Kyrie Irving thinks the world of Jason Kidd.
A native of West Orange, New Jersey, Irving watched Kidd lead his hometown Nets to back-to-back appearances in the NBA Finals
“Watching him play was a pleasure,” Irving told me in 2013.
“His IQ. Just watching the way he plays the game. Not many people have that niche and that feel for the game.”
Irving is now a Nets point guard.
Over the weekend, the Nets fired Kenny Atkinson as head coach of the Nets and replaced him with Jacque Vaughn for the remainder of the season.
Who will be the Nets replacement?
The belief by some is that that Nets would consider retaining Vaughn, but it would depend on how Brooklyn finishes the season. San Antonio Spurs assistant coach, Becky Hammon, former Net, Jerry Stackhouse, Villanova head coach, Jay Wright, ESPN analyst Mark Jackson are names thrown around.
In an article published today at Heavy, I suggested that the Nets take a look at Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Phil Handy who is still very close to Kyrie Irving.
Nets Twitter are begging for San Antonio Spurs coach, Gregg Popovich. There’s also been mention of Jason Kidd in the Twitter rumor mill.
If you recall, Kidd did coach the Brooklyn Nets and compiled a record of 183 wins and 190 losses.
For those keeping score at home, J-Kidd became the fourth coach overall to win both Player of the Month and Coach of the Month honors. He also became the second coach, after Jeff Hornacek of the Phoenix Suns, to win both honors with the same team.
Kidd is the 19th rookie head coach in the league’s history to coach his team in a decisive Game 7 on the road, and became the first one to win it.In the semifinals, the Nets faced the Miami Heat and lost the series 4–1. In 2014, Kidd bolted Brooklyn and landed in a head coaching job with the Milwaukee Bucks.
In fact, Kidd was traded. The Bucks sent two second-round picks in 2015 and 2019 in exchange for Kidd.
Kidd and then-Nets general manager, Billy King reportedly had power struggles as Kidd sought more management power over King.
Kidd later said that he felt the Nets didn’t want him and weren’t committed to building a contender.
Million dollar question: Could the Nets, a team who retired Jason Kidd’s jersey want to bury the hatchet and try again?
“I think he’s burned to many bridges there,” one league official tells me.
“That’s just my opinion.”
Billy King is no longer the Nets’ general manager. So you’d think he’d have a shot, right?
“I think after Brooklyn he became a villain,” a source close to the situation tells me.
“In order to have credibility anywhere you gotta have some sort of support and I think people were enthralled in the idea of Nets great Jason Kidd coming back to lead them to another NBA Finals opportunity. But those three from Boston [Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Jason Terry] needed to be about five years younger. He also needed more experience under his belt. I think he tried to pull a power move in Brooklyn and it didn’t work. So he went to Milwaukee. He was friends with the owners there, so it made sense and he slid in and took Larry Drew’s job. He had one good year with a team with zero experience. He turned Giannis Antetokounmpo into a star, but couldn’t get them to the Eastern Conference Finals. I think he’s gotta be a good assistant coach for a little while before he is considered to be a head coach anywhere again.”
Kidd is currently an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Lakers under assistant coach, Frank Vogel. Led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers are currently in first in the NBA’s Western Conference with a 49-13 record.