Jason Kidd has always been swift with the rock and he’s staying true to form, quickly landing a job as head coach of the Brooklyn Nets just 10 days after retiring from the game.
Kidd is hooking up with the franchise he led to consecutive NBA Finals in 2002-03, when they balled in New Jeru. He spent six and a half seasons with the Nets, averaging 14.6 points, 9.1 assists and 7.2 rebounds, and is their career leader in several statistical categories.
The moves Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has made since purchasing the Nets franchise have been historical, bold and audacious – just like the Kidd hiring.
From relocating to Brooklyn, to the pretentious billboard in Manhattan warning NY fans of their arrival in BK, to the highly-publicized unprecedented move of making rap mogul Jay-Z a minority owner and the face of the franchise. Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov is a daring, outside-the-box thinking owner with a goal to win games and eventually take over the town in the process.
Who better to lead this charge than a fresh-out-the-box, future Hall of Fame champion with a track record of catching wreck in the Tri-State.
“Jason Kidd has a long and legendary history with the Nets and with the city of New York,” Prokhorov said in a statement.
“He has the fire in the belly we need, and has achieved as a player everything the Brooklyn Nets are striving to achieve. We believe he will lead us there. Welcome home, Jason.”
If anything, the Russian owner has once again showed that he wants to be a game-changer by associating his brand with guys like Kidd – the NBA’s Yoda – who are respected and offer a youthful assessment of things.
The move to hire Kidd is historic because he just stepped off the court, jersey wet, still dripping with sweat and has never seasoned his chops with a head-coaching gig.
Mark Jackson was hired out of the analyst’s booth and reached the WCS in his second season with Golden State; so there is precedent for it. But to so quickly have the transition from player to head coach is a path we’ve never seen traveled before. I mean, that’s some Dr. Dre, Kanye West double-threat stuff. It’s legendary.
While Kidd has no head-coaching experience, he’s considered one of the most cerebral players in history. As his dope career drew to a close, he was basically an on-court assistant coach for the Mavs team that won a World Championship in ’11, the re-birthed ’12-’13 Knicks and the two Olympic gold-medal-winning teams he’s played on.
The age factor is huge in this, as today’s NBA players prefer head coaches who are the anti-Larry Brown. They command a delicate balance of loose reigns and respected, firm leadership.
Another significant factor in Kidd getting the Nets job is his close friendship with franchise point guard Deron Williams, a notorious coach crusher. The move could foster a sustained period of inspired play and focus, something Williams hasn’t given the NBA in a minute.
Brooklyn has nothing to lose and everything to gain. Like the emergence of the pistol option in football, if Kidd gets it done, a new philosophy in the way coaches are hired could emerge and change the game forever.
The Nets don’t have the historic cache that the Knicks have, but one thing is certain: BK is carving its own, fresh path in the NY sports landscape. They want to be the cool kids on the block. And Jason Kidd is another hip, modern trail blazer for a Nets franchise – which at the very least is shaping up to be a formidable NBA organization with an engaging knack for ringing bells and taking risks.