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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Are the Nets Kidd-ing us with J-Kidd as head coach?

Let me get this straight, because my brain hurts from thinking about it.

The Brooklyn Nets won 49 games last season -- 35 of which came under the leadership of P.J. Carlesimo -- and made the NBA Playoffs for the first time in seven years.

But then the Nets management canned Carlesimo, saying that they wanted to go in a different direction.

And that direction is the recently retired Jason Kidd.

Nothing against Kidd, who was a great player for the Nets, a guy who singlehandedly saved their franchise and without his accomplishments, the Barclays Center would have never been built. I think Kidd is one of the best point guards to ever play the game, a player with great vision, a player who made everyone around him better.

But as a head coach right away? As a head coach instead of Carlesimo?

Are you Kidd-ing me?

Kidd hasn't an ounce of coaching experience. He sure was a genius with the ball on the floor and had great insight in terms of basketball knowledge with the ball in his hand.

But as I remember, coaches don't exactly play the game. Kidd can't make Deron Williams play better because he's standing on the sideline in a suit.

How in the world is a coaching nebish like Kidd better than Carlesimo? He can't be. There's a lot to handle in being an NBA head coach. There are film breakdowns and scouting reports daily. There are the countless demands of facing the media -- something Kidd wasn't overly comfortable with as a player. There is the psychoanalysis of every single player -- and Kidd was just a player a few weeks ago.

The Nets also thought of Pacers assistant Brian Shaw and former Memphis Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins. They even apparently brought Shaw in for an interview Wednesday after allegedly offering the job to Kidd with a three-year contract.

None of these selections are better than the man who held the position, albeit on an interim basis, for the last five months of the season and into the playoffs. It wasn't a fluke that Carlesimo coached the Nets to a 35-19 regular season record and three wins in the playoffs. He was the perfect elixir for a team in disarray after Avery Johnson's reign.

But now, Nets general manager Billy King is turning the team over to a guy with no coaching experience whatsoever?

Don't forget Kidd's past. He was arrested of domestic violence during his days as a player in Phoenix, an incident that greased the skids out of Arizona and to New Jersey for Stephon Marbury. It did turn out to be the best trade in the Nets' history, but there's no denying that Kidd once beat his wife.

And a year ago, Kidd was arrested for DUI after an accident in the Hamptons. That case has yet to go in front of a judge.

This is the guy you want to be your head coach? Will Deron Williams listen to Kidd? At least the two have something in common. They're both coach killers. Williams got Jerry Sloan out the door in Utah and Kidd stood on his head to get Byron Scott fired in New Jersey.

Make no mistake about it. As a player, Jason Kidd was the best thing to ever happen to the Nets. He led them to two NBA Finals appearances and put life into the Continental Airlines Arena (now IZOD Center) that it never had before. Those were exciting times in the Meadowlands with Kidd leading the fast break. I witnessed hundreds of those games and never once was disappointed about Kidd's play, until he faked a headache in his final days, pushing Rod Thorn to trade Kidd to the Mavericks.

But can this same guy lead the Nets to another level? Who knows? It's a huge gamble for a team that already has a core in place for the next five years at least. There is no wiggle room with the Nets' roster right now. They're pretty much stuck with the top players they have.

Is a rookie head coach the answer for a veteran team? I guess we're going to soon find out.

But the bottom line is this: There is no way on this green earth that Jason Kidd is a better coach than P.J. Carlesimo. It's not even close. I don't care that Kidd hasn't coached a game. I've seen Carlesimo handle every single aspect of the coaching game and done it with a flair, a grace and a dignity.

So Billy King is going to roll the dice and hire Jason Kidd as a head coach. King shouldn't care, because he just got a three-year extension of his own.

The whole thing is beyond ridiculous. If it's a ploy to gain attention away from the Knicks, well, that works for one whole day _ the day that Kidd is announced as head coach. The day after, the proof, as they say, is in the pudding.

Mets GM Sandy Alderson went on WFAN the other day to talk to Mike Francesa and said that the Mets are in a rebuilding mode.

Well, haven't they been in this same mode since Alderson arrived three years ago?

By now, there should have been some progress made.  But in honesty, the team has gone way backward, thanks to the recent implosions of starting players Ike "Let's capitalize the K in his first name, because all he does is strikeout" Davis and Ruben "Never to Be Seen Again" Tejada.

The Mets are headed on a dead impact pace of losing 100 games. You can see it now in their pitching staff, in their anemic starting lineup (batting a team .225), in their inability to make decent plays, in their hideous and disgraceful bullpen.

It's a lousy team, the worst I can remember in more than 25 years. But don't come out and say you're in a rebuilding mode now. You had three years to rebuild. There should have been some progress by now.

No, Alderson has been made a complete stooge by the hideous owners, Freddy Coupon and Coupon Jr., the tight-wads that only care about holding on to imminent domain of the chop shops and car repair facilities directly to the north of CitiField.

The Coupons only want to hold on to the franchise long enough to see a real estate rebirth in Queens, snare the opportunity to re-develop the area round the stadium and turn it into a commercial and residential paradise.

They care nothing of the shamefully disgraceful franchise they put on the field every night and expect the hard working public to spend $75 a ticket to watch such tomfoolery.

If the Mets were honest three years ago and came out and said they were rebuilding, maybe this season wouldn't be as painful. But they tried to sell us that Lucas Duda was potentially a star. Guess what? He's not even close. The rest of the roster is a laughingstock. Anthony Recker would have a tough time cracking a Class AAA roster. There are better catchers on the free agent market than Recker. That's only one position.

They sent down Mike Baxter and brought up Colin Cowgill. For what? They both are awful.

I thought I liked Kirk Niewenhuis when he first came up, but he strikes out all the time and can't make a play in the outfield. Ugh. It's painful to watch. It's like going to the neighborhood bodega to get a root canal. It's like taking the car to the pharmacy for a transmission rebuild.

The Mets are a complete shambles and that really upsets me.

You can read more of my work at, and The high school scholastic season is just about over. I can take up reading in the coming weeks. On my reading list are New York Post columnist George Willis' book about the Mike Tyson-Evander Holyfield fight and the biography of Earl "The Pearl" Monroe. I received both in the mail in the last few weeks and can't wait to get to both.


  1. Good job, Jim. Mets = probably the only team in MLB history to have a batting title winner and a Cy Young Award winner in back-to-back years and then not have either of them on the roster the following year.

  2. I'm as confused as you on Jason Kidd's rather sudden hiring. As a point of comparison, we have Patrick Ewing, who clearly wants to be a head coach, kicking around the assistant coaching ranks for a decade, didn't even coach last year, and the best he can do this year is to beg his buddy Michael Jordan to hire him as assistant for the freaking Bobcats. (I'm not arguing one as a better coach than the other, just comparing career paths.)

    I thought the Nets were looking to make a splash with their coaching hire. Kidd is not splash worthy. And will Williams be able to take coaching advice from a guy he was just playing against a few months ago? Just who is Kidd buddy buddy with in the Nets upper management anyway? (And my read on the situation is that this offer was on the table before Kidd announced his retirement, because no NBA player walks away from 2 years worth of money on the table without a really good reason.)

    As far as the Mets go, sigh. If that utterly pathetic 20 inning 0 for 19 RISP game last week against the equally pathetic Marlins didn't sum up the complete worthlessness of this team, I don't know will. And don't look for anything to change anytime soon folks, because the debut service on this team over the next few years is mind boggling. And here I thought my credit card bill was too high...