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Andrei Kirilenko: Jason Kidd couldn’t handle pressure of New York

Andrei-Kirilenko-NetsAndrei Kirilenko played 19 minutes per game with the Brooklyn Nets last season, which was by far the lowest total of his career. It was hardly a secret that Kirilenko was not Jason Kidd’s favorite player, so AK47 must have been glad when Kidd forced his way to Milwaukee. A recent interview he gave with SovSport in Russia sure made it sound that way.

Kirilenko, whose wife called out Kidd when Andrei didn’t play in Game 1 of the Nets’ series against the Toronto Raptors back in April, wondered aloud if Kidd was unable to handle the pressure of coaching in New York.

“So the pressure is huge,” he said, per a translation from Nets Daily. “And Kidd couldn’t handle it. Or maybe didn’t want to.

“Basically he was not able to do much of anything, if you look at the big picture — we have to admit that fact. There were objective reasons. Our starting center, Brook Lopez, injured himself early and was out for the whole season. There were health problems with other players. But the serious goals set before the club were not cancelled. We were serious about fighting for the title.”

Kirilenko was injured for a good portion of the 2013-2014 season, so he was able to gain an outsider’s prospective while the Nets struggled out of the gate.

“At the beginning it was difficult,” he said. “What else could it be when you’re losing more games than you’re winning? Things were a bit easier for me as I was injured at the time and couldn’t be on the court and do anything about it, no matter how much I wanted to. So, inside, I was calm.”

Personally, I think the Nets rushed into making Kidd an NBA coach. Trying to become a head coach the second you retire from playing is an incredibly difficult transition. I don’t expect things to go much better for Kidd with the Bucks.

NY Daily News nails it with Jason Kidd cover

NY Daily News Jason Kidd cover

Maybe this one was just too easy. Maybe it was a layup for copy editors. Still, a round of applause goes out to the New York Daily News for this awesome back page in response to Jason Kidd leaving the Brooklyn Nets for the Milwaukee Bucks. You really can’t top that.

Kidd essentially forced his way out of Brooklyn by approaching the team’s management and demanding more power within the organization. When that didn’t happen, he was granted permission to speak with the Bucks. The Bucks agreed to send two second-round picks to Brooklyn in exchange for Kidd, and they fired Larry Drew.

He’s ruthless, that Kidd.

Also see: Toronto newspaper had great headline about Brooklyn Nets

Photo: Twitter/NYDNSports

Bucks blindsided Larry Drew by getting Jason Kidd

Larry-DrewThe Milwaukee Bucks have reportedly agreed to send two future second-round draft picks to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Jason Kidd’s coaching rights. As of Monday morning, Larry Drew was still technically the head coach of the Bucks. What does that mean?

In all likelihood, it means Drew has been screwed. Kidd apparently asked the Nets for more power within the organization, which is something they were not going to give him after one season as an NBA head coach. He may have known that would be the case and used it to force his way out of town. Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry, who is Kidd’s former financial advisor and a close friend, probably helped Kidd come up with the plan.

Does any of this seem fair to Drew? You be the judge.

It seems safe to assume Kidd isn’t taking a front office job with the Bucks and leaving the head coaching duties to Drew, so Drew will likely be fired. Milwaukee was 15-67 in Drew’s one and only season with the team, but the future got a bit brighter with the addition of Jabari Parker last week. And Drew seemed excited about it.

“Watching him work out, I had all these thoughts go through my head,” he said, via Gary D’Amato of the Journal Sentinel. “First of all, it will be nice having a guy like Jabari in the city of Milwaukee, a guy who will be able to bring some credibility back to this franchise.”

The NBA is a business, and the Bucks owners are responsible for making business decisions that they believe are in the best interest of the team. That said, there is a right and wrong way to do business. Leaving Drew in the dark while acquiring another head coach behind his back is the wrong way.

Bucks agree to swap two future second-round picks for Jason Kidd

Jason KiddJason Kidd will be the next head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks, as the team agreed to send two future second-round picks to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Kidd’s coaching rights.

The Nets were 44-38 in Kidd’s first season as an NBA head coach. They defeated the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the playoffs before being bounced by the Miami Head in five games. The season was not exactly a failure for Kidd, but there was plenty of tension along the way.

Kidd demoted assistant coach Lawrence Frank, who the Nets brought in to help him transition from player to coach, back in December. A few weeks later, there were reports that the Nets were considering firing Kidd before the All-Star break because of the lack of structure within the organization.

As LB mentioned over the weekend, it seems obvious that Kidd forced his way out of Brooklyn by asking the team for more control when he had to have known there was no way they would give it to him. At this point, all indications are that Kidd’s title with the Bucks will be head coach and nothing more.

One of the Bucks new owners, Marc Lasry, is Kidd’s former financial advisor and close friend. There’s a good chance he and Kidd discussed how they could make the deal work and made a power play to force Brooklyn’s hand.

Jason Kidd forcing his way out of Brooklyn to Milwaukee?

Jason KiddJason Kidd has been granted permission by the Brooklyn Nets to talk with the Milwaukee Bucks, and the whole situation feels like Kidd is trying to force his way out of Brooklyn.

The New York Post reported Saturday night that Kidd recently approached Nets management about giving him more power within the organization. According to The Post, Kidd “approached ownership with a series of demands, including the role of overseeing the Nets’ basketball operations department in addition to his head-coaching responsibilities.”

Only veteran coaches like Gregg Popovich, Stan Van Gundy, Flip Saunders and Doc Rivers hold both positions and, until recently, Pop was the only one of the group to have both roles.

The Nets did not grant Kidd’s wishes, feeling he was not ready to have so much responsibility. That cleared the way for Kidd to begin speaking with the Bucks about their head coaching job, which probably was Kidd’s aim all along. It seems like Kidd’s plan was: ask the Nets for so much that they won’t be able to come through, and use that denial as an excuse to talk with Milwaukee.

So what’s the appeal with the Bucks? Well, they have lower expectations, significantly less pressure, they just drafted Jabari Parker, and Kidd can get a big pay raise from what he was making with Brooklyn. There’s a lot of perks with that job.

Also keep in mind that Bucks co-owner Mark Lasry is Kidd’s former financial adviser and a good friend. I have very little doubt that they discussed a potential deal and orchestrated this whole thing.

Jason Kidd is impressed by Kevin Durant (GIF)

Jason Kidd Kevin DurantWhen a guy is playing as well as Kevin Durant is, what can you really do if you’re an opposing team? There isn’t a whole lot, which is why Jason Kidd was left to give nothing but a shrug and smile while watching KD go off against his Brooklyn Nets on Friday.

Durant’s streak of 30+ point games came to an end at 12, but it’s not because he wasn’t playing well. In fact, he was so hot early in the game that the Oklahoma City Thunder built such a big lead that he only needed to play 30 minutes in the game. Durant was 12-of-12, including 3-for-3 on 3-pointers and 3-for-3 on free throws in OKC’s 120-95 win. He finished with 26 points.

What more can you do than shrug and smile?

GIF via Royce Young

Jason Kidd not wearing a tie has coincided with Nets’ winning

Jason-Kidd-no-tie

The Brooklyn Nets have finally started to string together some wins. After losing six of seven to close out the month of December, the Nets have kicked off January by winning six of seven. While some might argue that the key to success has been the resurgence of Joe Johnson or the ability of players to step up in Deron Williams’ absence, we think Jason Kidd’s wardrobe selections are the answer.

Those of you who follow the Nets may have noticed that Kidd has not been wearing a tie lately. After Brooklyn’s win over the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday, Sekou Smith of NBA.com pointed out that the Nets are 6-1 since Kidd stopped wearing a tie during games. This look obviously wasn’t working for the team:

Jason-Kidd-tie

Expect to see more of Kidd’s tight undershirts as the season progresses. There’s no sense going back to the old style.

Photo via @cjzero