The Brooklyn Nets are a team that is looking to win a championship right now. Not five years from now and not even two years from now. Right now.
The evidence is everywhere from practically everything out of owner Mikhail Prokhorov’s mouth, to the fact that they traded three first-round draft picks to land Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce during the offseason, to the fact that they are spending $190 million on payroll, to the fact that Pierce is a free agent after the season and KG after two.
Everything about them says that their window is only one year, maybe two, except for the fact that they hired a rookie head coach in Jason Kidd. Kidd has no coaching experience, he didn’t even have a year off from playing to be able to step away and take in the game as an observer.
Not many doubt that he, considered an extremely smart player on the court, will eventually be able to become a good head coach, but his learning curve may take at least a year or two until he rises to the occasion. Already an ESPN analyst called Kidd the worst coach in the NBA and now an anonymous scout told Howard Beck of Bleacher Report that Kidd doesn’t do anything:
A veteran scout, interviewed earlier in the day and speaking on the condition of anonymity, called Kidd’s bench comportment “terrible,” observing that the play-calling has fallen mostly to his top assistants, Lawrence Frank and John Welch.
“He doesn’t do anything,” said the scout, who has watched the Nets several times. “He doesn’t make calls. John Welch does all the offense. Lawrence does all the defense. … I don’t know what Kidd does. I don’t think you can grade him and say he’s bad. You can give him an incomplete.”
The same scout said he had counted only 15 plays run by the Nets in the games he has watched. Multiple observers have noted that the Nets offense lacks any discernible flow, as if the stars are all simply taking turns with the ball.
Nobody has come out and said that they don’t think that Kidd will eventually be a good coach, however when he’s starting from the bottom it could take a while for him to get to the top. For a team with championship aspirations right now it might turn out that Kidd and the Nets are not the best fit.
That could be a big problem for the Nets as they don’t seem to have left themselves much wiggle room with Kidd. First of all, Prokhorov loved the idea of hiring Kidd, called him his “Top Gun,” signed him to a three-year deal and immediately retired his jersey. On top of that, Jay Z sold part of his shares of the team to Kidd making him a part owner. So for the Nets’ sake, they’d better hope that the learning curve flattens out quickly.