As others have written, Jason Kidd's time with the #nets is over. Source said the Russians made that decision quickly.
— Alex Raskin (@alexraskinNYC) June 29, 2014
I can’t get over how quickly this has happened.
Imagine Jason Kidd is in first grade. His teacher announces at the beginning of the day that they can either eat one marshmallow now, or wait until the end of school and they’d get two marshmallows then. Kidd tells the teacher he’ll wait until the end of class to get two marshmallows. When his teacher isn’t looking, he steals one marshmallow from his classmate Lawrence, then tells the teacher Lawrence stole his homework, forcing Larry to go to the principal’s office and write a report on the importance of fairness.
Then, when the day is almost over, Kidd goes to the teacher’s desk and tries to convince them that he should be the teacher’s aide and have control of the bag of marshmallows and the class’s access to the supermarket and food budget, and that he knows of some really great biscotti they can get for them over in the other classroom.
That’s what this feels like, right?
Any conceivable modicum of Nets franchise stability has crumbled: the hierarchy of Prokhorov-to-King-to-Kidd has shattered, the idea that Kidd would develop his coaching abilities over the next decade is all but dead. Now he’s either going to get buried in the Nets organization until the Nets can finagle a first-round pick out of Milwaukee, or they’ll find a way to fire him outright without paying the entirety of his contract.
Kidd coached 80 regular season games (post-DWI suspension) and 12 playoff games, with a 43-37 regular-season record and 5-7 in the postseason. He apparently thought that after one season, he deserved the reins to the entire show, or that perhaps he could run it better than the men above him in that capacity. He’s intrigued by the “higher-paying, lower-workload life of an executive,” which correlates with reports last season that Kidd and Frank clashed over Kidd’s laissez-faire summer schedule when Frank wanted to prepare for the season.
Putting aside the obvious — do you really want to hire a president who wants the job because he doesn’t have to work so much? — it’s possible Kidd could run a franchise as it’s head of basketball operations. Probably not at age 41 without any front office experience and just one year of head coaching under his belt. But this is what Kidd thought he deserved.
The franchise enabled him with each decision until now: they let him have personnel control to demote Frank, they let him purchase part of Jay-Z’s shares. Even if that bothered the front office — and it seems like it did — they tacitly gave him their approval by letting him take control. On the bench, it worked: the Nets went from 10-21 to 44-38 in 2014, going one round further in the playoffs than in the past season.
So he took the power they’d given him and tried to extrapolate it well beyond his measure. Sure, Gregg Popovich has the same power in San Antonio, but Popovich’s relationship with the Spurs is a once-in-a-generation thing, and Popovich started from the executive role and gave himself the coaching job. Conversely, the Nets are letting Kidd interview with other teams after one season of being, quite literally, the most prominent face in the franchise. That should send up red flags.
Kidd’s crime wasn’t asking for a job he wanted, his crime was doing it way, way, way too soon. Now it looks like he’s getting transferred to another class.