At his meeting with media Monday, a remarkably restrained Billy King thanked Jason Kidd, said he and his former head coach "butted" heads but that he believed Kidd had done "an amazing job", and added he found comfort that fans like Mr. Whammy will stay with the team through thick and thin. But the big news was that he disclosed he and Lionel Hollins had dinner on Monday.
King says Hollins had dinner with himself, Bobby Marks and Frank Zanin last night, and will meet with them again today.— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) July 1, 2014
Sam Amick reported Monday that the Nets had sent a plane for Hollins to accelerate the process ... and show him that their interest is serious.
King also said the search began even before he met Hollins.
Billy King said Lionel Hollins wasn't the first person he talked to. But he wouldn't say who was.— Andy Vasquez (@andy_vasquez) July 1, 2014
King did say he hoped to hire a coach soon, but also noted he can see himself meeting with other head coaching candidates. He praised Hollins as a veteran coach and noted how the Grizzlies had gotten better every year during his tenure. He said as well, this time, rookies need not apply.
The Nets GM was remarkably gracious about Kidd, saying he's sorry it had to end "this way." He admitted this was a "bump" for the franchise but thinks they can recover quickly. He said he only found out about the Kidd power play on Wednesday, the day before the HSS Center press conference ... and the NBA Draft.
On free agency, King admitted there are cap space issues to be addressed but the team's financial losses won't effect decision making.
King admitted it's going to be tough to re-sign Shaun Livingston & said although they have Paul Pierce's Bird Rights they won't go overboard— Rod Boone (@rodboone) July 1, 2014
King says news of losing $140-plus million in operating losses as reported by @ZachLowe_NBA won't keep Nets from doing what they can in FA— Ohm Youngmisuk (@NotoriousOHM) July 1, 2014
But he said there will be no hard feelings if free agents do leave.
King says if Shaun Livingston gets a huge deal the #nets can't match he will hug him and wish him well— Lenn Robbins (@LennRobbins) July 1, 2014
He admitted that the team did not reach out to Andray Blatche after midnight as he did with Livingston, Paul Pierce and Alan Anderson.
Q: "You reach out to your players last night?" Billy King: "The ones that are free agents, yes." Q: "Blatche?" King: "No."— John Schuhmann (@johnschuhmann) July 1, 2014
He disclosed as well that he had met with Pierce last month and found "a lot of positives," adding that in recent days, he's been keeping both Pierce and Kevin Garnett informed of what's going on with the organization in the wake of Kidd's power play and departure. Marc Stein wrote that among teams pursuing Pierce, "Brooklyn... really only fears the Clippers." At least one team, the Bulls, see Pierce as a back-up if their top target decides to go elsewhere. In the Bulls' case, that's Carmelo Anthony.
Of Jeff Schwartz, who represents everyone from Kidd to Livingston, King said their relationship is intact. "It's business, not personal."
- King Talks Jason Kidd, Nets Future (Video) - Brooklyn Nets
- Billy King talks Jason Kidd, says he met with Lionel Hollins Monday - James Herbert - CBS Sports
- Billy King: Nets haven't reached out to Andray Blatche - James Herbert - CBS Sports
- Billy King: Nets bigger than 1 person - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Day 1 free agency chatter - Marc Stein - ESPN
- With Jason Kidd out the door, Nets begin coaching search - Andy Vasquez - The Record
Nets General Manager Wants to Move Quickly to Replace Jason Kidd - Zach Schonbrun - New York Times
- Nets coaching rumors: Lionel Hollins meets with team for second straight day - Charles Curtis - Star-Ledger
- Nets won’t bring back free agent Andray Blatche next season - Kurt Helin - NBC Sports
- Have the Nets called Andray Blatche? Um … ‘no’ - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- King Gets Second Chance To Get The Right Coach For Nets - Steve Lichtenstein - WFAN
- Nets met with Lionel Hollins Monday night, will again today - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game