Jason Kidd Is Smarter Than You Think
I know. It sounds crazy, doesn't it?
The 10-time NBA All-Star was hired to coach the Brooklyn Nets last summer with as much head coaching experience at the time as your sister.
He was handed the keys to a team that needed to win now, because Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce weren't getting any younger. Along with the aforementioned Hall of Famers, the Nets' roster featured a band of current and future All-Stars, from Deron Williams to Joe Johnson to Brook Lopez. Their $102million payroll (!) was $14million higher than any other team.
And whether or not it was Kidd's fault -- of course it was -- the Nets landed a six-seed in the playoffs and were ushered out by the Miami Heat in the second round.
Along the way, Kidd ran long-time NBA coach and Nets assistant Lawrence Frank out of town, because this was Jason Kidd's team and no one else's. He was fined $50,000 for having point guard Tyshawn Taylor run into him on the court, spilling his soda, and giving the Nets an extra time out late in a game against the Lakers in November.
It just wasn't a good season for Kidd, on or off the court. He looked like an ex-player who got a high school coaching job because he was an ex-player, except that high school had a billionaire Russian owner, played its games in a brand new, 18,000-seat arena in Brooklyn, and paid over $100million for its players.
Jason Kidd was in over his head is what I'm trying to say.
Naturally, Kidd did what any first-year head coach would do in that situation. No, he didn't beg ownership to let him play coach one more season. He asked for more control of the operation. The Nets balked, and Kidd wanted out. The two sides agreed to a trade of sorts, with Kidd going to the Milwaukee Bucks for a pair of future draft picks.
A millionaire wishing to move from Brooklyn to Milwaukee might be another mark on the Jason Kidd is nuts tally sheet, but the former CalBear might be smarter than we think.
The Nets' roster is aging worse than Mickey Rourke, and it was only a matter of time before Kidd was fired. Now, he's making around $4-$5million a season --nearly twice as much as his Nets' salary -- with little to no pressure in the short term.
Jason Kidd knows the No 1 rule of coaching in the NBA: Unless your name is Phil Jackson, you're going to get fired. Why not start the clock over somewhere fresh, prolonging your career with a team dumb enough to hire Jason Kidd?