Kidd to Bucks after Nets agree to deal
NEW YORK (AP) — Jason Kidd is set to become Milwaukee’s new coach after Brooklyn agreed to a deal Monday with the Bucks, who paved the way for Kidd’s arrival by firing coach Larry Drew.
The Nets will receive second-round NBA draft picks from the Bucks in 2015 and 2019. The team said a search for a new coach would begin immediately.
Kidd went 44-38 in his only season as Nets coach, but then sought control of the basketball operations department and was denied. The Nets gave him permission to talk to other teams about a job.
It was a stunningly quick ending to Kidd’s reunion with the franchise he twice led to the NBA Finals as a player. The Nets hired him last June as coach just weeks after he retired as a player with the New York Knicks. He also bought a small portion of the team.
There was no reason to believe he wouldn’t be back Thursday when he appeared at a press conference where the Nets announced plans for their new practice facility.
But things rarely ended cleanly for Kidd throughout his stellar playing career, and that remains the case as a coach. He was traded from Dallas, his first pro team, when he feuded with teammates. He was shipped out of Phoenix after an arrest for a domestic dispute.
And though he led the Nets to the 2002 and ’03 NBA Finals and remained a club icon, he soured on the team during the 2007-08 season, leading the Nets to deal him back to Dallas.
But as much as the current ownership may have liked him, it wasn’t interested in positioning Kidd above general manager Billy King and giving him the power he sought. King is scheduled to address the media on Tuesday.
Drew went 15-67 in his only season in Milwaukee, the NBA’s worst record last season. But there had been no indication he wouldn’t be back before the Kidd situation emerged.
“Despite the challenging season, Larry always handled himself and represented the Bucks in a first-class manner,” Bucks general manager John Hammond said in a statement. “Larry did the best he could in a difficult situation, especially given all of our injuries.”
The Nets could choose from a number of quality coaches who are available, including Lionel Hollins, George Karl and Mark Jackson.
They bypassed experience when they chose Kidd last summer, and the results were ugly early. Kidd removed Lawrence Frank from the bench after lobbying for the Nets to hire his former coach as his lead assistant, and then was fined $50,000 by the NBA after intentionally spilling a drink on the court to delay a game.
The Nets started 10-21 with a high-priced, high-expectations team, though regrouped to reach the second round of the playoffs. Kidd won two Eastern Conference coach of the month honors for engineering a turnaround with a small-ball lineup after center Brook Lopez was lost to a broken foot.
AP Sports Writer Genaro Armas in Milwaukee contributed to this report.