Jason Kidd said he had no relationship with Nets GM, didn’t attempt power play

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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.

Devin Kharpertian of The Brooklyn Game:

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.

Firing Kidd after his awful start would have been justified. From his handling of assistant coach Lawrence Frank to asking a player to spill a drink on him, Kidd looked to be in way over his head.

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.

LeBron, other NBA players react to Kyrie Irving trade to Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks v Brooklyn Nets
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Is there going to be a football game of some kind next weekend? You’d never know the way the NBA trade deadline can dominate the headlines.

Kyrie Irving is getting traded to the Mavericks, which has blown up the NBA world — Dallas looks like a threat in the West, and there is a countdown clock over Kevin Durant‘s time in Brooklyn. It wasn’t just fans and pundits stunned by the news, NBA players past and present took to Twitter and social media to react and give their thoughts on the Irving trade. Starting with LeBron James and one of the guys in the trade.

Nets reportedly trade Kyrie Irving to Mavericks for Dinwiddie, Finney-Smith, picks

Milwaukee Bucks v Brooklyn Nets
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Dallas desperately needed a second star and shot creator to go next to Luka Dončić.

They got one — Mark Cuban has always been willing to take risks to win. The question about how long this can last comes later.

The Nets are trading Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks for Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, their unprotected 2029 first-round pick their 2027 and 2029 second-round picks, according to multiple reports.

Irving is reportedly “ecstatic” to make the move to Dallas (the hard questions about a future contract will wait until after the season).

Irving reportedly will land in Dallas Monday, take the standard post-trade physical, and could be available for the Mavericks on Wednesday against the Clippers.

Brooklyn had several suitors to choose from but wanted in return players it could slot in around Kevin Durant now (or, once he is healthy and returns) so they could still have a puncher’s chance to win the East. Dinwiddie gives Brooklyn a point guard and shot creator who can play some off the ball — and he returns to Brooklyn, where he made a name for himself in the league. Finney-Smith is a coveted two-way wing who can step in right now. Plus, the Nets add some potentially valuable picks down the line.

That offer gave the Nets more win-now possibilities than they got out of the Lakers’ offer (two future first-rounders and Russell Westbrook) or what the Suns and Clippers put in the mix.

There are questions for Dallas, but ones they believe they can answer — elite talents figure out a way to make it work on the court. Off the court, it helps that both coach Jason Kidd and former Nike executive turned Mavericks GM Nico Harrison have strong relationships with Irving. That’s a start.

The pairing of Dončić and Irving should lead to games and stretches where they look brilliant, but the question is not the highs but the lows — how deep and how prolonged will those be? Irving works well off the ball (as he has done with Durant and LeBron James) and should be able to play off Dončić. However, can Dončić play well off the ball when Irving is hot? Do the Mavericks — with Tim Hardaway Jr., Christian Wood, Maxi Kleber, Reggie Bullock and the rest — have enough around their two stars to be a serious threat in the West? Off the court, can the very different personalities of Irving and Dončić mesh, or at least work well enough not to be a distraction?

The biggest question: Do Cuban and the Mavericks really want to re-sign Irving for the four-years, $198.5 million he demands at the end of the season? There are reports that Dallas (like every other front office in the league, including Brooklyn) is hesitant to do a long-term deal with Irving that gives him that kind of guaranteed money.

But that is a concern for the future — Dallas got its second star. It has vaulted itself into the upper echelons of the Western Conference and positioned itself to contend.

Reports: Stephen Curry out ‘weeks’ with leg injury, Warriors hope for return after All-Star Break

Dallas Mavericks v Golden State Warriors
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This is bad news for the Warriors. How bad depends on how the word “weeks” is ultimately defined.

Stephen Curry has torn ligaments in his leg — in the shin area just below the knee — and while the team does not have an official timeline he will be out “weeks” reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.

“Weeks” is a vague word, and for the Warriors the difference in Curry being out three weeks (with one of those being the All-Star Break) versus him being out six to eight weeks could be the difference in how long a playoff run the Warriors have.

The Warriors are hoping for a Curry return just after the All-Star break, reports Monty Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area.

Of short-term concern, this has Curry out for the All-Star Game where the fans voted him a starter. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will bump one of the reserves up to a starting spot — likely Ja Morant, who was third in fan voting — and name an injury replacement for the team. The top candidates are Devin Booker (if he returns from injury this week as expected), De'Aaron Fox or Anthony Edwards.

Longer term, the Warriors can’t afford to be without Curry for an extended period.

Curry is averaging 27.9 points, 6.4 rebounds and 6.4 assists a game, and the Warriors outscore opponents by 5 points per 100 possessions when he is on the court and get outscored by 5.4 when he is off. With the team one game above .500 and struggling to avoid the play-in, an extended absence for Curry is trouble for a Warriors team that has never found its footing this season.

 

Nets reportedly going to sit Kyrie Irving until he is traded

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This time it looks like it’s going to happen, the Brooklyn Nets will trade Kyrie Irving (unlike this summer).

Just don’t expect to see Irving on the court for Brooklyn until he’s moved, reports Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

That is at one time a combination of smart, the only real call to make, the Nets wanting to look like they have control over the situation because Irving’s camp already leaked that he was going to sit out the rest of the season if not traded.

Irving did not play Saturday night when the Nets went down by 20 in the first quarter but rallied behind 44 points from Cam Thomas to get a much-needed win.

Four primary suitors have stepped up for Irving: The Lakers (considered Irving’s preferred destination), Suns, Mavericks and Clippers. The question is what do the Nets want back in a trade? If, as most around the league expect, the goal is to remain in the championship picture around Kevin Durant, Brooklyn will prize quality players and depth over draft picks. That’s bad news for the Lakers (the core of their offer is two future first-round picks plus Russell Westbrook) and good for the team down the hall, the Clippers can offer good players — John Wall, Luke Kennard, Reggie Jackson, plus young players such as Terance Mann — plus a pick if they need it.

The question for teams: Irving wants a max contract after this summer, similar to the four-year, $198.5 million fully guaranteed extension the Nets would not offer after Irving had 10 weeks or so of not being disruptive and focusing on basketball. Around the league, front offices are very hesitant to get into the Irving business for that long (most thought he would never get more than a two-year offer). Are the four teams above desperate enough for a bold move that ownership would sign off on four years with Irving? Will any of them? Or, like this summer, will Irving find the market not to his liking?

It’s going to be interesting until the Feb. 9 trade deadline.