Monday, June 10, 2013

Is Jason Kidd the Right Hire?

By Ryan McDonald (@RonnieMac90)

Jason Kidd has become a candidate for the Brooklyn Nets head coach position. Kidd played with the Nets from 2001 to 2008 and led the Nets to the finals for the first time in franchise history. Kidd now looks to jump into his next career just a week after retiring as a player from the NBA.

Kidd has no coaching experience but he was one of the most intelligent players to ever play the game. When talking with past teammates, they rave about his leadership in the locker room. These qualities combined with the respect a first ballot hall of famer would get from any NBA locker room make Kidd a seemingly great head coach. However, no coaching experience does raise concerns, especially for a team with such high expectations as the Nets.

Another coach who had no prior coaching experience before being hired was Mark Jackson. Jackson was hired by the Warriors in 2011. Like Kidd, Jackson was a former player and has a great sense of the game. However, unlike Kidd, Jackson did not jump into coaching right after his playing days were over. Jackson became an analyst for both YES Network and ESPN for 6 years. This gave Jackson time to adjust and learn as he normally worked with former Knicks and Rockets head coach Jeff Van Gundy. Jackson has had success thus far in his coaching career, getting the Warriors to the 2nd round of the playoffs this year.

If the Nets do select Kidd as their head coach, it is speculated that he’ll have an experienced staff around him. Target to be an assistant already is Lawrence Frank who was the Nets head coach from 2004-2010 before he was fired. Frank coached Kidd, and has come out in support of Kidd’s decision to pursue coaching. The Nets would be foolish not to insure experience around Kidd to make up for his lack in experience.

Hiring Kidd is not only risky to the Nets, it is risky to Kidd as well. With high expectations for the next few seasons, the Nets are trying to contend for a championship. The Nets at this time do not seem to have a roster to comply with these demands despite expectations. With over $70,000,000 tied up in just four players for the next 3 years, roster moves are limited. The success of the Nets will have to depend on the health of Brook Lopez, the hopeful resurrection of Gerald Wallace, the inconsistent isolation prone Joe Johnson, and their all-star guard Deron Williams. If Kidd were to take over and only get to the 1st round of the playoffs each year, he would most certainly be fired by trigger happy owner Mikhail Prokhorov. Prokhorov has already been through two coaches, Avery Johnson whom was fired mid-season, and P.J. Carlesimo, who led the Nets to the 4th seed in the east an a 1st round exit.

If Kidd is fired due to these seemingly unreasonable expectations, he may not get another head coaching job for quite a while. It may be safer for both parties to go with a more proven coach at this current time. Frontrunner still is Pacers assistant head coach Brian Shaw who has many years of experience as an assistant with Phil Jackson.

Jason Kidd may end up being a fantastic head coach, but at this time, with this Nets organization, the reward doesn’t seem worth the risk.

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