By RICK SOLEM
It’s all but a done deal. Jason Kidd will be the new head coach in Milwaukee.
The Bucks have offered a second-round pick for him. Brooklyn is asking for a first, like any good fantasy football owner would do, but will eventually cave, having no choice. The relationship with the Nets is all but severed. All the Bucks have to do is wait.
Clearly this is a smart deal for Milwaukee, having the worst record in the league last year (15-67). With Kidd, it will have the much needed two head coaches #Sarcasm
Lost in the shuffle of the last 24 hours is that the Bucks have had no contact with current coach Larry Drew. That, of course, will get worked out, and hopefully Drew doesn’t chain himself to the pipes in his office, refusing to leave. He would be the first to ever refuse to leave Milwaukee.
The start and nearing end to this is a bit confusing, as Kidd wanted more power in Brooklyn – president of basketball operations – and will presumably get the same job he had in Brooklyn. Word is the jobs of general manager John Hammond and other personnel are safe, but who knows?
Kidd and Bucks’ new co-owner Marc Lasry are said to have a close relationship – personally and financially – dating back to Lasry’s ownership days in New Jersey. Lasry has had his mitts all over the Bucks since taking ownership. He’s also the one that publicly said Milwaukee would not be taking Joel Embiid in the draft. Hopefully he will step back and let the basketball professionals run the team again, soon. The Bucks’ interest with Kidd was news to management. Hammond and Drew had no idea about this process until the story came out Saturday night. Is Lasry the Jerry Jones of the NBA or will messing with his new toy wear off?
Getting Kidd may be refreshing for Bucks fans. It was always a bit confusing why Drew remained. He lost the team during the season and the obvious choice to take over would have been Mark Jackson, who was fired by Golden State and still not with a team. Even George Karl had stated publically he would have loved to come back and coach the Bucks. All would have been better options than Drew, who messed with the lineup near the end of the season so horribly, nobody knew when they were going to get playing time.
Kidd could be a nice alternative. The players will respect him – though Drew was, himself, a decent player in the NBA, though nobody on the team would remember.
Kidd, who retired after the 2012-13 season, played the game the right way, and, appeared to figure out the coaching aspect as last season went on. Or maybe it was the veterans all new to the team figured each other out. Time will tell. Going from a veteran team in Brooklyn to the Bucks will be a big change, but, perhaps, a good one.
Ball-hogging guys like Deron Williams and Joe Johnson are nonexistent on a team full of young players who have yet made their mark in the NBA. This could be great for the Bucks, like the days when the Milwaukee Brewers young stars – Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks, Ryan Bruan … – all came up together and took the team to the playoffs.
Kidd can hone their game the right way, his way – unselfish, tough defense and hustle. Kidd came into the NBA basically unable to shoot from distance and finished third all-time in 3-pointers made. And, if you remember, it was the 38-year-old Kidd guarding Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Dwayne Wade in helping lead the Dallas Mavericks to an NBA championship in 2011.
Hopefully Kidd can take a page out of the San Antonio Spurs’ playbook, preaching a team game, one where the ball never stops.
But for now, we wait for the Nets to give in.