Former Nets coach Jason Kidd was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks this morning. While much of today's news centers around who will replace Kidd in Brooklyn or what will happen to current Bucks coach Larry Drew, know this: The move is good news for the Nets. Kidd knew he was making a premature power grab all along, and the Nets are better off for calling his bluff.
To see why Brooklyn is better off with, say, Lionel Hollins, at the helm than Kidd, let’s recap.
Kidd was hired by the Nets after playing his final NBA season with the Knicks. The hire was a PR gem and temporarily stole the spotlight from the Nets competitors in the New York market. Kidd proceeded to miss the Nets first two games after pleading guilty to a DWI charge. Good start.
The Nets opened the season with a paltry 10-21 record before claiming just a sixth seed playoff spot in the pitiful eastern conference. Kidd was fined for his embarrassing decision to intentionally spill a drink on the court to force a timeout. He demoted assistant coach Lawrence Frank just months after convincing Nets management to make him one of the highest paid assistants in the league. Kidd and the Nets $190 million roster were then eliminated by the Heat in five games in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
All in all, Kidd’s maiden voyage in Brooklyn was far from a resounding success. Why, after his numerous blunders, would the Nets be interested in granting Kidd total control over basketball operations? That’s the kind of request you put forward after years of success, not one up-and-down rookie season.
The Nets were wise to call Kidd’s bluff. The coaching market is stocked with quality candidates right now -- George Karl and Lionel Hollins immediately come to mind. There’s simply no reason to grant a relatively inexperienced head coach so much power given the other options out there.
The Nets shipped Kidd to Milwaukee and got two second round picks for him. But the best part of this deal for Brooklyn isn’t the draft picks. It’s that whoever they bring in next -- early reports point to Hollins -- will probably be a better coach than Kidd was in the first place. It's a win-win situation in Brooklyn. The draft picks are just a bonus.