When Jason Kidd predicted that the New Jersey Nets would have a .500 record the year he was traded to the team, many people scoffed.
Kidd proved to be wrong in his prediction, as the Nets did not win 41 games during the 2001-02 season; they won 52 games and made back-to-back NBA Finals appearances.
Over ten years after seemingly turning around the downtrodden organization overnight and becoming the face of the franchise, Jason Kidd and the Brooklyn Nets find themselves together again.
Kidd was recently announced as the new head coach of the Brooklyn Nets, after retiring as a player just over a week ago. Kidd brings no coaching experience whatsoever, but he may just be exactly the type of coach the Nets need.
Kidd has several factors in his favor that may lead to success as he transitions from life on the court to the bench.
For one, he will immediately command the respect of the locker room as he was one of the most respected and talented players in the NBA during his career.
Secondly, few people have ever played the position of point guard better than Kidd did during the course of his career. Point guards are essentially the coach on the floor as they dictate some of the play calling and the offense runs through them.
Kidd’s ability to be one of the best floor generals of all time should help ease his shift behind the bench.
Additionally, Kidd will have the full support of Mikhail Prokhorov, as this was exactly the type of coaching splash he was hoping to make this offseason. What could be better than the prodigal son returning home to lead his former team back to the promised land?
The Nets themselves are in the perfect position to take a risk on Kidd as well.
They are firmly entrenched in the middle of the Eastern Conference playoff picture, but with top dogs like Miami, Chicago and Indiana likely to be on top of the standings for the foreseeable future, the team can afford to take a flyer and see what Kidd can do for the organization.
Some pundits may feel that Kidd will be doomed to fail since he has no coaching experience whatsoever. There may be some truth to that, but Doc Rivers and most recently Mark Jackson have both found substantial success as head coaches while never having any previous coaching experience.
Ironically enough, both Rivers and Jackson were solid NBA point guards during their NBA careers; the same position that Kidd revolutionized during his career.
Unless your name is Phil Jackson or Pat Riley, there is always going to be questions about whether you will be able to succeed as an NBA head coach. This decision could ultimately prove to be a failure and a cautionary tale regarding the best practices of finding a suitable coach.
However, Jason Kidd has never been just an average Joe, and if anyone can find success as an inexperienced head coach in the NBA, it will be him.