Jason Kidd was an exceptional on-the-court coach when he played point guard in the NBA. Apparently, that doesn’t translate as much as we thought it would to being a full-time, successful coach of the Brooklyn Nets.
The first 30, or so, games is the perfect example of that very premise. Kidd hasn’t just “underperformed” as the coach of the Nets (10-19), but one could argue that he hasn’t offered up anything during his time as a coach. As one anonymous executive said: “He doesn’t do anything.” ESPN’s David Thorpe called Kidd the worst coach in the NBA.
That was about a month ago. A month has passed, sure, but has anything really changed? You know, apart from Lawrence Frank being “reassigned”?
According to Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Kidd is beginning to lose the locker room. I wouldn’t disagree with you if you claimed that he never had it. But, usually, when a coach loses their locker room, that means he’s soon to lose his job. We all know what comes next.
“More than once, sources said, players have stood in the locker room and told Kidd they don’t understand their roles, that there’s confusion about their principles,” wrote Wojnarowski. Players reportedly don’t understand the team’s identity and are instead using code words to refer to Kidd’s instructional failures.
In fact, Wojnarowski went so far as to tacitly suggest that the Nets head coach might actively be trying to get himself fired. “If Kidd wants an early exit with the $10 million left on his contract,” he wrote, “he’s following the proper blueprint: Blame the players, alienate everyone and, above all, keep losing.”
But Bill Simmons, of ESPN, posses an interesting take via Twitter. Is Kidd the lone scapegoat or does the whole Nets empire come crashing down — GM, coach and players?
At least the Nets players have confidence in themselves, though…right?
“I don’t know if we will (turn the season around), but that’s the plan,” said Joe Johnson to NBA.com’s Jake Appleman after Brooklyn lost to the Chicago Bulls on Christmas Day, 95-78.
That’s some kind of fight.
Perhaps the kind of fight that a coach that fails to motivate his team produces? Maybe. Kidd questioned his team’s energy and fight after their loss on Christmas Day to a bad Chicago Bulls team. But is it time for the Nets players to question their coach’s abilities? Would that cross the line? Would it be fair? More importantly, is it warranted?
Kidd may have been set up for disaster with the way the Nets roster was built, but he really didn’t do anything to help the cause. Both parties are at fault. Unfortunately, it tends to fall on the coach’s shoulders first.
As far as we know, Kidd may turn out to become a serviceable coach. He was set up for failure in Brooklyn. Kidd getting fired may be the best thing that ever happens to him in his early coaching profession. Part of me thinks he wasn’t ready for such a big time job.
I think the Nets are finally realizing that. We’ve all known that for 30 games. The Nets record just about says it all.
When you look at Brooklyn’s roster and peek at the Atlantic Standings, it just doesn’t add up.