The Milwaukee Bucks, unhappy with the team’s performance, have fired former Nets great —and head coach— Jason Kidd. The Bucks are eighth and last in the Eastern Conference playoff race, despite having Giannis Antetokounmpo and other talents.
Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news about the Nets great.
Milwaukee has fired coach Jason Kidd, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 22, 2018
Bucks made move on Kidd based upon dropping into the 8th seed in the East, frayed relationships in organization and general non-alignment, league sources tell ESPN. Bucks job will be most sought after of offseason, largely because of @Giannis_An34.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 22, 2018
Bucks assistant coach Joe Prunty will be installed as interim coach, league sources tell ESPN. He will coach Bucks against Phoenix tonight.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 22, 2018
Prunty worked with Kidd as an assistant coach during the Nets star-crossed 2013-14 season and followed him to Milwaukee along with two other assistants.
In quick succession in the summer of 2013, the Nets hired their former point guard as coach, traded for Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry, then signed Shaun Livingston and Andrei Kirilenko. Brooklyn hoped their new lineup, which cost Mikhail Prokhorov $90.6 million in luxury taxes, would get them an NBA championship, but the Nets got no further than the second round of the playoffs that season.
Long-standing disputes between Kidd and Billy King publicly erupted after the season and Kidd left Brooklyn for Milwaukee in an ugly departure. Although the Nets wanted a first round pick in compensation, they settled for two second rounders in 2015 and 2019. The 2015 pick was used to take Pat Connaughton who was sent to Portland in the trade for Rondae Hollis-Jefferson while the 2019 pick was sent to Philadelphia as part of the Marquis Teague salary dump.
Nets ownership never forgave Kidd, with Mikhail Prokhorov famously telling the media months later, “There is an old English proverb. Don’t let the door hit you where the good lord split you.”
Kidd played seven years in New Jersey, taking the Nets to the NBA Finals twice in 2002 and 2003. They haven’t gotten closer than the second round since. In fact, the only time they got to the second round was with him as coach.