The Brooklyn Nets announced Wednesday night that they have officially hired Jason Kidd as their new head coach. Kidd’s hiring comes a week after he announced his retirement.
The former star point guard is now reunited with the franchise that he led to back-to-back finals appearances in 2002 and ’03. He was acquired by the Nets in 2001, and in his 6½ seasons with the team, Kidd averaged 14.6 points, 9.1 assists, and 7.2 rebounds per game. He also holds franchise records in a number of statistical categories.
ESPN.com reported on Wednesday that the Nets interviewed Indiana Pacers assistant coach Brian Shaw hours before they made the decision to go with Kidd.
Sources told ESPN.com that although Shaw had been targeted by the Nets for some time and made a strong presentation during Wednesday’s interview, Kidd convinced Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov and his advisers that he is ready to jump directly into the lead seat on an NBA bench despite the fact that he has no prior coaching experience.
A source with knowledge of Kidd’s meetings with the Nets said the former star point guard “didn’t just come in and puff out his chest. He got up on the board and drew up plays and showed he had command of what he wanted to do on offense. He had good knowledge of the personnel, and explained his philosophy.”
Although Kidd has had a reputation of being one of the best leaders in the NBA during his playing days, it still seems risky to hire someone who was still playing a month ago, and has no coaching experience. But Kidd’s mind and extensive knowledge of the game made him a rare exception. He also has a good relationship with point guard Deron Williams from their time playing on Team USA in the 2008 Olympics, and can serve as a big brother as well to him.
The Nets chose not to retain interim coach P.J. Carlesimo, despite the fact that he went 35-19 after taking over for Avery Johnson this past season. The Nets were beaten by the Chicago Bulls in seven games in the first round of the playoffs.