As quick as Brooklyn said “#HelloCoach” to Jason Kidd, the borough is telling him to not let the turnstile at the Atlantic Ave. subway station hit him on the way out.
In short, “#GoodbyeBum!”
The Nets traded the now-second-year head coach to the Milwaukee Bucks for two second-round picks after Kidd was denied a promotion and a raise that would’ve given him more power and control of basketball decisions, in essence, putting him ahead of general manager Billy King. Kidd was also unhappy that both first-year head coaches Steve Kerr and Derek Fisher got more money in their contracts with the Golden State Warriors and New York Knicks, respectively, leading to his decision to weave his way out of Brooklyn.
So what did Kidd do? He did what any little kid would do if they knew they were going to lose: took his ball and, in Kidd’s case, went to his best friend’s place, new Bucks co-owner Mark Lasry in Milwaukee, ditching Brooklyn faster than a spilled cup of soda.
According to a team source, the Nets told the New York Daily News that they “just wanted to move on.”
Kidd is expected to sign a three-year deal worth between $4 million and $5 million per year with the Milwaukee Bucks, a significant raise compared to what he was getting paid in Brooklyn, however still around $10 million short of what Kerr and Fisher received in their deals.
Kidd also cost the job of now ex-Bucks coach Larry Drew, who was originally under the assumption that he was returning to Milwaukee. Having a coach lose his job is nothing new to Kidd, who’s cost the job of six other coaches prior to Drew, starting with his college coach at California Lou Campanelli just after his freshman season. If history means anything, then anyone who has Kidd on their team, now as a coach, should watch their backs. Something the Nets, who already have their own issues, didn’t want to worry about.
Where Kidd gets the idea that he deserves a promotion or a raise is a complete mystery. Even though he won two Coach of the Month awards during the regular season, the Nets only managed to win 44 games in the regular season with the NBA’s most expensive roster (five wins less than the year before). They started the season 10-21, needed seven games to get past Toronto in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, and only managed to win a single game against the Miami Heat in Game 4 of the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs in Brooklyn. Kidd also taught us all why we need to be careful with our drinks courtside.
In short, he was mediocre at best.
While the Brooklyn Nets lose another head coach, putting them in the hunt for fourth head coach going into just their third year in Brooklyn (Avery Johnson, P.J. Carlesimo, Jason Kidd), the Nets also failed to receive any legitimate compensation that can help them in the immediate future. The second round picks the Nets received from Milwaukee come in 2015 (a pick that originally belonged to the Nets) and 2019 (which will either be Milwaukee’s or Sacramento’s).
The Nets have already made it clear that they will look outside of the organization for their next head coach, as coaches like Lionel Hollins, George Karl and Brooklyn native Mark Jackson have been mentioned as potential candidates. The Nets are expected to sit with Hollins by Wednesday.
A dark horse for the Nets coaching spot could be Ettore Messina, an Italian with deep ties to Prokhorov as he coached CSKA Moscow when Prokhorov owned the team.
Long story short, however, the Nets are a team that’s lost, not knowing which train to take next. While Prokhorov has been clear about his desires to win a championship in the Nets third year in Brooklyn, they have an aging roster without a lot of young depth, very few draft picks in the next few years and not much cap space to bring in any big-time free agents.
They’re a team that wants to take the train uptown, however, regardless of who’s coaching the team in 2014-15, they have the look of a team taking the “L-train” downtown.
Next stop: Struggle Blvd.