When Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov selected Jason Kidd to help his team soar to new heights, it seemed a little strange. And now that we know he picked his coach based on a resemblance to Maverick from Top Gun, it all makes perfect sense.
Per Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, here's Prokhorov's rationale in all its delightfully bizarre glory:
There are players in the NBA which display the ability to coach when they play, in terms of leadership, in terms of guiding play and in terms of motivating their playmates. So and Jason Kidd was that kind of a player. Maybe you do remember a film, Top Gun. This film just arrived in Russia one week ago. I want to refresh your memory. Tom Cruise plays Maverick, and he was a top pilot, he was a real leader. At the end of the day he made decision to be an instructor because it was the highest value just to be a leader. So Jason Kidd is our Top Gun. And he will do his best, I am sure, all his skills to elevate the whole team.
First of all, it's a real shame that Top Gun only recently hit the market in Russia. But on the bright side, they're going to be pretty stoked when Die Hard hits theaters in a few months. Imagine how much Russian cinephiles have to look forward to.
And second, Prokhorov is clearly kidding. It's hard to believe that the man accumulated billions of dollars by making decisions based on his favorite '80s movies. It's also unlikely that someone could so badly miss the point of Top Gun. The fact that Maverick ended up being an instructor isn't exactly the most important part of the flick.
My understanding is that the key themes of the movie are brotherhood (as evidenced by playing lots of shirtless volleyball), redemption and flying upside down a lot.
Still, his explanation is fantastic. What's more, it allows for lots of timely references if Kidd is willing to embrace the comparison.
For example, when the Nets are struggling to get up and down the floor and Kidd wants the team to pick up the pace, all he'll have to do is channel Maverick:
If that won't get the Nets going, I don't know what will.
And everybody knows that NBA players love elaborate pregame handshake routines. So good news, Nets: Your new coach can teach you the perfect one.
Plus, when Kidd wants to come up and visit the owner's suite, all he has to do is request a flyby. (In my imagination, the entire Nets front office communicates only by using references from the movie, per Prokhorov's decree).
The only person for whom this revelation is bad news is lead assistant Lawrence Frank. In this analogy, he's clearly Goose.