Here’s a list of what the Nets needed this off-season.
1. A proven coach who can push the team
2. A new starting power forward who doesn’t suck
3. A Kris Humphries exit strategy
4. A cannon granting Reggie Evans a one-way trip to the moon
5. An Easy BUtton from Staples whenever their leads slip away
Well the Nets’ front office skipped all those necessities and added another YOLO decision to their repertoire. The organization recently announced their hiring of Jason Kidd as head coach.
I’m more confused than anything about this move. Jason Kidd’s career stats and basketball IQ aren’t the problem. Smarts and a hall-of-fame run on the court don’t always translate to wins on X’s and O’s: word to Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas.
Then someone will suggest Mark Jackson’s story who, like Kidd, never coached professionally before taking the reigns. Jackson’s situation simply isn’t 1:1 here. He took on a rebuilding team which grew exponentially largely in part of Golden States whole coaching staff.
The Nets aren’t in development but they evidently see something in Kidd most don’t behind closed doors. A reputable group of assistants would turn the uncertainty on its head but time will tell on that front. Lawrence Frank is one likely candidate but time will tell on that front.
Brooklyn’s situation necessitates a proven candidate. Their funky lineup has talent, lacks chemistry and need direct voice leading the charge. Therefore, Lionel Hollins should have provided the best fit. Brian Shaw, another former frontrunner, also has the credentials but the triangle wouldn’t work with a club not know for ball movement.
Lionel isn’t a gifted offensive mind but he’s not a player’s coach either. Hollins also oversaw development of Memphis’ young players, especially Michael Conley Jr. and Marc Gasol. His staff shaped the Grizz into one of the league’s best defenses. The latter points match some of the Nets’ biggest coaching needs better than any other candidate out there: especially considering how Brooklyn gets torched on pick n’ rolls/fades.
Jason Kidd may reinstate a more uptempo brand of basketball he helped usher in as a Net. Brooklyn could use an offensive facelift anyway. Last year’s slow, iso-heavy offense didn’t work against good teams and strict rotations didn’t exploit the little athleticism they had on the bench.
Too bad Brooklyn’s roster houses one of the league’s least athletic teams. Deron Williams has the skill set to organize such an offense. However some player moves would have to be made to make it work. Gerald Wallace and young, spry benchwarmers like Marshon Brooks, Tyshawn Taylor and TOKOMOTIVE aren’t enough to make the system successful.
Kidd has an exacting persona so his demeanor probably sealed the interview process. After all, he set guys like Kenyon Martin and Vince Carter straight during his stay in Jersey. I’d be wholly irate about this decision if he didn’t lead the franchise to one of its few bright spots.
So, for now, I’ll just remain hopeful because that’s about the only option left.