Sorry, Kevin. Jason Kidd didn’t even make it to pregame introductions before the idea of a warm reception in his return to Brooklyn went out the window.
In his pregame press conference, Kidd – the former Nets coach who took the same position with the Bucks this summer – aired more grievances than Frank Costanza on Festivus.
Let’s start with the reports Kidd, before leaving for Milwaukee, tried get control of the Nets’ front office.
He once again denied the allegations that he sought power in the Nets organization, wishing to usurp power and seek a presidential position after one year as a coach. “Sometimes things don’t end the right way,” Kidd growled. “Sometimes things, one side talks, the other side goes about his business. Again, I think you’ve heard from their side, it’s business. It happens.”
How Kidd’s relationship with Nets general manager Billy King?
Kidd, via Kharpertian:
“He’s management. So that’s– my relationship with Billy was to figure out how to get things right when he was around. So. There was really no relationship.”
That doesn’t sound like a healthy relationship at all. Does Kidd have no relationship wither Bucks general manager John Hammond either, because “he’s management”? That’s not really much of an explanation.
If Kidd and King really were this disconnected, I wouldn’t blame Kidd for seeking front-office power. It’s hard to see how a franchise can succeed if the coach and general manager have no relationship.
That said, I think they had a relationship – just one where there wasn’t much trust.
Kidd has said he believes the Nets wanted him fired in December, and he emphasized the significance of that today. Kidd, via Kharpertian:
“I think it really helped me to see what I was dealing with, what type of people I was dealing with.” Kidd added.
Last December, Kidd was a first-year coach overseeing one of the NBA’s most disappointing teams. What kind of people consider firing a coach like that? People who want to run a franchise in a sound manner.
It should noted the Nets didn’t fire Kidd in December. Instead, they let him grow on the job and uncover a small-ball formula that worked well for Brooklyn.
Again, the Nets were the type of people to show patience in him, even though others noticed how little he seemed to do.
Kidd brought that up too, comparing himself to current Nets coach Lionel Hollins (who made a Kidd joke in his introductory press conference). Kidd, via Kharpertian:
“I thought it was kind of funny that you guys were marking down how many times I held a clipboard, did you do that with Hollins? Oh good. Let me know how many times he holds the clipboard.”
Lionel Hollins proved himself to be a good coach in Memphis. He gets, and deserves, the benefit of the doubt for now.
Kidd hadn’t coached before last year, and for the first couple months of the season, he looked really bad at it. That’s why he got scrutiny.
After New Year’s, Kidd did much better, and he appears to be doing well in Milwaukee. But there’s so much unsettled about Kidd’s time with the Nets that nobody is fully ready to move on, not even the coach who claims he has but is still saying a lot.
Check out The Brooklyn Game for more on Kidd’s press conference, including the coach addressing Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov’s comments.