To the surprise of a looooooot of people, the Brooklyn Nets are in the Eastern Conference semifinals to face a team that has not played a game in three months - the Miami Heat. Of the eight teams remaining in the NBA playoffs, none is any more surprising than the Jason Kidd Nets.
On Jan. 1, 2014, the Nets were 10-21 and looked worse than their record. In his first season as an NBA head coach, Jason Kidd looked lost and it felt like a matter of time before he would be replaced. Since that time, the Nets went 34-17 and now Kidd looks like a guy who figured out his job.
I figured this would not work out so quickly because Kidd had just retired as a player, and he inherited a roster that he knew as peers. Now, in this role, he would be doling out minutes and defining roles - those guys aren't always super popular.
To his credit, last summer Dallas Mavericks forward and former Kidd teammate thought Kidd could do this before he was hired.
A few days before he was hired, Dirk said:
"Jason Kidd as a head coach? That's tough. To go right from player to coach, that's tough. If one guy can do it it's him. I played with him for two or three years. The stuff he came up with every day - 'Why don't we try this, why don't you try that?' He's got an unbelievable mind for basketball. Also usually with what teams do is when you have an ex-player that is coaching that you get really, really good assistants that have been around and have experience and know what's going on in the games so that takes some pressure off the ex-player."
It took Kidd essentially firing one of those assistants - Lawrence Frank, but the end result is a guy who looks like he can stick in a job that usually carves up people.
The Nets probably won't beat the Heat, but they do have a coach.
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