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Jason Kidd Rumored to be in Running for Nets Head Coaching Vacancy

by Photo of Kenneth Teape

Does it make sense for Jason Kidd take over the Nets head coaching position?

Jason Kidd Rumored to be in Running for Nets Head Coaching Vacancy

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News broke over the weekend that recently retired point guard Jason Kidd wants to get into the coaching ranks and is wasting no time by throwing his name into the discussion for the vacant Brooklyn Nets head coaching job.

There is no denying that Kidd has the ability to be a great coach. Throughout his career he has been lauded as a player with a great basketball mind and an IQ matched by very few to ever play the game. Kidd has showed recently in his stops with the New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks that he is a more than capable leader and teacher, someone that would demand respect from his players as he will undoubtedly be a Hall of Famer when his time comes.

Kidd also has good ties with the Nets franchise. He is quite possibly the best player to ever play for them and brought them out of obscurity when general manager Rod Thorn traded for him in 2001 from the Phoenix Suns, instantly making the Nets a championship contender. Kidd is quite possibly the biggest name the Nets can bring in with Phil Jackson saying he no longer wants to coach, something that is very important to owner Mikhail Prokhorov. Prokhorov is all about making money and bringing attention to his team, something a move like bringing Kidd in as head coach would accomplish. The media would be all over such a move and boost the Nets popularity; something not easy in a city dominated by the Knicks.

Another thing working in Kidd's and the Nets' favor is his relationship with the players, namely Deron Williams. Williams is currently the poster boy and leader of the Nets, so having him on board with the head coaching choice is a must. The families of Williams and Kidd are very close as they have vacationed together and also share the same agent in Jeff Schwartz. 

The Nets also have to been encouraged with how well of a job Mark Jackson has done with a young Golden State team, as he had no prior coaching experience before taking that job in 2011. One difference though is that Jackson did not coach right after retiring; he became an analyst for both YES Network and ESPN for six years. This gave Jackson a chance to adjust and learn as he regularly worked with former Knicks and Houston Rockets head coach Jeff Van Gundy. Jackson has been successful in his short coaching tenure thus far, getting the Warriors into the second round of the NBA Playoffs this season. 

Kidd is one of the smartest players to ever take an NBA court, but coaching from the sidelines is much different and he lacks any experience outside of being a player. It would go a long way for Kidd to get experienced assistant coaches on the bench next to him. Lawrence Frank is one person rumored to be on the list of people with head coaching experience that Kidd would have on his staff. Frank coached Kidd when they were in New Jersey together and it would be foolish of the Nets to not surround Kidd with an experienced staff and brain trust as not doing so would just be setting Kidd up to fail.

The hiring of Kidd would be a risk for everyone involved. There are high expectations for the Nets to win now revolving around Prokhorov’s five-year championship plan. The expectations are most likely too high for how the team is currently situated and could become a toxic situation fast and a tough one for an inexperienced coach to handle. The Nets have over $70 million tied up in only four players for the next three seasons, so this is pretty much the roster the Nets will have moving forward. The success of the Nets currently rides on the health on Brook Lopez, the diminishing skill set of Gerald Wallace, contract albatross and isolation prone Joe Johnson and All-Star Deron Williams.

If Kidd were to take over and not make it out of the first round like P.J Carlesimo, he would surely get his pink slip from the trigger-happy and demanding Prokhorov, who has already been through two coaches in his short tenure.

With these seemingly unreasonable and unattainable expectations put in place it would not be surprising to see Kidd or any coach hired given the boot rather quickly. For a new coach like Kidd, that could be a reputation killer right off the bat. It would be more beneficial for both parties to step away from the negotiation table sooner rather than later so the Nets can get one of the more experienced names on the market like Indiana Pacers assistant Brian Shaw or recently let go head coaches Lionel Hollins, Vinny Del Negro or George Karl.  Kidd will get his opportunity to be a head coach eventually; the job with the Nets currently does not seem to have a reward worth the risk.

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