Woj: Jason Kidd wants Brooklyn Nets job

USA TODAY Sports

Well, now we know who the mystery man is.

Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Jason Kidd is indeed "pursuing the Brooklyn Nets' head coaching job" and is even "identifying a staff of assistant coaches who could help him overcome the significant learning curve, sources said."

Woj also reports that Kidds' "candidacy has been discussed within the highest levels of the organization." It is believed that the Nets ownership and management isn't unanimous in their belief that Kidd could make the leap from player to coach.

Sam Amick of USA Today confirmed the Yahoo! report and quoted a "person with knowledge of the search" as saying, "It's got legs."

Marc Stein of ESPN also reported Kidd's interest and suggested it's Kidd's idea more than the Nets.

"Jason feels he's really ready to do this," Stein quotes one of his associates as saying. Stein added, "Sources confirmed to ESPN.com that the Nets have indeed added Kidd to the list of candidates."

Mike Lupica started things off on Saturday when he reported that Kidd would meet with Billy King, but pointedly noted that the head coaching job wasn't on the agenda. Now, says Stein, the meeting is longer "open-ended," that "Kidd is determined to convince King that he is ready to make an immediate jump into coaching after retiring this past week."

“I have said before I will not confirm or deny anything,” King said in a text message to Fred Kerber.

One person who was willing to talk about Kidd was Gregg Popovich, who once tried to lure Kidd to San Antonio.

"When you’ve played in the league as long as Jason has and played for a number of coaches, he has pretty much seen everything that the NBA can offer,” said Popovich. “So he does have experience. If he’s crazy enough to want to be a coach in this league, I wish him all the best. But he certainly has the intuitive skills to know what’s going on out there.

“So if that’s what he wants to do, and that’s who they want to hire, I think that he’s got an opportunity and a possibility to be really, really good at it.”

Brian Shaw is seen as the Nets top target, Woj reported last week, but will face competition from the Clippers, Nuggets and perhaps other teams. Fred Kerber reported Sunday that six teams have sought permission from the Pacers to talk with Shaw and Stein now reports that the Nets will meet with Shaw this week.

"Oh, we know ALL the arguments about how risky it is and how Magic Johnson failed in going from all-time great point guard to head coach. We know as well that Doc Rivers, Larry Bird and Mark Jackson all spent several years doing TV or helping out in someone's front office before being named. We also know they all had adult supervision their first few years, a valued, experienced NBA assistant. Specifically in the case of Kidd, there are other risks: like his off-the-court issues. His DUI case is still outstanding, we believe and could even result in serious repercussions. He wasn't pulled over. He was involved in an accident. He also had a domestic abuse arrest, although that was a long time ago and he did extensive rehabilitation, more than the judge required.

"Of the three players who went directly from playing to coaching success without a stop in the assistant ranks, Kidd is most reminiscent of Bird. He is on Bird's level in terms of greatness. He has the individual records, the three trips to the Finals, the championship; the two Olympic gold medals, the staggering turnaround of a moribund franchise. Jackson and Rivers were great players. They were not on Kidd's level. Kidd's value is in his knowledge of the game, but also in his desire and his unwillingness to accept less in his teammates. A stare alone from the great man's eyes could have an effect that a rant from Scott Skiles would not achieve. He is, after all, Jason Kidd.

"Deron Williams would love it. Brett Yormark would love it. Mikhail Prokhorov no doubt would as well. James Dolan, not so much."

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