slightest.
“There is a nice proverb in English,” Prokhorov said. “Don’t let the door hit you where the Good Lord has split you.”
After laughter, Prokhorov continued.
“I think each side did what they thought was the best, and I like what we have now. I think our structure is optimal. We have a very strong, experienced coach, and a very strong GM in Billy King.” …
“I think we shouldn’t get mad, I think we should get even,” Prokhorov added. “And we’ll see it on the court.”
I’m not sure I’d be able to sleep much if a Russian Oligarch had plans to “get even” with me for something, but assuming we’re sticking to basketball here, his stance is understandable.
Kidd may have a Hall of Fame resume as a player, but the Nets gave him his shot as a head coach with zero prior experience. They were repaid by Kidd backstabbing people to try to gain an even higher position in the organization that he was not qualified for, before forcing his way to another team while still under contract with the Nets.
Now, Kidd’s side of the story includes the part about his job being in jeopardy in the early part of the season after the club’s slow start. But that’s simply life as an NBA head coach for the most part, and Kidd’s actions once the season was finished explain Prokhorov’s pointed comments.