After last season’s game 7 loss to the Chicago Bulls, Brooklyn Nets fans had no idea who would be their head coach. It came as a major surprise when the team announced that Jason Kidd, the greatest player in the NBA’s franchise history would become the team’s head coach just a few weeks after his playing career finished up across the river.
Since Kidd has taken over, we have only heard good things about him. He got some useful experience coaching the Nets’ summer league team in Orlando in July and also completed a successful training camp with the team at Duke University.
But the games really start on Tuesday when the Nets host the Wizards in their first preseason game, and we still don’t really know what Kidd’s in-game decision making will be like. Another concern is Kidd’s 2-game suspension, which will force him to miss games against the Cavaliers and the home opener against Miami.
Now that J-Kidd is a coach and has more responsibility than ever before, what happens if another incident like drunk driving occurs? Hopefully, Kidd is smart enough never to do this again because it would be very embarrassing for the franchise, but what will the Nets do if something does happen? We don’t know.
On the court, it is also possible that Kidd could go through some growing pains as a coach. Last season, the Nets fired Avery Johnson after less than one bad month of basketball and less than a month after he had won the coach of the month award. Of course, Johnson had already had two seasons before to turn the franchise around in New Jersey, but if Kidd’s Nets do start the season at around .500 by Christmas time, will Kidd be blamed?
In the NBA today, coaches have been fired in as few as 5 games (Lakers and Mike Brown last year), and expectations are rarely higher for a team than they are for this year’s Nets. Even though Kidd was a great New Jersey Nets player and it would definitely be an awkward situation to see him fired in the middle of his first season, I believe that if things don’t go right, Billy King will pull the trigger and fire Kidd.
Coaching in the NBA is a very difficult job and if a team isn’t living up to expectations, the coach is the first to go.
Of course, it is silly to talk about Kidd’s job security before he has even coached a single game, but if the Nets get off to a slow start this year, Kidd will be worth keeping an eye on.