The Nets have found their head coach to lead them back to the NBA Finals. And we already know he can do it as a player.
Jason Kidd, the former Nets player, will be named the next head coach in Brooklyn, according to the team. Kidd retired from the NBA just over a week ago and of course has no coaching experience, let alone at the NBA level.
"He has the fire in the belly we need, and has achieved as a player everything the Brooklyn Nets are striving to achieve," owner Mikhail Prokhorov said in a statement Wednesday night.
Part of the deal to bring in Kidd will likely include a group of experienced assistants, including former Nets head coach Lawrence Frank. He was fired as head coach of the Pistons at the end of the past season after two unsuccessful years. Yahoo! reports Tim Grgurich, 71, who was an assistant with the Nuggets most recently, could also be a part of the staff.
Kidd played with the Nets from 2001-08 and took the team to back-to-back NBA Finals in his first two seasons. He teamed with Kenyon Martin and Kerry Kittles to form one of the most dominant teams of the early-2000s. They lost in the Eastern Conference Finals to eventual-champion Detroit in 2004.
He is a future Hall of Famer as a player, with 10 All-Star appearances and five First-Team All-NBA appearances. He finally won a title with Dallas in 2011.
The biggest concern may not be Kidd's inexperience, but his off-court issues. He pleaded guilty to assaulting his then-wife Joumana in 2001 and then went through a bitter divorce in 2007. He was also arrested last summer for a DUI while in the Hamptons, not long after signing with New York. He reportedly got out of hand at a party and then crashed his car into a telephone pole.
Kidd played his final season in New York with the Knicks, but he'll be jumping across the East River to coach the Nets. Prior to the 2012-13 season, he considered signing with Brooklyn, but chose instead to play with New York. He was a capable backup to Raymond Felton much of the season, though he struggled in the playoffs, not scoring in his final 10 games.
Reportedly the influence Kidd has on Deron Williams played a big role in Kidd's hiring. Williams struggled the first half of last season, though he did play better after the All-Star break. Kidd and Williams are friends off the court and Williams tweeted late Wednesday he was looking forward to teaming with his new coach.
Excited to get to work under our new head coach @realjasonkidd great leader and great basketball mind will be a great head coach #BROOKLYN
— Deron Williams (@DeronWilliams) June 13, 2013
The team interviewed current Pacers assistant coach Brian Shaw Wednesday afternoon, but by that time reports already indicated Kidd was a heavy favorite.
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