It hasn’t been a pretty start for Brooklyn Nets head coach Jason Kidd.
The Nets are currently 5-14 to start out the 2013-14 NBA season, and they are recently coming off a loss to the New York Knicks in a 113-83 defeat. Currently, they rank second-to-last in the Eastern Conference, and they may very well fall to dead-last if they lose to the last-place Milwaukee Bucks tonight.
The Nets have nothing going good for them. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce have turned out to be bad investments. Brook Lopez has been the only productive player with 19.7 points per game and a 27.1 PER. Joe Johnson is averaging nearly 16 points a game, but only has a 15.7 PER.
Other than that, the rest of this team looks awful — especially the coaching.
It’s almost as if Jason Kidd is not even a coach. He can’t really come up with plays on his own, and Lawrence Frank was basically drawing plays for the Nets despite being the assistant. However, an altercation happened this week with both coaches having “different philosophies”, which has led to Kidd to leaving Frank off the bench and nowhere near the Nets players during games.
However, the blame can’t fully go on Kidd, despite the crazy antics he has done so far this season such as spilling coke on himself to buy his team a quick timeout.
The Nets aren’t exactly the most healthiest team this season. Deron Williams is always injured, though he is prepared to finally make a return back to the court for the black-and-white. Despite that, with all the talent this team has, it’s hard to see how they are in this state.
The Knicks have already picked things up since beating Brooklyn, and are now on a two-game winning streak. The Nets need a spark, and winning against Milwaukee could help save their fate. Sure, it would be against the worst team in their conference, but any win will be a boost at this point.
The biggest problem for this Nets team might probably be because Kidd is just coming off playing in the NBA last year.
Denver Nuggets head coach Brian Shaw, who played over a decade in the NBA, almost became a head coach a year after retiring until Phil Jackson stopped him. Jackson knew not many players would respect Shaw as a coach, since he was just facing these guys less than a year ago.
Since then, Shaw has done good for himself and finally got his deserving job of being a head coach in the league after years of being an assistant in LA and with the Indiana Pacers.
Kidd, on the other hand, seems like he’s having a tough time buying respect from his players. I mean, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce aren’t much younger than Kidd, so the respecting aspect isn’t all there.
It’s as if Kidd rushed this. It doesn’t look like he was ready for this job, and it has shown this season. A Nets team with less talent on the roster last season was able to do much better than the crap this year’s Nets team has displayed. It’s mind-boggling on how that is so.
The New York Times did an interesting piece on this situation with Kidd and the Nets, and compared it to George Mikan. Mikan coached the Lakers a few years after retiring from the NBA, but struggled. He was fired midseason, only producing a 9-30 record.
Another is Hank Soar, who coached the Providence Steam Rollers for only 19 games in the 1947-48 season until getting fired.
“We had a 2-17 record when I was fired in midseason,” Soar recalled. “But my successor was 4-25, so I think the problem might have been the players and not the coaching.”
That definitely could be the case with the Nets. The blame can’t all be on Kidd. As said before, it doesn’t seem like the players can buy respect out of Kidd, who was facing these players last year for an NBA team.
But when it’s all said and done, if the Nets were at least a sixth seed right now in the East, this talk wouldn’t be much of a conversation. Because of the losses, Kidd is getting the blame.
George Mikan said it best: “Things happen in sports. When a team is not winning, someone must suffer.”
And Kidd is the one suffering.
And that is why he’s already on the hot seat.