Stephon Marbury: Gregg Popovich Fits Nets As Coach, Not Jason Kidd

Jason Kidd, center, takes a shot as Gregg Popovich, in white, looks on.

Getty Jason Kidd, center, takes a shot as Gregg Popovich, in white, looks on.

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich is a coaching candidate believed to be on the Brooklyn Nets‘ radar this summer.

So is Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach, Jason Kidd.

Who fits better? Ask former New Jersey Nets point guard and Brooklyn high school legend Stephon Marbury.


Heavy on Lakers With Scoop B and Stephon MarburyFormer NBA All-Star Stephon Marbury joins Heavy.com's Heavy on Lakers with Brandon "Scoop B" Robinson. Marbury discusses NBA players boycotting playoff games to protest against police violence and racial injustice; why he thinks Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant were better players than LeBron James; how he feels about Stephen A. Smith and other non-players commenting…2020-08-27T19:42:42Z

 

“I think I would probably go with experience and championships with Popovich,” Stephon Marbury told me today via the “Heavy with Scoop B Show.” “I think Popovich, he has a great rapport with players. Jason Kidd, I think he will continue to flourish as a coach. But I would go with experience over a coach who has coached for X amount of years.

“I’m a coach right now and I think people would probably pass on me because there are some things I still am learning as a coach. I think with Popovich being in the position where he’s won multiple championships and he’s built a dynasty over an organization over the NBA, I would probably say that.”


Reports on Popovich to the Nets Vary

Earlier this summer, Sirius/XM Radio’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 interested in making a “godfather offer” to Popovich to coach the Nets.

Nets GM Sean Marks later refuted it. “Pop has a job. So I will say that,” Marks told WFAN in New York. “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.”

Popovich has won five championships with the Spurs—1999, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2014. He was named NBA Coach of the Year in 2003, 2012, and 2014.

While Los Angeles Clippers assistant coach Ty Lue is a popular option, keeping Nets interim coach Jacque Vaughn is attractive to some, too.


Kidd Coached the Nets for One Season

If Kidd were to become a Nets head coach it wouldn’t be his first stop within the organization, it would actually be his third. As a player, Kidd guided the New Jersey Nets to two NBA Finals appearances against the Lakers in 2002 and the Spurs in 2003. They lost both, but Kidd arrived to New Jersey highly respected for turning around a franchise with no real identity.

Shortly after retiring from basketball as a player, Kidd was named head coach of the Nets, in 2013, replacing interim coach P.J. Carlesimo.

Kidd lasted one season and guided a Nets team that had Deron Williams, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to a 44-38 record.

While in Brooklyn, Kidd got results. The Hall of Famer guided the Nets to an Eastern Conference semifinals appearance against the Big Three-era Miami Heat with Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Chris Bosh. The Heat beat the Nets in five games and advanced to the NBA Finals where they’d lose to the San Antonio Spurs.

That summer, Kidd and then-Nets GM Billy King were at odds because Kidd desired 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.

While in Milwaukee, 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 2017-18 season. Upon his firing,the Bucks were the eighth seed with a 23-22 record.

Kidd became an assistant coach of the Los Angeles Lakers last offseason. Things are going fairly well with a Lakers team led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis who currently hold a 3-1 lead in the first round of the NBA playoffs.

While Kidd did interview for a then-vacant New York Knicks head coaching position, I’m told LeBron James really wants Kidd to remain with L.A. The Knicks ultimately hired former Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau.

READ NEXT: Lakers Coaches Could be Nets Head Coaching Candidates


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