Just when it appears Brooklyn Nets Coach Jason Kidd is beginning to figure things out, he reverted to form and backstabbed again. This time the “victim” was Billy King, the general manager of the Nets, who Kidd sought to replace for basketball decision-making purposes. As initially reported in the New York Post, Kidd went directly to the Mikhail Prokhorov ownership group in an effort to obtain player personnel decision authority in place of King, although the “thoughtful” Kidd apparently did not seek to have King fired. With Kidd, his relationships generally seem to play out the same. He pulls a stunt to move on somewhere else, leaving hurt feelings behind him.
As a superstar player, the backstabbing routine will almost always work because other teams value elite player talent. No one doubts that Kidd played at the highest level in his NBA career. The key bit of information that Jason Kidd appears to be missing as he backstabs again on his way out of his Brooklyn Nets coaching gig is that the public in general and NBA owners in particular have not yet identified him as an elite NBA executive talent. According to reports, Kidd appeared to have two gripes about his current situation. The first problem was the higher salaries recently offered to Derek Fisher and Steve Kerr for NBA head coaching jobs. Their pay packages exceeded Kidd’s by more than $1 million per season. A crucial difference between the situations is that Fisher and Kerr had teams competing for their services.
As Kidd works to angle his way into the Milwaukee Bucks executive suite, reports have surfaces that part of the attraction for the front office is the potential for high pay with lower time demands than coaching. Kidd has no doubt realized that many successful NBA coaches are grinders who spend hours studying tape looking for the slightest edge. Chicago Bulls Coach Tom Thibodeau comes to mind as the ultimate grinder. NBA front offices are undergoing a changing of the guard. Once governed almost entirely by a good old boy network of former players and coaches, several teams have opted for executive young guns with fresh ideas and hardworking personas. Teams do not appear to believe that former elite players can become elite executives on a part-time basis. Even Michael Jordan did not do well as a part-timer.
Jason Kidd and Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry already have a business relationship based on ventures they have done together. Kidd is working that relationship to get himself into a Bucks front office role. At this point, the rest of the NBA appears to be watching with amusement, instead of jealousy, as the Bucks take the first crack at hiring Kidd for an executive job. No other teams are reported to be standing in line behind the Bucks.
As Jason Kidd backstabs again to become free of his Brooklyn Nets coaching duties, he appears to have targeted the Milwaukee Bucks as his new landing spot. After pushing his way out of his playing gig with the New Jersey Nets, Kidd is reverting to form and pushing his way out of Brooklyn. This time, the Nets appear to be looking forward to his immediate exit.
Commentary by William Costolo