Jason Kidd is going back to Brooklyn Wednesday night.
He’s doing so as the coach of the Milwaukee Bucks. Last season he was the coach in Brooklyn — the Nets most famous star returning to lead them into a new era in the Barclays Center. And, after a rough start, they found a small-ball groove the second half of the season and advanced to the second round of the playoffs. Which was about as much as could be expected with that roster, no matter how much Mikhail Prokhorov paid for it.
Then came the summer. The Bucks new owners (both New Yorkers) came calling trying to lure Kidd to Milwaukee. It appears Kidd tried to use this leverage to make a power play in Brooklyn to get player/personnel control, and when Nets ownership shot that down he headed off to Wisconsin. However it went down it was a stunning and fast series of events. Guys like Deron Williams have not spoken since those incidents. Nets owner Mikhail Prokorov said Kidd shot not let the door him him in the… behind on the way out.
So how do Brooklyn fans greet Kidd Wednesday night? Kevin Garnett told ESPN it should be warmly.
“Obviously, he is someone that you went hard for, gave everything that you had for,” said Garnett, who waived his no-trade clause to be dealt to Brooklyn in part to play for Kidd. “It will be good to see him in the building. Hope people don’t forget that, what he has done for Brooklyn and New Jersey and over the years.
“I think that sometimes we as fans forget and I think that’s important to remember the good,” Garnett continued. “Obviously, he is in another organization but don’t forget the good that he’s done for this organization and that is the message here.”
I suspect, outside a smattering of boos (this is Brooklyn after all), fans will politely welcome Kidd back.
One thing that shouldn’t get lost in all this — Kidd is doing a good job as coach this season. He brings to Brooklyn a Milwaukee team that is playing top flight defense (fifth in the NBA in defensive rating so far), is seeing Brandon Knight flourish under Kidd’s point guard tutelage, is seeing player development from guys such as Giannis Antetokounmpo, and most of all is above .500 (6-5), and maybe could be part of the playoff mix in the East. Can’t say I saw this coming, this team required a very different type of coaching from his veteran-heavy Nets team last year, but Kidd is doing quality work.