Thursday, June 13, 2013
Brooklyn Nets hire Jason Kidd as Head Coach
By Ryan McDonald (@RonnieMac90)
The Brooklyn Nets have reached an agreement with Jason Kidd to take over as head coach. Kidd has all the things you look for in a head coach with the exception of coaching experience. Leadership, high basketball IQ, and an ability to teach were all displayed throughout Kidd’s illustrious NBA career as a Hall of Fame point guard. However, the Nets may have hired Kidd for the wrong reasons.
The Nets as of these past few years have been known to go for the headlines. They make splashes in the papers and not on the court, shown by the entirety of the Dwight Howard saga where he was rumored to go to Brooklyn for almost a year and a half. Coupled by the Joe Johnson trade which didn’t really make them better, with Johnson having one of the worst contracts in the NBA in which he just doesn’t produce at that level. Could they have hired Kidd simply as a big name and another headline?
Another speculated reason is to keep their star player, Deron Williams, happy. Kidd and Williams have a great relationship, friends even. Williams has the reputation of a coach killer as he forced Jerry Sloan out of Utah and has gotten most of the blame for Avery Johnson’s mid-season firing. Unfortunately, this relationship will have to change somewhat now that Kidd is William’s coach. It will have to adapt to a coach to player relationship for the team’s success.
Also in play is Brooklyn Nets’ owner Mikhail Prokhorov’s unrealistic expectations for the team’s success. Prokhorov has stated several times that he had a five year plan for the Nets to win a Championship. It is currently the fourth year in that plan meaning the Nets will have to win a title in the next 2 seasons. The roster as currently constructed will have a hard time accomplishing that task and have little cap room for change. They’ll most likely lose Andray Blatche who was arguably their best bench player. So the roster will probably be worse than it was this season. Along with these expectations are Prokhorov’s trigger finger. The Nets are coming off the 4th seed in the East and in the lockout shortened season went 22-44, a drastic turnaround. That wasn’t able to save coach P.J. Carlesimo, who was fired after the Nets 1st round exit. If a 1st round exit is likely to get you fired, Kidd’s first year as head coach may be his last with the Nets.
This brings us to the risk involved for Jason Kidd. The high expectations could cause Kidd to be fired early out of his 3 year contract. It would have been wiser for Kidd to take a less-risky job instead as his first coaching experience. With a short leash, Kidd won’t have much time to experiment. It takes coaches with years of head coaching experience time to adjust to a new roster. That is exactly what Kidd is doing without the years of experience. An early firing could earn him a tougher time landing another gig.
The Nets hopefully hired Kidd because they think he is a top five coach to elevate this Nets team to championship level. Given time, Kidd can make his mark on this team and this roster and mold it to his will which Kidd has always had the will to win. Hopefully the Nets will give him time because patience in this situation is key.