Buyer Beware: Nets Jason Kidd Already On His Way Out Of N.Y.
The Brooklyn Nets have agreed to let head coach Jason Kidd out of the remaining three years of his contract and sign with the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for two future second-round draft picks.
It was a turbulent time for Kidd in his first year with the Nets, and most of the turbulence was brought on by himself. Disciplinary actions were levied against Kidd by the league on more than one occasion. The former NBA All-Star was suspended for the first two games of the season as punishment for his guilty plea involving a DUI arrest in 2012. Kidd was also fined $50,000 for intentionally spilling a drink onto the court during the 4th quarter of Brooklyn's November 27th contest with the Los Angeles Lakers.
From a 10-21 start to the regular season, to taking personal phone calls during summer league exhibition games, to leaving the court before the game had officially concluded in San Antonio on December 31st, it was truly a comedy of errors in the first year of Jason Kidd's NBA head coaching career. There was even a highly publicized falling out between Kidd and his well respected lead assistant coach Lawrence Frank early in the season. According to Yahoo! Sports, Kidd felt uneasy about Frank's vocal role during Nets practices and eventually went on an expletive-filled tirade which was directed at Frank. On December 4th, it was announced that Kidd had made the decision to reassign Frank to a lesser role with the team and banish him from team practices.
Although the Nets eventually secured the 6th best record in the Eastern Conference and went on to defeat the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the 2014 NBA playoffs, Kidd didn't exactly endear himself to Brooklyn's front office due to major missteps along the way. According to multiple media sources, there is talk that a power struggle over personnel decisions created a rift between Kidd and Nets general manager Billy King. Kidd will have a better chance of attaining the power he so desperately craves in Milwaukee because of his close relationship with Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry. Lasry has previously served as a financial adviser to Kidd while Kidd was an active player in the NBA.
In addition to Kidd's quest for more power in the front office, rumors are circulating that Kidd wanted out of Brooklyn because he felt undervalued compared to other first-year head coaches like Steve Kerr in Golden State and Derek Fisher in New York. Both Kerr and Fisher were able to sign five-year $25 million deals with their respective clubs compared to Kidd's four-year, $10.5 million contract that he signed with Brooklyn last season. Personally, I believe these rumors to be an accurate description of the truth because they clearly fall in line with Kidd's egotistical personality and how he has conducted himself up to this point.
After one up-and-down season and one playoff series victory on his coaching resume, Kidd has an awful lot of nerve trying to strong arm Nets management into giving him more power within the organization. Meanwhile across the river, current New York Knicks president Phil Jackson had won a total of 13 NBA championships as a player and coach before finally being given the ultimate control of a basketball franchise. Given Kidd's past transgressions, including a domestic abuse charge in 2001, he should be thanking his lucky stars that he still has a job in the NBA to begin with.
I suspect that Brooklyn couldn't wait to rid themselves of Kidd, which is why they gave Milwaukee permission to talk with Kidd in the first place. By securing two future draft picks from Milwaukee and having a bevy of more accomplished head coaches with which to choose from as a replacement, the Nets clearly came out on the better end of this deal. The Bucks on the other hand, are getting a poor leader of their organization who feels a sense of entitlement despite the fact that he has accomplished very little to this point in his post-NBA playing career.