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Reports: Jason Kidd finalizes deal, will be Nets new coach

Jun 12, 2013, 8:42 PM EDT

Knicks Media Day Basketball AP

Wednesday afternoon part of the Brooklyn Nets management team spent better than four hours listening to Indiana Pacers assistant coach Brian Shaw explain why he should be the new head coach in Brooklyn. Reportedly it was a very good presentation.

But the other part of management was finalizing a deal with Jason Kidd to go directly from player to coach — and that group had the blessing of ownership.

The deal is now in place — Jason Kidd will be the new head coach of the Brooklyn Nets, with a formal announcement coming Thursday, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. This is something that had been reported was coming for days by guys such as Brian Geltzeiler of but is now official.

Kidd will step right from his 19-year, Hall of Fame playing career to the bench — which is a huge leap. It’s a huge risk for the Nets. While nobody is officially hired on his staff, former NBA head coach Lawrence Frank is expected be his lead assistant and the rest of his staff is expected to be experienced. They are there to help teach the rookie coach the ropes.

This is big name, big roll of the dice hire by the Nets.

Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has wanted to break the mold and try different things, and this move is certainly that. But if the goal is a title like Prokhorov has insisted, I wonder how much Kidd can really do with a roster that is fourth or fifth best in the East and not going to change much?

Kidd has the advantage of being tight with Deron Williams — in theory if Kidd can get more out of D-Will the Nets will improve. Williams is the key to making the Nets offense go — but that is not the end of the court that is the problem. The Nets were a below average defense and that is what has to be fixed.

Right now the Nets are a couple of steps behind the Heat, the Bulls with Derrick Rose back and the Pacers. Can Kidd really coach up this roster to that level?

Nobody is questioning Kidd’s knowledge of the game — he was one of the highest basketball IQ players of the last couple decades. He was a joy to watch play at his peak. But instinctively knowing what the defense is trying to force you to do then making the correct pass is one thing, drawing up plays and teaching those skills is another.

Kidd also is going to have to go from being one of the guys to the guy that has to make the hard calls. Kidd has lived the lifestyle of a star player for years, that’s different then spending your late nights in a hotel staring at a computer screen breaking down the Magic’s offensive sets to help devise a game plan. It’s different because there are a lot more media obligations. And the indiscretions of Kidd’s past will not be swept under the rug if they happen again. This is a big change for Kidd, I hope he is ready for it.

Taking an inexperienced coach has worked before (most recently Mark Jackson in Golden State) and the Nets have been sold on the big name. Now let’s see if that’s going to be enough.

  1. 00maltliquor - Jun 13, 2013 at 3:19 AM

    I need a stats check Mr. Helin! Is this the fastest any player has gone from being in the game to hired to be on the sideline, ever!? Dang, Kidd didn’t even have a chance to enjoy some time off! I have a feeling he may regret that.

    I honestly can’t make a call on whether this is a good move or a bad move because I have absolutely NOTHING to go off of, but it sure is interesting, I’ll tell you that much.

    • Kurt Helin - Jun 13, 2013 at 3:24 AM

      Back in the 60s and 70s there were some player/coaches (Bill Russell, Bill Cousy, Lenny Wilkins, Dave Cowens among others) but there hasn’t been anything like this in probably 30 years.

      • 00maltliquor - Jun 13, 2013 at 4:35 AM

        Good man Mr. Helin. Quick response. Up late grinding, I see. Much appreciated.

        I just checked, WOW. Bill Russell COACHED while he was still PLAYING. I don’t know how I DIDN’T know that important piece of history. Also found out he was the NBAs first black head coach. And that the 1st season the team was under him, their Championship streak ended that season at 8 in a row (although he did take them to the Finals).

        I’m very impressed. Maybe you could do one article every week or every other week with cool history and fun facts like that? Just an idea that came to me.

      • ProBasketballPundit - Jun 13, 2013 at 6:34 PM

        Bill Russell deserves four rings for the two titles he won as player-coach. I know the game was different then, but that must have exhausted his body AND mind.

      • badintent - Jun 14, 2013 at 1:30 AM

        Read Russell’s books, amazing player and great coach. Even better person

  2. 00maltliquor - Jun 13, 2013 at 3:23 AM

    Also, with Brian Shaw, IDK if this is what hurt him but I’m sure Shaw wants to run a Triangle offense, which renders a PG of D Will’s caliber irrelevant, especially with his skill set. Since he’s the star player and you’re paying him the big bucks I don’t think that would have been such a great pairing. That’s probably why Shaw is getting shafted.

    • unxpexted1 - Jun 13, 2013 at 9:02 AM

      Thats why I think Brian Shaw should go to Memphis. He would be a perfect fit there.

  3. BigBeachBall - Jun 13, 2013 at 3:31 AM

    J kidd is class….with a ring, which gives him credibility with players… If dWill signed off on this decision, then it was the right one.

    • bw1980 - Jun 13, 2013 at 9:53 AM

      Class? Perhaps your generation uses the word differently but I wouldn’t describe a man who was arrested for and pleaded guilty to beating his wife as “class”.

      • 00maltliquor - Jun 13, 2013 at 12:21 PM

        Jason Kidd is class. Who knows why he did what he did but yes, he did do that. That was one time, a very dark moment in his life, but Jason Kidd has proven himself other then that specific day to be a very good, classy guy.

        The fact that his life is in the media and everything is under a microscope, everything negative in a famous persons life is aired out for others to know.

        Now just imagine if you were famous, and your life was put under a microscope, you mean to tell me you haven’t done or said or acted in a way that would be found offensive or classless or what have you by the general public?

        If not, then let he without sin cast the first stone, my brother.

        Look, I would NEVER ever co-sign on putting your hands on a woman. With Kidd this feels like a one time eff up in a 40 year lifespan I’m sure he’s riddled with regret with. He doesn’t have any other history of maliciousness so I feel like calling Kidd classless might be taking it too far.

      • Kurt Helin - Jun 13, 2013 at 1:49 PM

        All I’m going to say is that there is a lot of stuff Kidd has done that is not out in the media.

      • lmoneyfresh - Jun 13, 2013 at 1:30 PM

        Don’t forget his DUI.

  4. MOZART - Jun 13, 2013 at 5:26 AM

    This looks like a bad decision on Kidd’s part: unless he thinks he won’t get another opportunity. No matter how good a coach someone is, if the players don’t listen, then it is all for nothing. The players may look at Jason and think he doesn’t know anymore than they do.

  5. bougin89 - Jun 13, 2013 at 8:56 AM

    I actually like this hire. Will this blow up in the Nets face? Possibly, but I don’t mind the Nets looking outside the box. Kidd obviously knows the game offensively and defensively, we’ll just have to see how well he can communicate with and teach his players.

  6. knowledge743 - Jun 13, 2013 at 9:38 AM

    Sounds good… but probaly wont be good.. splash name..but no coaching experience .. on a team that a good coach coulda coached to. Eastern finals at least

  7. bcwildcat24 - Jun 13, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    I have a question. Anybody who knows feel free to answer. Last night on the ESPN crawler, they said Jason Kidd was the first retired player to become a coach for the following season since 1990. Does anybody know who that was? Or was that a typo by ESPN?

    • asimonetti88 - Jun 13, 2013 at 12:13 PM

      It was Mike Dunleavy Sr. Although that is a bit misleading. He stopped playing in 85, then played like two games in 1989-90 while he was working as an assistant coach. Then in 1990 he got the Lakers job. So yeah, he technically went from playing to coaching, but not like Kidd is doing.

      • bcwildcat24 - Jun 13, 2013 at 2:08 PM

        Oh ok, thanks. Yeah I googled it last night and read that, but I didn’t know he played two games in 1990

  8. vaphinfan - Jun 13, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    Anyone who has coached where wins depends on you keeping your job knows theres a huge difference between playing and coaching.

  9. klownboy - Jun 13, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    Good hire for the Nets. Always good to see some new blood instead of the same coaching retreads.

  10. urodaddy07 - Jun 13, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    The Nets have a very good roster. They should be playing a better and achieving more. They’re a bunch of individuals with talent. They need a coach who can get them to play as a team. They take way too many bad shots. They have size at almost every position, including PG. The only guy performing to potential is Reggie Evans, everybody else sucked big time. This team should be giving Miami a run for its money.

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