Jason Kidd Living Up To Brooklyn Nets’ Previous Expectations


From the beginning stages of mere curiosity eventually came a gigantic leap of faith, which would turn into the stage of second-guessing, only to evolve into validation. And by the end, the whole decision would take a complete 180 and blow up in their faces.

This was the timeline of Jason Kidd and his brief tenure as coach of the Brooklyn Nets last season. But now that he has occupied the same position for the Milwaukee Bucks for nearly a full season, another segment should be added on.

Kidd has emphatically proven to be the marvelous NBA coach he was anticipated to become.
Upon general manager Billy King – after initial reluctance to the idea – naming Kidd Brooklyn’s next coach in 2013, it was abundantly clear that the Hall of Fame point guard who made his stamp with the Nets had been the beneficiary of inheriting a team with enough talent to succeed right off the bat.
Looking past the starting lineup of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Brook Lopez wasn’t necessary to determine that much.

After encountering a stretch of regular season struggles prior to the New Year, Kidd righted the ship and led Brooklyn to a series victory over the Toronto Raptor in the first round of the playoffs, only to be dismantled by LeBron James and the Miami Heat in five games.

Despite turning the Nets’ season around and the absence of Lopez due to a broken foot, Kidd was far off from exceeding expectations in his first year – at any level – in a suit and tie.

Once the Nets legend ran himself out of town during the offseason by becoming overly power-hungry and demanding control over player personnel decisions, the notion of him discovering immediate success in Milwaukee, a lottery team following an abysmal season, seemed laughable.
Now Kidd is the one laughing.

Alright, maybe he’s temporarily hit the pause button on laughing following Brooklyn’s thrilling 129-127 triple overtime victory over the Bucks on Friday night. Especially considering the loss was Milwaukee’s 10th over their last 12 contests and dropped them to one game below the .500 mark at 34-35.

It’s been quite a mountain-like bump in the road for the Kidd’s Bucks, but here’s some fascinating food for thought.

Other than the number two overall pick from the 2014 NBA Draft, Jabari Parker, as well as last season’s Rookie of the Year, Michael Carter-Williams and “The Greek Freak” Giannis Antetokounmpo, how many players immediately come to mind when trying to name the roster Kidd has at his disposal?

Exactly my point. Not only has Kidd found a way to propel a lottery team flooded with youth into the sixth seed in the East, but he’s also managed to do so after losing Parker’s averages of 12.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.2 steals per game for the season back in December with a torn ACL.

No way such progress would be possible without the kind of grit Kidd played with throughout his career rubbing off on his young players, something the Bucks made evident in their hard-fought loss to the Nets.

If that isn’t an immediate indicator of a brilliant coach with unlimited potential, I’m not sure what would qualify as such.

King was originally hesitant to give him the job, but almost two seasons later it’s clear that Jason Kidd was truly destined for the coach’s seat.