In one of the more bizarre developments in recent NBA history, Jason Kidd lost 21 of his first 31 games as a rookie coach with the Brooklyn Nets, rallied his team to make the Eastern Conference finals ... and is now reportedly headed to the Milwaukee Bucks after a failed power play resulted in an untenable relationship with Nets management.
Kidd had sought control of the Nets’ basketball operations department, a role that would have reduced the power of General Manager Billy King. His bid was denied and the Bucks quickly negotiated a deal to bring Kidd aboard as coach, presumably to replace Larry Drew. Milwaukee went an NBA-worst 15-67 in Drew’s first season with the team.
As part of the deal, the Nets will receive one second-round draft pick in 2015 and another in 2019.
Kidd’s departure brings about a messy end to a long relationship with the team he twice led to the NBA Finals as a player and had obtained a small ownership stake in. The Nets rallied to finish last season 44-38 and defeated Toronto in the first round of the playoffs before losing to the Miami Heat in the conference semifinals.
The Bucks were interested in part because Kidd, 41, is close friends with new team co-owner Marc Lasry. Milwaukee drafted Duke’s Jabari Parker with the No. 2 pick in last week’s draft, giving Kidd a marquee rookie to help with his rebuilding efforts.
The Nets are believed to be considering Lionel Hollins among their candidates to replace Kidd.