BROOKLYN NETS: Through The Years, This Assembled Core Of Veteran Players Have Played For A Veritable All-Star Team Of NBA Coaches. Why Does GM Billy King Think Rookie Jason Kidd Can Command Their Attention?
....Good luck with that, because two of the league's more head-strong players, Kevin Garnett and Deron Williams now play for the same team. Both players never had any qualms over expressing their displeasure before, and I'd love to know what they really think of Brooklyn's two-headed coach now, and by that, I do not mean what they tell the media. Deron Williams has never cased repeating his desire to run an up tempo offense, while Garnett is already speaking out defiantly regarding his proposed minutes management.
Sometimes I think this Jason Kidd experiment can work, and other times I think differently. From the outside looking in, it seems as if Jason Kidd will be in charge of egos and the locker room, while Lawrence Frank is in charge of the bench. I know that's not actually the case, but my confusion over who's really coaching this team remains. I just can't grasp this dynamic, much less why Billy King chose this route. Needless to say, this is a bold step into the unknown, with a high potential of backfiring.
The GM did single out Jason Kidd's hatred of losing as one of the prime reasons for hiring him. Billy King thinks he can impart that on the team. That's fine, but coaching still involves long nights at the office and desktop preparation. To that, King said they also talked X's and O's and was additionally impressed with what he heard. In Kidd's defense, he is considered to possess a brilliant basketball mind, and throughout his career was always portrayed as a coach on the floor. As Billy King put it, he went into the interview with an open mind, and by the time they were through, the GM was sufficiently impressed enough with Kidd to throw the idea at the owner, Mikhail Prokhorov, who signed off with a - Why not?
Preseason is no real indicator, but once the season kicks off, this very veteran group of players, to include Brook Lopez, will detect a fraud right away if Jason Kidd doesn't come correct. I think it is very safe to assume Lawrence Frank will be much more than just a strategist and a safety net, but to what extent remains to be seen.
Outside of Brook Lopez, who has only known the Nets, Brooklyn's major players have all been around the block with other teams, and played for a myriad of well respected head coaches. Kevin Garnett was coached back in Minnesota by Flip Saunders, while Paul Pierce was once coached by Rick Pitino. In Boston, both were coached by Doc Rivers, perhaps the most prepared head coach in the league today. Deron Williams was coached by Jerry Sloan in Utah. Joe Johnson was coached by Mike D'Antoni in Phoenix and by current Knicks coach Mike Woodson when in Atlanta. To varying degrees, Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez were all coached by Avery Johnson, then P.J Carlesimo in Brooklyn. And in Dallas, Jason Terry also played for Avery Johnson, and then for Rick Carlisle, then moved on to spend last year under Doc Rivers as well. Jason Kidd even played with Deron Williams on Team USA, and with Jason Terry in Dallas.
The question then, is how much will his players embrace, respect or defy their first year coach, who up until last season was their on-court contemporary? The players will know right away if their new rookie coach is in over his head. Then what? How will Jason Kidd penetrate the minds of players previously hard wired by such renown coaches?
Billy King already laid down the law by saying the 2013-2014 season is a championship or bust endeavor. That's a hell of a condition for indoctrination into coaching ranks. Even before the season's first tip-off, Jason Kidd already makes this a fascinating second year for Brooklyn.