The Brooklyn Nets are reportedly considering an unlikely candidate for its vacant head-coaching job. Just one week after announcing that his playing days were over, Jason Kidd is said to be interested in coaching his former team, and the feeling may be mutual.
Kidd, who spent seven of his 19 NBA seasons as the centerpiece of the Nets organization, has reportedly asked to meet with team executives to discuss the possibility of becoming the 17th head coach in franchise history, the New York Post reports. The future Hall of Famer has reportedly been working to identify a group of assistant coaches that would allow him to seamlessly transition from his playing career to a head-coaching job, NBA sources told Yahoo Sports.
“He does believe he is ready to be a head coach,” a league source told the Post. Nets General Manager Billy King has declined to comment on the situation. While Kidd’s basketball knowledge is unassailable, his lack of coaching experience would make him a risk for a Brooklyn franchise that is desperate to take the next step.
Still, the 40-year-old’s rumored candidacy is not without precedent. Former Nets head coach Avery Johnson became a Dallas Mavericks assistant coach shortly after retiring, and became the team’s head coach a mere five months later.
While his candidacy for the position is interesting, Kidd is hardly the Nets’ only option. Indiana Pacers assistant Brian Shaw and Memphis Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins are also rumored to be front-runners for the job.
The New York Daily News reported last Monday that the Nets had officially requested permission to meet with Hollins about its vacancy at head coach. Hollins surprised NBA pundits by leading the Grizzlies, a team which traded its biggest star (forward Rudy Gay) midseason, to a berth in the Western Conference Finals.
Despite his success, the 59-year-old’s contract is set to expire on June 30, and reports suggest that Memphis and Hollins’ philosophic differences will likely lead to a separation. “If there’s no conversation or if (Grizzlies) management feels there’s no common ground with us, then I have no choice (but to talk to other teams),” Hollins told reporters on June 3.
Meanwhile, Shaw, a Pacers assistant since 2011, has long been rumored to be heading for Brooklyn. The 47-year-old spent several seasons in Los Angeles under the tutelage of the legendary Phil Jackson, and has spent the last two seasons assisting the rise of a youthful Pacers squad. To secure his services, the Nets would have to compete with the Los Angeles Clippers and the Denver Nuggets, Yahoo Sports reports.