Larry Drew’s moving forward, so he says.
The former Milwaukee Bucks coach, who was fired by the team so that they could hire Jason Kidd this offseason, spoke publicly for the first time about the situation with the Milwaukee Journal-Setinel, saying he was “blindsided” by the move but knew it was out of his control.
The Nets granted Kidd permission to speak with the Bucks on June 25th, the day before the draft. Kidd attended a press conference promoting the new Nets practice facility in Brooklyn the morning of draft day, before his meeting with Bucks brass had broken to the public.
Drew said his biggest ire came after the draft, when he attended a press conference with Jabari Parker despite the fact that the team had already met with Kidd:
Maybe the most embarrassing snub Drew suffered was having to sit at the introductory news conference with No. 2 overall pick Jabari Parker at the Milwaukee Public Market on the day after the draft, even though the owners already had talked to Kidd by that time.
“The whole Jabari thing, putting me in that position, I don’t think it was very professional,” Drew said. “I wish it wouldn’t have happened that way, but it did.
“If I had been a new coach, I might have reacted differently (to the firing). But because I’ve been in this so long and I’ve had friends who have had these type things happen to them, I was OK.
“This is the life we choose and sometimes you have to expect the unexpected.”
Kidd now runs a team that was a league-worst 15-67 last year, though they’ve since added Parker, Jared Dudley, and Jerryd Bayless. The Nets hired Lionel Hollins to replace Kidd, a no-nonsense coach who spent parts of seven seasons helping the Memphis Grizzlies develop a grit-n-grind mentality.
As for Drew? He’s now an assistant coach on David Blatt’s staff with the Cleveland Cavaliers, coaching LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and the recently acquired Kevin Love. Not a bad place to land in the end.
On a related note, here’s Jason Kidd getting a bucket of ice water dumped on him.