Once groomed to be the face of the franchise, Kidd will now have all his images removed from Barclays Center – perhaps even his retired jersey hanging from the rafters.
Just over a year ago, Kidd was hired to coach the Nets after previously leaving the organization on bad terms as a player, having no prior coaching experience and a well-documented past filled with red flags.
Kidd’s baggage included a reputation as a coach killer dating to his freshman days at the University of California, multiple drunk driving incidents and an ugly divorce from his ex-wife, Joumana.
Kidd went to ownership and demanded a promotion to hurdle the same management members that hired him as an unproven commodity in the first place, subsequently putting their jobs at stake. That mindset has left several executives flabbergasted around the league.
The news of Kidd approaching ownership to become Brooklyn’s president of basketball operations was first reported by the New York Post.
Keep in mind, this discussion Kidd had with ownership was after a season in which he was suspended for two games on DWI charges, re-assigned Lawrence Frank – the league’s highest-paid assistant – to writing daily reports just months into a six-year contract, a 10-21 record that put his job security in question and spilling soda onto the court, costing him $50,000.
Kidd then guided the Nets to a sixth-place finish in a woeful Eastern Conference. With a huge edge in experience, Brooklyn barely beat Toronto in seven games to avoid a first-round exit before losing to Miami in five games.
Simply put, that’s a wobbly platform to stand on when asking for a promotion, considering the title expectations placed on the team by ownership and steep price the team paid to acquire Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce from Boston.
Kidd enforced ownership’s belief that he wasn’t ready to make managerial decisions when he suggested the team trade Brook Lopez and Mirza Teletovic to the Bucks for Larry Sanders and Ersan Ilyasova, as NetsDaily reported. It’s also widely known Kidd pushed the Nets to acquire Jarrett Jack instead of Marcus Thornton at the trade deadline.
The Nets grew tired of catering to Kidd’s demands, something that has gone on since his playing days.
While in the prime of his career, the Nets gave J. Kidd his own locker as our own Chris Sheridan noted in a previous column.
The five-year, $25 million contracts handed out to Steve Kerr and Derek Fisher as first-time coaches set the stage for Kidd to believe he could have more clout in Brooklyn.
After originally netting a four-year, $10.5 million deal – considered a high price tag for a rookie coach at the time – Kidd was now viewed as a bargain in comparison.
Meanwhile, Bucks management reportedly had no idea Kidd was in talks with ownership at any level – including Larry Drew, who was fired roughly an hour after news of Kidd’s move to the Bucks.
Drew got the short end of the stick in this scenario after getting stabbed in the back by Kidd, who is supposedly one of his brethren.
There’s a reason why Jeff Van Gundy politely declines to comment on speculation for someone else’s job. It’s out of respect – something Kidd clearly didn’t have for Drew or his highly exclusive profession. He broke one of the cardinal rules of the NBA coaching fraternity by angling for Drew’s job.
Kidd comes off as a snake in this scenario, going behind the back of management of both the Bucks and the Nets.
Brooklyn’s management took a chance on Kidd when nobody else would, but it didn’t stop him from attempting to overtake the same people who hired him.
In Milwaukee, Kidd wants to leverage his friendship with co-owner Marc Lasry – once his financial advisor – into eventual control of the Bucks, forcing out general manager John Hammond the same way he did Drew.
The Bucks should be wary of bringing Kidd into the fold after the selection of Jabari Parker positively energized the organization.
As we’ve seen in every previous stop with Kidd, the snake will eventually bite someone.
Based on Kidd’s track record, ownership in Milwaukee will ultimately end up telling him, “Get the Buck outta here.”