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Bucks owners admit mistakes in recruitment of Jason Kidd

Jul 2, 2014, 6:28 PM EDT

Jason Kidd, Marc Lasry Jason Kidd, Marc Lasry

If you’re new owners of an NBA team trying to get a city behind you so you can get some public financing, coming off as disloyal to the staff in place is not the best first move.

But that’s what Milwaukee Bucks owners Marc Lasry and Wes Edens — Lasry in particular — admitted to at the introductory press conference for their new team coach Jason Kidd.

Lasry had a relationship with Kidd from when he was part owner of the Nets and that helped spark the conversations between the two sides (which Kidd tried to leverage into more power in Brooklyn but that failed).

The Bucks owners apologized for how they handled everything — nobody was brought in on the talks, not even GM John Hammond. This is the owners’ rationale, as told to Charles Gardner of the Journal Sentinel.

“We were naïve about how this business is put out to the press,” Edens said. “We are used to operating in businesses where discretion is necessary and part of the fabric of it.

“The degree to which the media plays an integral role in basketball was a shock to me.”

Lasry and Edens said they plan to have clear channels of communication in the future and will be involved along with Kidd and Hammond.

“We made the mistake of taking them at face value with what they asked us to do,” Edens said of the Nets owners, who asked for confidentiality in the talks.

As excuses go that is a pretty poor one. The issue isn’t that it became public, the issue is that you went behind the back of your coach to replace him without warning, and didn’t bother to include the guy supposed to be in charge of your basketball operations in that discussion. It was your actions, not your naiveté. It’s their team, they can bring in who you want as coach, but if the two owners had been up front and above board from the start this wouldn’t have been an issue.

This has not played terribly well in Milwaukee, which goes back to the first paragraph of this story — it was already going to be a very hard sell in Milwaukee to get public financing approved for a needed new arena. This is a step in the wrong direction. There is more than enough time to correct that — Kidd doing well as a coach and being good in the community will be a part of that — but the owners need to show they are committed to the city and learn from their mistakes.

  1. fanofthegame79 - Jul 2, 2014 at 6:47 PM

    I was going to say that maybe the new owners were trying to excite the city by upgrading their decent coach to a great coach, but Kidd hasn’t proven himself to be a great coach. Or even a decent coach, for that matter.

    The Nets did turn themselves around in January-ish, but we can’t say that was because of Kidd. Should be interesting to see how this all plays out.

    • fanofthegame79 - Jul 2, 2014 at 6:49 PM

      Brooklyn, on the other hand, should be secretly thanking Kidd and the Bucks: they really did upgrade to a great coach and they picked up a future draft pick as well.

    • j0esixpack - Jul 5, 2014 at 10:18 AM

      If Kidd really did try to trade Lopez to the Bucks in advance of a power play to send a proven player to his next team, then Milwaukee better keep in mind that what goes around, comes around.

      He’ll stab that organization in the back just as quickly as he did the last one – and the Bucks will get exactly what they deserve.

      Both Kidd and the Bucks organization don’t seem to give a damn about honor though – the end justifies the means – so they may be a good match.

  2. saint1997 - Jul 2, 2014 at 6:47 PM

    We need some more solid 2 guards to get drafted into this league. Bucks need one for this roster, as do the Hornets, Hawks etc.

  3. luz56 - Jul 2, 2014 at 6:48 PM

    Wrong …wrong ….wrong people that are business owners like this are not naïve…Jason Kidd is scum and every stop along his storied career has an ugly story … Great player that was never exposed by media for his off court antics

    • asimonetti88 - Jul 2, 2014 at 11:43 PM

      I don’t know how Lasry made his money, but I’d be willing to guess he’s a VC, based on how he’s done business so far.

  4. Andee - Jul 2, 2014 at 6:53 PM

    Milwaukee goes from the encouraging high of drafting a blue chipper like Jabari Parker to this tidal wave of bad karma and a worse coach. Kidd might have been able to salvage the season in Brooklyn with a roster of vets and Deron Williams, but I think he’ll be exposed as a fraud with the Bucks. And there is no amount of soda you can spill to distract from that.

  5. packerblitz - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:09 PM

    Everyone needs to chill out. Yeah, the new Bucks owners got excited at the idea of having a big name be their head coach. Sure, they went behind Drew and Hammond’s back. Guess what? It’s their team. Drew and Hammond were just here when they got the Bucks. Drew had 15 wins last year! And Hammond helped put that team together. (No, Hammond was not trying to tank – that roster was built for another 8 seed run and it failed miserably). Keep hating haters. Its refreshing to see the owners trying to do make the team better! JKidd and Jabari will put new life into a franchise that has been dull since one of the worst trades of all time – handing Ray Allen away for nothing.

  6. csbanter - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:13 PM

    Kidd is basically the GM now, this Hammond dude is just a placeholder executive.

  7. kb2408 - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:17 PM

    This is all going to end very badly…One doesn’t have to be as insightful and brilliant as I am to predict this outcome.

    • sportsfan18 - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:19 PM

      even a blind squirrel finds a nut or two every now and then…

      • bkbell3 - Jul 3, 2014 at 12:41 AM

        even a broken watch is right twice a day…

  8. campcouch - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:19 PM

    I actually forgot this happened.

  9. elcapitanfiscal - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:06 PM

    Slowly, everyone is realizing how much of a jerk Kidd is.

    • sportsfan18 - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:21 PM


      he PUNCHED his wife in the mouth during an argument back in like 2002 or something…

      He plead GUILTY to domestic abuse.

      drinks a lot, DUI

      I think we’ve known for a decade plus how much of a jerk he is…

      • antistratfordian - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:44 PM

        Hey, he’s old school. Back in 1958 hitting your wife and driving with a sixer in your lap was normal.

      • kcroyal - Jul 3, 2014 at 3:46 AM

        Even Republicans weren’t horrible people, 150 years ago.

  10. xLith - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:06 PM

    So they pulled an Obama. He gets away with it so they figured they could too.

    • padraighansen - Jul 3, 2014 at 8:43 AM

      ….and another typically ignorant comment from Hoffman.

  11. antistratfordian - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:38 PM

    It’s not really an issue. The owner can do whatever he wants. This reminds me of Stephen Ross Sparano-Harbaugh situation though.

  12. boiler72 - Jul 2, 2014 at 10:13 PM

    ” but they owners need to show they are committed to the city and learn from their mistakes”.

    Wow. This is the grammar and spelling used to criticize the Bucks’ new owners? Looks to me like Lasry and Edens aren’t the only humans who make mistakes. “they owners”, lol? Uh, okay. Sure.

    That said, GO BUCKS!

  13. abqpacker - Jul 2, 2014 at 10:16 PM

    Drew had only been with the Bucks for one year, and they had the worst record in the league. It’s not like Milwaukee fans had any attachment to him, to be angry at the new owners for letting him go – or even for the way they did it.

  14. weaselpuppy - Jul 2, 2014 at 10:51 PM

    A couple billioniaires treat people like garbage and move them around like their lives mean nothing?

    Shocking. Next you’ll tell me Kobe Bryant might not be a swell guy….

  15. campcouch - Jul 2, 2014 at 11:05 PM

    Not the first coach,team or athlete to strong arm their way out and in to a better position. It’s going on now in free agency,it happened with Jackson and Kerr,it happened with the Clippers. Competition drives it. Winning, money and comfort is the end game for all involved.

    • bkbell3 - Jul 3, 2014 at 12:46 AM

      I’m still confused as to how kidd used the bucks as leverage which means he had to talk to the bucks while he was still under contract to the nets. Did the nets give the bucks permission to talk to them? If not how is this not tampering?

      • campcouch - Jul 3, 2014 at 5:07 AM

        I’m thinking Kidd asked,they said,”you’re bananas, if you can find someone to do that,we’ll talk with them”. He calls his buddy up and says hey,these guys suck,if you want me then give me an offer I can take back. We get the sensational bits so it probably wasn’t as dramatic as the reporters make it to be.

  16. enigma2742 - Jul 3, 2014 at 1:58 AM


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