In an interview with NBA TV host and former New York Knicks general manager Isaiah Thomas, Nets general manager Billy King discussed his team, most prominently his decision to hire Jason Kidd as head coach.
King also discussed Lawrence Frank’s re-assignment to “daily reports,” removing Frank from the sideline, saying that the re-assignment was his (King’s) idea.
“In order for him to be successful, I had to make a decision. And so I said, ‘let’s re-assign him,'” King told Thomas. “He does give us a report, I got it this morning, he’s helping from afar. But I believe in Jason. So to give him the ability to be successful, we had to make that decision.”
King added, as he has before, that he wanted someone he felt confident would lead, and when Kidd was brought up, he was initially resistant. But after a talk with Kidd and King’s mentor, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, King felt comfortable with the hire.
“The one thing I knew is that I wanted a leader,” King said. “Because most people look for guys who (do) X’s-and-O’s, great, but if you can’t lead, the X’s-and-O’s doesn’t work. So I knew I was looking for a leader.”
“He believed in himself,” King later added of Kidd. “And that’s biggest to me. When he walks into a room, there’s confidence. He talked to the players, there’s confidence. He went at KG, KG went back, he went back at him, he went at Paul, so he wasn’t afraid to challenge guys. That to me showed he was going to be a good coach. In this league, you’ve got a Hall-of-Famers in KG & Paul Pierce, 19 years, 16 years, and you challenge them in front of the rest of the team, they’re going to believe, okay, this guy’s for real.”
King also trusted in himself to build a roster for Kidd. “I love to make trades. That’s the one thing I love to do. Having a coach like Jason, he knows what he needs to win now. So I said ‘I look forward to this offseason with you, because now there are guys you’re gonna want, and we can go get, that I know that you’ll make them successful because you’ll believe in them and they’ll believe in you.'”
Full interview below.