Jason Kidd was fired on Monday with little warning, as the Milwaukee Bucks decided to move on from the coach that was 139-152 in his 3.5 year tenure with the club.
The Bucks were a mediocre 23-22 on the season, sitting in the eighth seed in the East, which was far from where they expected to be after coming into the season with expectations of taking the proverbial leap into being a contender. There’s still time to make a run and vault up the Eastern Conference standings, but it was clear to the Bucks’ management that Kidd wasn’t the guy to lead them on such a run.
While the Bucks’ statement noted they simply wanted to move in a different direction, there have been grumblings about a disconnect between coach and players. While Kidd was close with star Giannis Antetokounmpo, which likely went a long way for him, he apparently wasn’t so close with one of the Bucks’ other young stars, Jabari Parker. According to ESPN’s Ryen Russillo, Parker and Kidd were not on speaking terms as he was preparing for a comeback to the lineup in early February.
If Kidd and Parker weren’t speaking that would be an indication that he had lost at least some of the team, even if the top star was still fond of him. Parker remains a player the Bucks hope can be a foundational piece of their future alongside Antetokounmpo, and if he wasn’t talking to the head coach, that seems to signal problems were afoot in Milwaukee.
We will undoubtedly learn more about the behind the scenes dynamics in Milwaukee over the coming days in the aftermath of the firing, but whatever coach takes over full-time either this season or this summer will be taking over a roster loaded with young talent and lofty expectations.