Nothin' but Net: Kidd's actions indefensible

The Sports NetworkJune 30, 2014 

Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Hubris is a dangerous thing. Just ask Jason Kidd.

Over the last two days, it's been a constant mental battle to determine which of his offenses over the weekend I found more detestable.

Was it the maneuver in which he went behind his boss' back to essentially take his job, or was it blindsiding two other competent men, taking at least one of their jobs and rendering the other virtually toothless?

What's even funnier, in a dark, "Fargo" sort of way, is that everything Kidd has done in his failed coup attempt in Brooklyn was disgraceful without the benefit of knowing more details. The acts alone are unprofessional. The circumstances and further exploration make the acts pathetic.

Kidd wanted to jump past Billy King on the Brooklyn Nets' depth chart, but his pitch was rejected with prejudice by owner Mikhail Prokhorov (good for him). Prokhorov told Kidd to interview elsewhere, so Kidd did just that with the Milwaukee Bucks.

Here's where it becomes downright hilarious.

The Bucks have a general manager in John Hammond and a head coach in Larry Drew. Both are capable men and they also were both clueless to this development. Kidd has a relationship with new Bucks' owner Marc Lasry, who was only happy to try to bring a much higher-profiled coach to Brew City (yes, apparently Kidd will only coach the Bucks, not run the front office).

So, if by some time Monday afternoon, the Nets agree to compensation, Kidd will be the skipper of the Bucks.

Drew, a good, but not transcendent head coach, will lose his job after one horrid season. He had a three-year contract, but because his name doesn't look as good as Kidd's on billboards, Drew will get let go in a terribly unfair, humiliating manner.

Lasry will make a huge splash very quickly into his tenure at the top of the food chain. He was a minority owner of the Nets before and Kidd was a financial client of his, but this move might back fire. It's hard to imagine anyone within league circles respecting the Bucks. Hammond and Drew were completely blindsided because Lasry placed friendship and star wattage over loyalty. This ownership group negotiated a deal for a new head coach without communicating to the current one. That would qualify as an early speed bump in an ownership's reign. Jabari Parker might want to rethink his old-school philosophy of staying with the Bucks for life.

King appeared to be bullied into hiring Kidd in the first place. Kidd pitched his merits to the top, then won King over. Now King, who has certainly made his share of questionable decisions as a GM, looks good. He must have more supporters in the Prokhorov camp than Kidd expected, but King appears to be a victim of deceit by an employee.

And Prokhorov comes out of this looking like the type of man people will want to work for. He was decisive and put loyalty over everything else. Who knows if Prokhorov really favored King over Kidd to make basketball decisions. Maybe he doesn't, but was just repulsed at the manner Kidd went about handling his business. No matter what the Nets' owner thought, he displayed leadership Lasry should strive for.

And soon, Lasry will have Kidd as his man.

Here's where documenting the special circumstances of Kidd's fiery run as Brooklyn's head coach show how Kidd's sense of worth is inflated.

After being hired with no experience, just weeks after retiring as an active player, Kidd sweet-talked his way into the good graces of Prokhorov. King was eventually wooed and Kidd got the gig.

The Nets stunk out loud immediately and some thought Kidd would lose the job less than two months into the season. King and Prokhorov showed the loyalty and faith in Kidd that the coach eventually didn't reciprocate and Brooklyn turned it around.

The Nets were a tough team to beat in the second half. They won in the first round of the playoffs, fell to the Miami Heat and expected an interesting offseason. Paul Pierce was a free agent. Kevin Garnett could always retire.

Instead, the Independence Day fireworks came in the form of Kidd.

To sum up, what we have here is a man who has one year of head coaching experience trying to circumvent his boss to take his job despite owning zero experience at his boss' job. Kidd must have believed after one strikingly average season, he was ready to make all personnel decisions, despite making the same number of basketball personnel decisions as your local butcher.

Let's just ask, from where did Kidd conjure up the you-know-whats to try and pull this off?

He embarrassed the organization almost immediately by demoting Lawrence Frank, a person Kidd begged the team to hire and make the highest-paid assistant in history. Ego was the cause of Frank's demotion and not his own.

Kidd has not been a wonderful person during his life and that's not a judgment. There's public record. Again, with no experience, the Nets took a chance with him, they stuck by him when most (myself included) thought he should've been fired when the 2013-14 Nets were 10-21.

Their loyalty was rewarded with betrayal, but the funny thing is that the Nets will be fine. Brooklyn will land Mark Jackson, George Karl or Lionel Hollins. All three are superior coaches to Kidd.

Kidd embarrassed himself in this process and that's fine. He's done some bad things and now, through his own decision-making, lost a job. Kidd got another one, but this adds another stain to Kidd's career - a well-deserved one.

I've decided. Both acts were equally disgraceful.

The marriage between Kidd and the Bucks is perfect. I have zero respect for either.

RANDOM THOUGHTS

- Three opt-outs in Miami means the Big Three will return. Don't sleep on the opt-out by Udonis Haslem. He was scheduled to make $4.6 million and his restructuring should help even more. The Heat will be targeting Kyle Lowry, but the Toronto Raptors will pony up a hefty sum for a player who has never signed a huge contract in his career. Money may win out in that case.

- Carmelo Anthony wants to be courted. He said as much earlier in the season, so isn't it a little surprising that Phil Jackson hasn't seemed too interested in wooing him, and now Derrick Rose says he won't recruit Anthony to the Chicago Bulls? That's Anthony's two main targets for free agency and neither is playing the game. Does it open the door for a team like the Houston Rockets to swoop in, make him feel loved and sign him? I'd still say New York and Chicago are favorites, but everyone involved might have to start pouring it on thick.

- Mark Cuban's plan to be aggressive, but not offer max contracts is fascinating. No team has been in prime position to land big fish more than the Mavs, but they've failed. The strategy hasn't worked. They won't be able to sign Melo without a max deal, but Cuban's plan has played out decently in years past. No team has signed as many impact guys for short deals than Dallas. It's gotten the Mavericks nowhere since their title four years ago, but as a business model, it's something.

- The Philadelphia 76ers are the most interesting case of risk/reward philosophy I can remember in recent history. There's no middle ground at all.

- Movie moment - Yes, it's back.

Watched "My Cousin Vinny" the other day. Totally underrated movie in the pantheon of great comedies. I'd say top 25. Thing that stuck out to me - when Ralph Macchio talks about Vinny, he lauds his ability to figure out magic tricks at weddings, then, is about to fire him, but Vinny dazzles him with a card trick. This kid is on death row and puts his faith and life in the hands of crappy magic.

- TV moment - "Nurse Jackie" has been on for six seasons. Does anyone know anyone who watches it? It may be a fine program, but I honestly can't recall anyone I know telling me he or she watches it.

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