Brooklyn Nets Hire Former Point Guard Kidd as New Head Coach
Just 10 days after retiring as a player, Jason Kidd was hired as the head coach of the Brooklyn Nets. Kidd was most recently playing with the New York Knicks and announced his retirement after the Knicks were eliminated from the playoffs this year.
Nets GM Billy King interviewed both Kidd and Indiana Pacers assistant coach Brian Shaw for five hours each before ultimately deciding on Kidd. King said he believes Kidd is the right man for the job because of his history with the franchise. The 40-year-old played with the Nets for six-and-a-half years and led the team to back-to-back NBA Finals appearances. He is the franchise leader in assists, steals and three point field goals made.
The other, more important, factor in Kidd’s hiring is his relationship with current Nets point guard Deron Williams. The two are close friends, with Kidd playing the role of a big brother to Williams. Nets management said it believes that if Kidd and Williams can connect then the team will be successful. Williams took to twitter once the news of Kidd’s hiring became public.
— Deron Williams (@DeronWilliams) June 13, 2013
Hall of Fame point guard Magic Johnson expressed his support for the newly-hired Kidd.
“Do I think Jason Kidd is going to be a great coach? Yes. Would I hire him? In a heartbeat,” Johnson said in a conference call Wednesday.
Kidd also got a boost from one of his contemporaries, two-time MVP and current Los Angeles Lakers guard Steve Nash, as well.
“I think Jason would be a fantastic coach. He’s played a long time,” Nash said in a different Wednesday conference call. “I think he not only has a great acumen for the game, but may be in a special position in that he has great respect from the players and he’s just removed from the game, so I think he’d make a great NBA coach.”
This is a unique situation for Kidd and the Nets. Players that have gone on to head coach either get a job in television or as an assistant coach first before becoming a head coach. The verdict is still out on Kidd, but if he’s successful the lack of coaching experience won’t really matter.