Jason Kidd was given a very difficult task on June 12, and now his competence to fulfll it has been called into question.
Just days before his retirement as a point guard, the Brooklyn Nets hired him as their coach — betting that his Hall of Fame basket mindset would transfer to off court genius and lead them to victory.
While nobody questioned Kidd’s B-Ball IQ, who are we kidding — playing the game and teaching others to play it are two different things.
Kidd had a key role to play upon signing on: convince Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to trade to Brooklyn; a move that was sure to boost the Nets’ profile and luxury-tax bill. The sales job was rather straightforward: Come lead us to a championship.
The deal turned the Nets into contenders and placed Kidd in a precarious position: as a rookie head coach charged with fusing five All-Stars, two of them in their late 30s, into a cohesive, title-contending team.
“Just bad coaching,” Kidd said about Monday nights ugly loss; his paisley tie hanging loose, his face unshaven and his eyes reddish. “I take the blame for this.” The extent of that challenge, and the strain, was clear late Monday night at Barclays Center, as Kidd tried to account for a 108-98 thumping by the Portland Trail Blazers, the Nets’ seventh loss in 10 games.
While the coach didn’t elaborate, the loss has caused some whispering around the league that says Kidd is the problem, reports Howard Beck at Bleacher Report.
A veteran scout, interviewed earlier in the day and speaking on the condition of anonymity, called Kidd’s bench comportment “terrible,” observing that the play-calling has fallen mostly to his top assistants, Lawrence Frank and John Welch.
“He doesn’t do anything,” said the scout, who has watched the Nets several times. “He doesn’t make calls. John Welch does all the offense. Lawrence does all the defense. … I don’t know what Kidd does. I don’t think you can grade him and say he’s bad. You can give him an incomplete.”
Read more at Bleacher Report.