Jason Kidd could possibly be the second-ever traded coach in the NBA. Kidd reportedly was maneuvering to become the new President of Basketball Operations of the New Jersey Nets, a position currently held by Billy King. How did Nets’ management respond to Kidd’s attempted coup? They immediately gave him permission to speak to the Milwaukee Bucks regarding his future employment. It was a kind way of saying “au revoir, sayonara, well basically good-bye” to their soon-to-be former coach. Jason led New Jersey to a 44-38 regular season record in 2013-14. They were eliminated in the Playoff semifinals by the Miami Heat.
Kidd approached close friend Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry and is pitching that he give Jason what New Jersey wouldn’t, full control of basketball operations. The Bucks have now offered the Nets a 2015 second-round pick as compensation for taking Kidd. The Nets however, wanted a 2015 first-rounder. If both teams do come to an agreement on the terms of Kidd’s transfer, then he will be the second coach to be traded in NBA history. The Los Angeles Clippers gave up their 2015 first-round pick to acquire Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers in 2013. It might not be a coincidence that Rivers was recently promoted to President of Basketball Operations of the Clippers franchise, a situation that Kidd feels he is worthy of. Milwaukee, however, is only offering Kidd the head coaching position for the team.
How much power should teams give their coaches? More to point, how much power should coaches feel they have the entitlement to demand? At the end of the day, it all depends on the relationship the coach has with the franchise he’s leading. There needs to be a high level of trust involved for an owner to give his coach “full control.” Unfortunately for Jason his move backfired and instead of being welcomed to upper management with open arms, the door was shut in his face.
With Kidd now out of the picture as far as the New Jersey’s head coaching job is concerned, two names have quickly popped up as part of the team’s short list. Former Memphis Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins is an early candidate as well Italian-born former CSKA Moscow coach Ettore Messina. While Hollins is currently believed to be the early front-runner for the post, Messina’s extensive resumé in coaching European hoops as well as Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov’s long-time familiarity with him add credence to his serious consideration.