Jason Kidd hadn't spoken that much about the end of his tenure with the Brooklyn Nets. Bottom line: Brooklyn allowed the Milwaukee Bucks to talk to Kidd about first an executive position and then the coaching job, and a few days later, he became the newest coach of the Bucks. In return, the Nets received two second round picks, their own 2015 pick that the Bucks acquired on Draft Night and a 2019 pick, the worse of two the Bucks control.
Ohm Youngmisuk spoke to Kidd about details in an interview this weekend. The Bucks are in New York to play the Knicks.
"Did I want to be traded?" said Kidd, whose Bucks play the Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Monday. "I think once [the Nets] OK'd the talk to Milwaukee, that just showed, whatever you want to call it, rumors or no rumors that they wanted to fire me in December had to have some legs."
Kidd was alluding to the report by Yahoo! Sports that the Nets were mulling over firing their once star point guard after the team got off to a 10-21 start in December. Kidd apparently believes that Billy King was behind the reports and wanted him dumped as coach.
However, while there may have been dissatisfaction with Kidd, particularly with the messy "reassignment" of Lawrence Frank and "Cup Gate," the amateurish attempt to get a "timeout" vs. the Lakers when he had none left, ownership sources told NetsDaily at the time that there was never any plan to fire him. At one point, Prokhorov dispatched Sergei Kushchenko, his chief sports adviser and Nets board member, to New York to get an upclose view of the situation.
Moreover, if the Nets had fired Kidd, it would have been the fourth coach Russian ownership had dumped since taking over, having already fired or dismissed Kiki Vandeweghe, Avery Johnson and P.J. Carlesimo.
In fact, Prokhorov disclosed in mid-January that at one point during the early season debacle, he called Kidd to give him a pep talk, quoting a Russian author Mikhail Bulgakov, as saying, "Never read Soviet papers before breakfast." Kidd was asked at the time what it meant to get a phone call from Prokhorov telling him not to worry about critics. "I didn't know I had critics," deadpanned Kidd, who added, "Mikhail is the best. He has a great sense of humor, but he wants to win."
Also, Kidd's recollection of events around the time of the Milwaukee move differ from those inside the front office and not just those close to King. They suggest that Kidd wanted out, that his relationship with King had become untenable because of their disputes on a number of issues, including player personnel and planning. Kidd, for example, didn't want Marcus Thornton.
On the topic of his reported power play, Kidd said that is not what happened. "No, I don't need any power," Kidd said. "My [job] is to learn how to be a coach and be the best coach that I can be."
Kidd was skeptical of the Nets' decision making over the summer, specifically about Paul Pierce not getting a contract offer from the team this summer after the team mortgaged their future to chase a championship last season. When asked about Pierce's remarks about the Nets not believing in their championship hopes this season, Kidd agreed.
"I believe it," Kidd said when asked about Pierce's comments about not being offered a contract. "I mean, if they don't offer [Pierce] a contract worth what a first-round pick is, then why did we do the deal [last year for Pierce and Garnett]?"
Jason Kidd returns to Brooklyn on November 19.
- Rumors of Brooklyn Nets' desire to fire Jason Kidd 'had legs,' he says - Ohm Youngmisuk - ESPN New York
- Jason Kidd spins story about Brooklyn Nets breakup, which landed him with Milwaukee Bucks - Mitch Abramson & Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News