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While it’s too early to judge Jason Kidd the coach, whispers around league not kind

Nov 19, 2013, 8:55 PM EDT

Brooklyn Nets v Los Angeles Clippers Getty Images

Jason Kidd was given a Herculean task: Take six current or former All-Stars, a team with a ridiculous $100 million payroll, and meld all of it into a team that can win a title — and by the way, you have pretty much a one-year window to do that.

Hiring Kidd as a coach fresh off his final season as an NBA player may have been the boldest — if you prefer, riskiest — move the Nets front office made last summer. Nobody questions Kidd’s basketball IQ, but understanding how to play the game and teaching others how to do it are very different things.

Brooklyn is off to a 3-7 start with a bottom 10 offense and defense, and after an ugly Monday night loss to the Trail Blazers Nets players called a team meeting to talk about their issues.

But around the league, some people are starting to whisper Kidd is the problem, reports Howard Beck at Bleacher Report.

A veteran scout, interviewed earlier in the day and speaking on the condition of anonymity, called Kidd’s bench comportment “terrible,” observing that the play-calling has fallen mostly to his top assistants, Lawrence Frank and John Welch.

“He doesn’t do anything,” said the scout, who has watched the Nets several times. “He doesn’t make calls. John Welch does all the offense. Lawrence does all the defense. … I don’t know what Kidd does. I don’t think you can grade him and say he’s bad. You can give him an incomplete.”

The same scout said he had counted only 15 plays run by the Nets in the games he has watched.

The Nets’ offense degenerates quickly into isolations — often pure isolations, nobody is even setting picks for one other. There is a lack of leadership, nobody is taking charge of the offense they are trying to be fair and let everyone have turns and the result is ugly.

Would the Nets management admit their mistake and make a move?

It’s far too early to say Kidd can’t do this job, or to count out the Nets (even with their bad record they are just a game out of first place in the weak Atlantic Division). But people are watching and beginning to wonder.

  1. Mr. Wright 212 - Nov 19, 2013 at 9:04 PM

    Who is fooled by this charade?

    — These frauds think that throwing a bunch of (old) names together and running ads 24/7 on YES Network will mean they will (ever) overtake the Knicks in New York, when the Knicks are ingrained into the fabric of the city, four generations deep.

    — They think making a figurehead with a name (while Frank basically has a redux as head coach, because Kidd ain’t coaching anymore than he did on the floor last year) makes this work?

    — Until these past couple of days, they’ve been largely healthy, but everyone wants to give them a “wait and see” benefit of the doubt, and they STINK, while the Knicks work in just as many new players and suddenly Woody doesn’t know how to coach and everyone is piling on the Knicks 24/7.

    Makes sense.

    • knightrider1755 - Nov 20, 2013 at 11:09 AM

      Sorry but the Knicks suck.

  2. mackcarrington - Nov 19, 2013 at 9:17 PM

    Was P.J. Carlessimo that bad?

  3. bruiserbrigade - Nov 19, 2013 at 9:40 PM

    They should’ve hired George Karl.

    • spthegr8 - Nov 20, 2013 at 9:27 AM

      George Karl’s up and down pace doesn’t work with a bunch of old guy’s. Just Sayin’!!!!

    • knightrider1755 - Nov 20, 2013 at 11:09 AM

      They should have hired Lionel Hollins.

      • bjornreyes - Nov 21, 2013 at 3:06 AM

        I agree. Hollins is a defense guy. I believe he would be a great fit here.

  4. zickhead - Nov 19, 2013 at 10:01 PM

    I kinda agree, I’ve watched most of the Nets games and Kidd just sits on the bench and just no emotion or passion. I think he realized he took on a bigger task then he can handle.

  5. thebigcaptain2011 - Nov 19, 2013 at 10:09 PM

    The went bold because bold gets press and the Brooklyn Nets as an organization are an amalgamation of attention whores.

  6. spacemaker101 - Nov 19, 2013 at 10:29 PM

    There starting pg (elite pg) is hurt… Kinda early to start tagging on Kidd

    • legend30 - Nov 19, 2013 at 11:01 PM

      Deron Williams is not elite. Guys who are elite: T. Parker, R. Westbrook, C. Paul(Flops, but still a stud), S. Curry, and D. Rose(slow start, but give him some time to get his rhythm back). D. Williams is in the second tier with guys like: D. Lillard, R. Rondo, M. Conley.

      • legend30 - Nov 19, 2013 at 11:13 PM

        I would also like to mention that D. Williams is staying as a second tier PG. Guys who can join that elite group in the near future includes: K. Irving, D. Lillard and R. Rondo. D. Williams hasn’t been the same, since he left Utah(After J. Sloan retired). He’s declining. The Nets are old. And Boston have their 1st round pick in 2014, 2016, 2018, and right to swap in 2017 (all unprotected). The Nets have NO FUTURE.

      • zerole00 - Nov 20, 2013 at 10:22 AM

        Holy crap it has been a while since the trade so I forgot, Boston has their 1st round too? That’s crazy, at this rate Boston’s going to have 2 top 5/10 picks in a deep draft.

      • johnheisman - Nov 20, 2013 at 10:31 AM

        Rondo is absolutely elite and the best of the bunch in the playoffs. Rondo is the best ball handler, passer, rebounder and defender of the group. When they need him to score in the playoffs he does that to. Check out Chris Paul’s record in the playoffs and his perfomances. He has done nothing.

        Deron Williams looks to me like his priority is cashing checks.

      • honeyboywilson - Nov 20, 2013 at 11:58 AM

        S. Curry would barely make your second tier, definitely not elite.

  7. spacemaker101 - Nov 19, 2013 at 10:29 PM

    There starting pg (elite pg) is hurt… Kinda early to start tagging on Kidd

  8. jzone954 - Nov 19, 2013 at 11:29 PM

    At the end of the day it’s the players not making it happen. I have no idea what Brooklyn saw in bringing Pierce and and KG at this age over as if it was a Hugh move. Well Pierce I can get because I plays Lebron hard, and let’s face it. Williams and Joe Johnson aren’t getting t done PERIOD.

    • zerole00 - Nov 20, 2013 at 10:24 AM

      Williams and Johnson are two of the most overpaid players in the NBA. Can you believe Johnson makes about 7 million more than LeBron? I mean I dislike the latter, but that’s just absurd.

  9. biggestredmiami - Nov 20, 2013 at 1:27 AM

    Wow, but during the offseason the Nets were contenders!

    Sarcasm aside, J Kidd was a HOF player, but he’s also a guy who gets arrested for DUI at 38 years old and gets suspended for the first game. I’m not saying mistakes don’t happen and I’m sure we’ve all been in similar situations at some point in our lives, but 38 year old HOF players who have made over $200 million and elite coaches do not do that stuff. He’s a leader on the court when he has the basketball in his hands, but on the bench, he’s clueless. The reason a guy like Spo, a young guy with so much talent on his team, was able to succeed is because he learned the ropes first.

    Dumb hire by NJ to sell tickets, especially when you have a banged up (great when healthy, but when was the last time?) and injury-prone PG, one of the most overrated and aging SGs in Johnson (who parlayed being on a mediocre team into a massive contract), an old and misplaced PP, an old and misplaced KG, and an old, overhyped 6th man in J. Terry.

    Brook Lopez, who is underrated, leads the team in scoring and Livingston, after all of those knee surgeries, averages more than PP, Terry, KG, and Williams. That should tell you that something is wrong.

  10. kissyoursorrybooty - Nov 20, 2013 at 4:35 AM

    How about firing the clueless GM who hired him in the first place?

    • pl4tinum514 - Nov 20, 2013 at 12:07 PM

      Billy King is just Prokhorov’s b–ch. Whatever Prok wants, King does. Firing him would just make it harder for Prok to exert complete control.

      • asimonetti88 - Nov 20, 2013 at 3:01 PM

        Different sport, but the Angels’ GM has been a figurehead for owner Arte Moreno for a while. Even with Reagins being fired and Dipoto being hired. Prokhorov could fire King and hire someone else and still maintain control, but when the same issues arise, the public will not blame the GM but rather Prokhorov. That’s the more likely reason.

  11. pistolpete0903 - Nov 20, 2013 at 5:06 AM

    Does this come as a surprise top anyone?
    I mean taking a risk is one thing; making a dumb move is another.
    A guy with no prior experience coaching a bunch of overpaid (Joe), over rated (Deron) and over the hill (Pierce, KG) was sure going to work out!!!!

    There is a difference between a basketball player. basketball coach, basketball manager and a basketball owner (I am looking at you Michael Jordan)

    On the court, Kidd was as good a PG as there was. On the sidelines, when you not only have to design plays, assess the game but also manage and motivate players.
    They should have let Lawrence Frank coach for a couple of years, let Kidd learn the tricks and then maybe have made the splashy move.
    Oh well… sucks being a basketball fan (or for that matter sports fan) this winter in NY.

  12. 1972wasalongtimeago - Nov 20, 2013 at 6:57 AM

    It’s not too early to judge. It might be too late though.

  13. davidly - Nov 20, 2013 at 7:52 AM

    Scapegoating the coach is the easy way to avoid leveling criticism where it belongs, which is on everything they put together this year. They should send the big two back to Beantown for Rondo. Then KG and Pierce can at least have a parade season and hang it up with dignity.

  14. yuwannano - Nov 20, 2013 at 9:25 AM

    Not all players are “coach” material. Seems like Kidd is “Coach” in name only.

  15. 1historian - Nov 20, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    The Celts have Brooklyn’s 1st round choice in 2014, 2017 and 2018. Right now they have a better record than the Nets, but that will probably change. They will have a lottery choice next draft and with the way the Nets are playing that choice too will be a pretty good one. And there is a nice crop of free agents in the wings for next year.

    It seems pretty obvious that in making the move to get Pierce and Garnett the Nets are going for it all this season or next, after that it’ll be back to mediocrity, starting around 2015016, when the Celts are back and will STILL probably have a lottery pick, thanks to the Nets. .

    Ainge learned his trade at the feet of Red Auerbach. Somewhere Red is smirking as only he can, (could) smoking a cigar and saying “I taught you well, Danny boy!!”

  16. adoombray - Nov 20, 2013 at 11:31 AM

    It was a stupid move at the time it was made. Everyone, press and fans alike, just parroted the same cliche’s about his “court vision” and “floor general skills” based on his numbers without realizing he had no leadership skills to match his assist totals. He had no head coaching experience, is a guy of questionable character, and has himself been uncoachable at 3 different stops.

    This was a horrible idea made splashier by milking the shell of Kevin Garnett for black jersey sales. Sad to see The Truth go out like that.

  17. broncobeta - Nov 20, 2013 at 11:33 AM

    John Welch is an amazing assistant coach. He deserves the job more than Kidd does.

  18. mogogo1 - Nov 20, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    Basketball is a simpler game than football, but it always strikes me how different coaching is handled in the NBA compared to the NFL. Straight from being a player to head coach? That never, ever happens in football. Guys don’t even go from playing to being coordinators in the NFL. It’s just a totally different culture, but it always seems like there’s long-time assistants on NBA teams doing most of the real work of coaching the team.

    • Kurt Helin - Nov 20, 2013 at 5:29 PM

      It doesn’t really happen in the NBA, guys spend years as assistants. Ask Brian Shaw or Patrick Ewing. Mark Jackson and Kidd are the exceptions.

  19. telldatruth - Nov 20, 2013 at 12:40 PM
    These frauds think that throwing a bunch of (old) names together and running ads 24/7 on YES Network will mean they will (ever) overtake the Knicks in New York, when the Knicks are ingrained into the fabric of the city, four generations deep

    One of the best quotes of all time

  20. telldatruth - Nov 20, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    These frauds think that throwing a bunch of (old) names together and running ads 24/7 on YES Network will mean they will (ever) overtake the Knicks in New York, when the Knicks are ingrained into the fabric of the city, four generations deep

    One of the best quotes of all time lol

  21. unxpexted1 - Nov 20, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    Mikail Prokhorov=Jerry Jones

  22. crazyfootballfun - Nov 20, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    why would anyone think that a person with zero coaching experience could come in and coach at this levee. if you want the guy, give him an assistant job, or at a lower level. Management got what they wanted..someone who never coached and does not know how to.

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