Stan Van Gundy doesn't think Jason Kidd is to blame for Nets' slow start

Douglas Jones-US PRESSWIRE

With the Brooklyn Nets sitting at 5-13 on the season, there is plenty of "blame" to go around. And with the way Lawrence Frank has been re-assigned from the team, it seems as if the fingers are already starting to be pointed.

The general school of thought is that everyone is to blame, from top to bottom of the organization. This would, naturally mean that head coach Jason Kidd gets a bulk of the blame, of course. However, there is one person who isn't pointing a finger at Kidd.

Stan Van Gundy, current NBA analyst and former NBA coach, doesn't seem to think that Kidd deserves much of the blame for the team's slow start, noting on the Armani and Eyton show on NBA Sports Radio.

Here's the transcript, courtesy of ProBasketballTalk:

"I don’t think this is on Jason Kidd. Some people have really taken a lot of what I said about him as being critical of him but it’s not. I think if you look at Mark Jackson or Doc Rivers when he started, guys who have not been assistant coaches before they got their NBA head jobs, what they had was situations where at least in their first year the expectations weren’t that high. So you had the freedom to make some mistakes, sorta out of the scrutiny, at least the national scrutiny, of everybody.

"Jason Kidd entered a job with very high expectations, for a guy who never coached I think that’s really, really difficult. He may grow into a very, very fine coach — but no one is a great coach when they first start. I’m sure Doc Rivers would tell you in all honesty that he is a far better coach now than he was when he first started. Not to say he wasn’t good when he started but you get a lot better over time. Jason Kidd was expected to be great."

Kevin Garnett will be the first to tell you that the blame falls on everyone, and Kidd won't shy away from that sentiment either. Not in the same way Van Gundy does here.

The counter argument from Nets fans might be, if you're building a team with the expectations of being great, why hire a coach who can't possibly be great, himself, in his first season as a head coach -- according to Van Gundy?

When Kidd accepted the job he knew what the expectations were, as did management when they hired him. If neither thought he could handle it -- or take on the responsibility if it fell apart -- why make the hire and/or why accept the job? It's because both parties felt it would work it, and with that comes responsibility and blame when in fact it doesn't.

While I "get" what Van Gundy is saying, it's fair to point the finger at Kidd and blame him for the 5-13 start. And I think Kidd knows and accepts that. As a former player and now a head coach, he knows how this works.


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