Jason Kidd has been a head coach for all of two full seasons, and he’s already made a reputation for himself as a coach whose skill on the sidelines is matched by his ambition behind closed doors. After one surprisingly good season at the helm of the Brooklyn Nets, he tried to unseat Billy King as the Nets’ general manager, and finagled his way out of town when the Nets didn’t give him the power he wanted.
And now, after another season of surpassing expectations, this time as head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks, it would surprise few if Kidd was once again agitating for more power in the front office. If OnMilwaukee’s Dave Begel is to be believed, Kidd may have already won a power struggle over current Bucks GM John Hammond, unlike how his situation with the Nets may have turned out. Begel reports that Kidd could be announced as GM as early as July 10, pending the end of Hammond’s deal. The current Milwaukee GM could either be given a different position in Milwaukee or leave to find work elsewhere, according to Begel’s sources.
For what it’s worth, the Bucks have issued a very strong denial:
Both sides of this story could have truth to them. The Bucks’ owners have a right to be happy with the team’s direction. Their young team improved far ahead of schedule last year under Kidd, even though their top draft pick from 2014, Jabari Parker, missed most of the year with an ACL tear. This offseason, they brought back talented young wing Khris Middleton on the kind of rich contract that may not look so rich in a few years when the NBA’s new TV deal kicks in and starts raining cash on everybody. And they lured Greg Monroe to their team, one of the bigger free agents summer pursued by franchises like the Knicks and Lakers. The point being, the Bucks look healthier than they have in years.
But as happy as the owners may be, Kidd could still be gunning for more control over basketball operations. Recent history has to make us question to veracity of Milwaukee’s denial. Milwaukee’s biggest remaining challenge this offseason is to resolve their front office alignment before it becomes as poisoned as it did in Brooklyn after Kidd’s attempt at a coup last summer.