Nets icon Kidd moves on to coach the BucksThe Bucks and the Brooklyn Nets have agreed to a deal allowing Jason Kidd to become Milwaukee’s coach, a person with knowledge of the details said Monday.
The Nets will receive a second-round draft pick in 2015 that was formerly their own and another in 2019 belonging to either Milwaukee or Sacramento.
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.
Milwaukee still has Coach Larry Drew under contract.
It was a stunningly quick ending to what had been Kidd’s celebrated return to the franchise he twice led to the NBA finals as a player. The Nets hired him last June as coach weeks after he retired as a player and retired his No. 5 before a preseason game in October. Also, he bought a small portion of the team.
There was no indication Thursday he wouldn’t be back when he appeared at a press conference where the Nets announced plans for their new practice facility.
Milwaukee had the NBA’s worst record last season at 15-67. The Bucks have new co-owners in Marc Lasry and Wes Edens, and Lasry and Kidd are friends.
The Nets can 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, 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.
He departs Brooklyn now with free agency opening Tuesday and key Nets Paul Pierce and Shaun Livingston set to hit the market.
Kidd led the Nets to the 2002 and ’03 NBA finals and remained a fan favorite even after he became unhappy with the team and was traded to Dallas in 2008. But as much as ownership may have liked him, it wasn’t interested in positioning Kidd above General Manager Billy King and giving him the power he sought.
Lasry and Edens had said in announcing the purchase of the team in April that they would evaluate the entire operation. Lasry spoke to a meeting of Milwaukee-area journalists and business leaders on June 23, before the draft, and afterward said they were still in the evaluation process.
But the new ownership group had given no indication that Drew or General Manager John Hammond might be in trouble after the franchise’s worst season in former U.S. Senator Herb Kohl’s last year as team owner. Hammond spearheaded the draft evaluation process that landed Milwaukee a potential superstar in Duke forward Jabari Parker with the second overall pick.