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Stan Van Gundy: “I don’t think this is on Jason Kidd”

Dec 5, 2013, 10:36 AM EDT

Brooklyn Nets v Charlotte Bobcats Getty Images

With the Nets off to a 5-13 start in the East, there is a lot of finger pointing going on. Losing does that.

That includes fingers at first-year coach Jason Kidd, who recently demoted lead assistant Lawrence Frank to be basically the highest paid video coordinator in the NBA. The Nets offense has been isolation heavy, and their defense is the worst in the NBA right now (using points allowed per possession). The Nets have battled injuries but good teams still find ways to win through that, the Nets have not come close.

However, former NBA coach Stan Van Gundy said this isn’t on Kidd — he was put in an impossible situation. Van Gundy was on the Armani and Eyton show on NBC Sports Radio (featuring former New York Giants wide receiver Amani Toomer and Eytan Shander who you know from the PBT Podcasts) and said this:

“I don’t think this is on Jason Kidd. Some people have really taken a lot of what I said about him as being critical of him but it’s not. I think if you look at Mark Jackson or Doc Rivers when he started, guys who have not been assistant coaches before they got their NBA head jobs, what they had was situatons where at least in their first year the expectatipons weren’t that high. So you had the freedom to make some mistakes, sorta out of the scruitiny, at least the national scrutiny, of everybody.

“Jason Kidd entered a job with very high expectations, for a guy who never coached I think that’s really, really difficult. He may grow into a very, very fine coach — but no one is a great coach when they first start. I’m sure Doc Rivers would tell you in all honesty that he is a far better coach now than he was when he first started. Not to say he wasn’t good when he started but you get a lot better over time. Jason Kidd was expected to be great.”

He’s right that management put together this roster and let Kidd talk them into coaching it (Kidd lobbied heavily for this job). They took the risk.

We really don’t know how good a coach Kidd will be, even this season — how will the Nets look when Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, Paul Pierce and Andrei Kirilenko are all healthy and part of the rotation? The Nets were without Williams through training camp, which was a setback in building chemistry because D-Will has to control the offense (and play like an All-Star) for this team to win. In his absense, their offense had everyone getting touches and it quickly devolved into isolation sets that were easier to defend.

The other problem in Brooklyn is with the age and contracts of Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Jason Terry and others the championship window is one, maybe two years. Kidd doesn’t have the luxury of time to learn on the job, let alone learn on a team plagued with injuries.

But is that Kidd’s fault?

  1. irvness21 - Dec 5, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    Everybody knew this from the start. Injuries in Brooklyn are not going away. The average age of that team is over 30… Kidd knew this when he took the job. Nobody should be fired after only 1 season, but he wont win with that roster…

    • fanofevilempire - Dec 5, 2013 at 11:14 AM

      he took the job, got rid if Frank so now fix it!

    • zerole00 - Dec 5, 2013 at 11:52 AM

      This roster is hilarious, weren’t Deron’s best (statistical) seasons with the Jazz?

    • caeser12 - Dec 5, 2013 at 1:10 PM

      Everyone except these people:

      • tved12 - Dec 5, 2013 at 1:19 PM

        Lol, great post!

      • zerole00 - Dec 6, 2013 at 12:25 PM

        Who would have thought that talking heads would fall for the hype?


  2. thomaskouns - Dec 5, 2013 at 11:06 AM

    Worst roster in the league for the money – big names + big ages + big salaries = big trouble.

    I put this on Prokerov who thought he could simply buy his way into contention.

    They would have been much better off now and for years to come had they not traded away their Lottery picks and added instead added free agents around them.

    • hdsnake867 - Dec 5, 2013 at 11:26 AM

      I’ve always maintained that there is no correlation between wealth and intelligence. Mikhail Prokhorov made his billions because he stole from the Russian people better than his competition. As for his basketball knowledge, it appears that he’s as dumb as a stump. Hire a newbie coach and trade away multiple 1st round draft picks for a couple of over the hill future HOFers and you get what you get. The first thing Prokhorov needs to do is get rid of GM Billy King who was probably the guy in his ear giving him all of this bad advice. Next, fired the wife beater and put Lawrence Frank in the big chair. Having a legacy of, “at least we’re better than the Knicks” won’t cut it in New York.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 5, 2013 at 3:25 PM

        a fool with a plan > a genius with no plan

  3. timberwolvesbrisin - Dec 5, 2013 at 11:40 AM

    Of course SVG said that, coaches NEVER criticize other coahes. It takes a rare occasion…

  4. stayhigh_247 - Dec 5, 2013 at 11:49 AM

    With King as the GM and an ego maniac billionaire owner they were doomed from the start. They need a new mindset in the front office. You can’t blame a first year coach that has a bunch of aging legends for this mess. They seem to be stuck in the 90’s with their way of team building. But as long as they have Lopez they can right the ship, to me he’s the only one not expendable. D Will is always hurt, even though Joe Johnson has been doing work lately, we know he’s not a real franchise player a 2nd option at best. KG can’t play 48 night in night out,same for the Truth. I would keep Evans, and the Jet because they constantly do what they do.

    Draft picks are they way to the top in this era of the NBA , not aging superstars and i got mad love for KG & Paul, but as a business man i’d expect their owner to make better decisions.

  5. cruzan80 - Dec 5, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    Everyone kills Dolan for the Knicks recent woes but the owner who really has had a major hand in his teams destruction is Prokhorov. Fact is that in recent years, Dolan has been pretty behind the scenes. He allowed Walsh to get the team under the cap then went after the two biggest available stars on the market (Amare & Melo via trade). He also had a solid draft during that time as well in Shumpert, Gallinari & Wilson Chandler who were both included in the trade to get Melo. Instead of taking the bait from the media about “Phil Jackson to the Knicks” crap & promptly resigned Woodson right after the season ended. Same as with Jeremy Lin who apparently forgot to take “Linsanity” with him to Houston where he currently rides the bench. An argument can be made that injuries (Amare, Chandler, Shumpert ect.) have played the biggest role in the Knicks short comings thus far….not the moves made by their GM & owner. Get healthy (Chandler) & this team can actually still turn it around by simply doing what they did a year ago.

    The Nets on the other hand have quickly become the NBA’s version of the New York Jets. Every move that has been made by this guy has been “big news” but nothing more. The sad thing is 2 years ago they were in better shape than the Knicks were. They had 2 star vets (Williams & Johnson), a proven winning coach & young stars (Lopez & Brooks) on the rise. This was a team that was well assembled & was in perfect position to only get better. But because their owner convinced himself that they should be an immediate contender for the title, he fired a damn good coach only to hire a player fresh off the court with as much experience as a head coach I have.Trades away all the young talent & role players eliminating any chance of chemistry from a 49 win team in favor of old big name players on the doorstep of retirement. All those moves made headlines but were about as stupid a basketball move as one could imagine. They won 49 games last year in their 1st full season together…..that’s a great season for probably 25 other teams in the league. A minor tweak here & there plus a year of experience together under their belt is all that team needed (see the Pacers).

  6. onlyavoice - Dec 5, 2013 at 6:28 PM

    Stan “The Mouth” Van Gundy
    Favors himself as an elite championship coach.
    I knew & posted The Mouth would chime in on this. The guy is not going to stop running his mouth because No contending team wants him (Because of his mouth & over inflated ego) so he has to lash back.

  7. belleby123 - Dec 6, 2013 at 9:03 AM

    How long before the Nets front office can be heard saying “Who was he Kidding?”

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