Tom Thibodeau agreed to a five-year deal to become the next head coach of the New York Knicks.
Million Dollar Question: With one New York team now settling in on a head coach, what happens next for the Brooklyn Nets?
Could Jason Kidd get another shot with Brooklyn Nets?
Kidd was named head coach of the Brooklyn Nets, in 2013, replacing interim coach P. J. Carlesimo. Kidd, a member of the then-New Jersey Nets led the team to back to back Eastern Conference Championships last decade.
Kidd lasted one season and guided a Nets team that had Deron Williams, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to a 44-38 record.
There were some laughs. Remember the infamous soda cup controversy?
With 8.3 seconds left in the game and the Nets trailing by two, the Nets had no more timeouts remaining.
Nets reserve point guard Tyshawn Taylor bumped into Kidd who had a cup of soda and ice in his hand. Kidd spilled the cup on the Barclays Center court and the referees called a timeout. The Nets were able to huddle and draw a play.
After video review of the incident, Kidd was seen mouthing the words “hit me” to Taylor.
Kidd was fined $50,000.
On a much serious note: Kidd got results. Kidd guided the Nets to an Eastern Conference semifinals appearance against the Big-3 era Miami Heat with Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Chris Bosh.
The Heat beat the Nets in five games and advanced to the NBA Finals whee they’d lose to the San Antonio Spurs.
That summer, things got ugly with Kidd and Brooklyn. Kidd was at odds with then-Nets GM Billy King.
As the story goes, Kidd wanted more management power within the Nets and the team wasn’t interested in giving it to him. As a result, Kidd forced his way out of Brooklyn and became head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks.
Kidd guided the Bucks to the NBA Playoffs in three out of the four seasons that he was there.
In year one, Kidd guided the Bucks to a 41-41 record in his first year as head coach. He became the first coach in NBA history to lead two franchises to the playoffs in his first two years as a head coach. He also finished third in voting for the Coach of the Year Award behind Mike Budenholzer and Steve Kerr.
Kidd was fired midway through the 2017-2018 season. Upon his firing,the Bucks were an eighth seed with a 23-22 record.
Fast forward to this season: Jason Kidd is now a Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach and is currently in the NBA bubble at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
What’s his coaching future?
While the reports surfaced that Kidd was a frontrunner in the Knicks coaching search, yesterday a league source told me LeBron James wanted Kidd to stay put with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Kidd and James have always had a good relationship.
In fact, I learned two seasons ago, that one of their regrets is that they never got a chance to be teammates.
Their partnership in Los Angeles is a close second place.
A popular belief last summer was that the job of head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers was Kidd’s if current Lakers head coach, Frank Vogel was let go.
That doesn’t seem likely at this point.
Vogel’s Lakers are doing well wit their 49-14 record, while sitting in first place in the NBA’s Western Conference standings behind a talented roster that also includes Anthony Davis, Dwight Howard, JR Smith, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Danny Green, Kyle Kuzma and more.
In January, one person shared that Kidd didn’t think there was a chance he could return to Brooklyn as their head coach.
However, in April, a reputable NBA fixture told me that the Nets would consider him in their coaching search.
In 291 games as head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks, Jason Kidd compiled a 139–152 record.
Before his tenure with the Bucks, Kidd guided the Brooklyn Nets to a 44-38 record and a second-round appearance in the NBA Playoffs.
Jacque Vaughn’s Nets Coaching Future
Jacque Vaughn is the interim coach of the Brooklyn Nets. A University of Kansas Jayhawks legend, Vaughn, like Nets GM Sean Marks is a disciple of current San Antonio Spurs head coach, Gregg Popovich.
In fact, Vaughn was a member of San Antonio’s 2007 Championship team.
Vaughn was also a Spurs assistant from 2010 to 2012, became a top assistant to former Nets coach, Kenny Atkinson back in 2016 and was head coach of the Orlando Magic for two seasons.
Vaughn is respected in the Nets lockerroom and Nets All-Star, Kyrie Irving thinks the world of Vaughn.
But will that carry over into a full-time Nets head coaching position? As an NBA head coach, Vaughn has a record of 60-158.
Ty Lue a Kyrie Iring Favorite?
Ty Lue was reportedly a consideration for the Nets head coaching position according to Yahoo Sports’ Vincent Goodwill.
Back then, a source told me that wasn’t the case.
In April, another Nets source told me that Irving could actually be open to it.
Talk around the NBA water cooler in March was that the Nets would consider retaining Vaughn, but it would depend on how the rest of season pans out. Other names mentioned were Mark Jackson, Jerry Stackhouse, Jay Wright and Becky Hammon.
Is Phil Handy A Nets Option?
An NBA fixture shared with me in the spring that Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach, Phil Handy could be a Nets coaching option and shared that Kyrie Irving and Handy were‘very close’ in Cleveland and shared that Handy pushed Irving ‘a lot’ back during their Cavalier days and that Irving still holds Handy in very high regard.
I asked Handy if he’d like to be an assistant coach in the NBA and he was candid. “I’m a very organic dude,” Handy told me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.
“And I think my journey to this point has been great. I’m asked all the time, ‘When are you? When are you?’ and my answer to that is, “When the time is right.” I don’t have a blueprint. I don’t have a road map. The only thing I control as Jason said, ‘I want to be the BEST assistant coach that I can be every day.’ And so my focus is on my job, the process in front of me, and doing that, I continue growing and I continue to learn and when that day comes, somebody thinks that I’m the right man for the organization and I feel like that’s the right organization for me, I’ll be ready. But there’s no timeline for that. I’m just doing my job Scoop. So whenever that happens, I’ll be ready.”
Handy won a ring as an assistant coach with the Cavs in 2016 as well as last season with the Toronto Raptors.
This is actually Handy’s second stint with the Los Angeles Lakers. Handy served as player development coach for the Los Angeles Lakers under former head coach, Mike Brown. Last summer, LeBron James reached out to Handy and asked him to take the Lakers’ assistant coaching job under Frank Vogel, which he did.
Gregg Popovich Godfather Deal ?
The wildcard in the Nets head coaching future discussion is San Antonio Spurs head coach, Gregg Popovich.
Earlier this month, Sirius/XM’s Gerald Brown made it known on the “Let’s Get Technical” podcast with Rasheed Wallace and Bonzi Wells that Nets owner Joe Tsai is potentially interested in making a “godfather offer” to Popovich for him to coach the Nets.
“Pop has a job. So I will say that,” Nets GM, Sean Marks recently told New York City’s WFAN.
“And obviously, we all know he’s an amazing, amazing coach — and to be quite frank, an even better leader. So I’ll let Pop continue to coach for the Spurs. He owes it to them and they owe it to him. I’m sure he’s quite happy there.”