Good evening, blogosphere! GraySportsGuy is happy to be back in the blogging world and, frankly, itching to get back into a regular blog routine.
Todays topic is Jason Kidd and his new gig as Head Coach of the Brooklyn Nets. Kidd, a 19 year veteren and ten time NBA all star, agreed to a four-year contract worth $10.5 million last week.
That’s a lot of cheddar to give out to a man who has literally never sat on the sidelines during an NBA game without his sneakers on. I mean, no disrespect to Kidd’s game. He ranks second all time in NBA history in assists and steals and was an All-Star ten times. The Kidd can flat out play (see what I did there?).
However, coaching an NBA basketball team is a completely different ballgame altogether. People say Kidd will make a seamless transition because he was “a coach on the floor” and had tremendous “court vision”. This is, of course, a ridiculous assumption for multiple reasons. Marshawn Lynch has very strong vision as a running back – being able to slip through offensive lineman and burst through seams effortlessly – but would he, as a coach, be able to manage the wide receivers’ routes and pass protection schemes? No. Of course not! Also, an NBA coach is a psychiatrist more than anything. The position is more than X’s and O’s, more than just when to call timeouts, and handling substitutions. A coach must be able to infuse a sense of pride in the locker room and establish the team chemistry. He must be able to balance egos, make sure players are well-rested, and create a defensive strategy to stop LeBron James. None of which are easy tasks.
Also, how do you expect Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to take Kidd seriously? About 8 months ago, Garnett was swatting Kidd’s floaters into the second row of the TD Banknorth Garden. Coach Kidd has hired former Pistons and Nets head coach Lawrence Frank as his assistant and apparently, during Kidd’s Summer League debut, Frank was drawing up the plays and doing most of the actual coaching. Uhm, what?!
I think the Nets are going to be very good this year, but I don’t think Jason Kidd will make a smooth transition into the NBA coaching ranks. He inherited an All Star starting five (Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Brooke Lopez). Who could not succeed with a group like that?
This hire was a slap in the face to the legitimate, qualified candidates who deserve to become NBA coaches. They were denied the opportunity to advance their careers because Mikhail Prokorov knew hiring J-Kidd would make a splash on the internet. Not because Kidd was the best potential coach.
Time will only tell.