It takes a lot to catch NBA insiders completely by surprise. Consider this, then, a lot.
According to a report in the New York Post, Nets Coach Jason Kidd attempted to wrest control of the team, only to be rebuffed. In fact, the team has apparently given him permission to talk to the Bucks about taking over their operation, just days after Milwaukee made Jabari Parker the No. 2 overall pick in the draft.
As NY Post reporter Tim Bontemps relates it:
According to a league source, Kidd recently approached ownership with a series of demands, including the role of overseeing the Nets’ basketball operations department in addition to his head coaching responsibilities. The source said Kidd didn’t want general manager Billy King to be dismissed, but wanted to be given a title and placed above him in the organizational hierarchy.
Ownership declined to grant Kidd that kind of power, which is rare for any coach in the league to have. The source said ownership felt Kidd wasn’t ready for that kind of responsibility after having only one year of coaching experience — the team finished his first season on the bench with a 44-38 record, good for sixth in the Eastern Conference — and allowed Kidd to seek other opportunities.
The franchise then was asked by the Bucks for permission to speak with Kidd about the prospect of hiring him, and the Nets allowed them to do so.
Rumors had circulated that Kidd, who signed a four-year, $10.5 million contract last year to coach the Nets, was not happy about seeing the deals handed out in the past month to Steve Kerr and Derek Fisher. Both Kerr and Fisher received five-year, $25 million contracts from the Warriors and Knicks, respectively, despite the fact that they, like Kidd, had never been head coaches before.
Kidd may also have looked across town at the mega-deal Phil Jackson got from the Knicks — reportedly five years, $60 million — to run their operation and decided to make a play for the same gig, with a commensurate raise. Certainly, that was Yahoo columnist and NBA uber-insider Adrian Wojnarowski’s take on the events:
More that inspired Kidd power play — Steve Kerr, Derek Fisher hired at higher pay grade. “That got him — especially Fisher,” source said.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 29, 2014
Bucks officials under this belief, sources tell Yahoo: Kidd wants Phil Jackson-like president’s role with Bucks – perhaps without coaching. — Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 29, 2014
Okay, well, I guess you can’t blame a guy for being ambitious. But then there’s this rumor:
Source says Jason Kidd cursed out Nets executive and associate of Prokhorov Dmitry Razumov over the phone when he wasn’t granted power…
— Nets Stats (@NetsStats) June 29, 2014
Umm, yeah, that doesn’t sound too smart. If true, of course. Meanwhile, things really seem to be progressing between Kidd and the Bucks:
ESPN sources say Bucks and Nets have already begun discussing potential compensation to free Kidd from last three years of Brooklyn contract — Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 29, 2014
According to Wojnarowski, Kidd and new Bucks owner Marc Lasry are tight, so he isn’t looking to ditch the Nets for just anybody who’ll give him more control (and/or more cash). In any event, it definitely isn’t Parker’s pitching ability that has Kidd interested in Milwaukee. Here’s Parker’s first pitch at Saturday’s Brewers game:
Just sayin’, is all.