A crew neglected in its personal city lastly had the highlight. A number of All-Stars had joined forces to carry a title to Brooklyn. A Corridor of Fame level guard with no earlier teaching expertise had led the Nets right into a extremely anticipated Japanese Convention semifinal battle.
The scene was comparable seven years in the past.
However no matter unfolds within the upcoming playoff sequence between the Nets and Bucks, will probably be tough to match the drama between the franchises after Jason Kidd’s first — and solely — season as Nets head coach. It was then that Kidd tried to usurp the authority of basic supervisor Billy King and grow to be president of basketball operations, solely to be rejected by then-owner Mikhail Prokhorov and traded to the Bucks for a pair of second-round picks.
“There’s a good proverb in English: Don’t let the door hit you the place the Good Lord has cut up you,” Prokhorov mentioned within the aftermath. “We did what we thought was greatest.”
The saga appears like a lifetime in the past — Giannis Antetokounmpo was a rookie, averaging 6.8 factors for Milwaukee. Kyrie Irving hadn’t been to the playoffs in 4 years with the lowly Cavaliers. Joe Harris was graduating from Virginia — however 5 NBA head coaches from June 2014 nonetheless stay with the identical crew.
The Nets anticipated their former famous person to be a part of that group. Kidd, then 40, was employed lower than two weeks after ending his 19-year taking part in profession, with the Knicks.
“He has the hearth within the stomach we’d like and has achieved as a participant every part the Brooklyn Nets are striving to attain,” Prokhorov mentioned after signing Kidd to a four-year, $10.5 million deal on June 12, 2013. “We consider he’ll lead us there.”
Kidd’s ties to the franchise grew deeper as soon as he returned to the crew he had led from 2001-08. He purchased a minority stake within the Nets and Barclays Heart from Jay-Z in September 2013, then had his jersey retired in October.
The Nets have been coming off their first playoff berth in six years and opted to sacrifice the long run for the potential to win instantly of their new house, buying the ageing Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry (to hitch Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez) from the Celtics for 5 gamers, three first-round picks and the rights to swap one other first-round decide.
The Nets opened the season at 10-21 and finally completed sixth (44-38) in a weak Japanese Convention — accumulating fewer wins than Avery Johnson and P.J. Carlesimo had mixed for the season prior — earlier than shedding to the Warmth within the second spherical of the playoffs.
Kidd — now a Lakers assistant — endured different troubles, too. Early that season, he served a two-game suspension for pleading responsible to a drunken driving cost. After requesting that Lawrence Frank be employed because the league’s highest-paid assistant, Kidd rapidly discovered friction along with his former coach and had Frank demoted, months right into a six-year deal, to file each day scouting studies. Kidd was additionally fined $50,000 for deliberately spilling soda on the court docket to delay the tip of a detailed recreation during which the Nets had no timeouts left.
But the rookie coach nonetheless had the gall to attempt to leapfrog King, who’d helped make the weird hiring the yr prior.
“That is enterprise, and issues occur,” King mentioned then. “I don’t take a look at it as any private affront to me. No matter he felt he wanted to do, he did. And when possession did, they did.”
The connection between Kidd and King was reportedly strained, with King allegedly suggesting a training change to possession after the Nets’ gradual begin.
“I believe as soon as [the Nets] OK’d the speak to Milwaukee, that simply confirmed … rumors or no rumors that they wished to fireplace me in December needed to have some legs,” Kidd mentioned. “I believe it actually helped me to see what I used to be coping with, what kind of individuals I used to be coping with.”
Following the 2013-14 season, the Nets permitted Kidd to talk with the Bucks, whose new co-owner, Marc Lasry, was Kidd’s former monetary adviser. Milwaukee fired coach Larry Drew on June 30, 2014 after one season (he had been left in the dead of night throughout negotiations with Kidd) and signed the Kidd to a three-year, $15 million deal after dealing these two draft picks to the Nets.
“Over the previous couple days, I’ve been requested: ‘Why Milwaukee?’ ” Kidd wrote in a letter to Bucks followers. “My reply is easy: there isn’t a place I’d relatively be.”
Kidd led a Bucks crew coming off a franchise-worst 15 wins to 41 wins in his first season, and Milwaukee reached the playoffs in two of his first three years, however he was fired halfway by way of a disappointing fourth season and is now a Lakers assistant.
The Bucks have gained three straight division titles. The Nets at the moment are the favorites to win all of it.
It has labored out for all however one.