Have you guys heard any good Jason Kidd and Brooklyn Nets jokes lately? I know I certainly have.
Basically, something that has already been more reported on than free agency kicking off, Kidd went behind the backs of the Nets like a spouse looking for some action on the side, wound up downgrading to a mistress who is a two out of 10 and lost any good will he might have had remaining in the entire state of New York, which is surprising that he had any left to begin with since he has a DUI, domestic abuse and coach killer background that spans back to his days at college.
A guy who has so many bridges burned that he now has no other way to travel the NBA waters but to go to Wal-Mart to buy some floaties and float around aimlessly.
That is the low-hanging fruit in this situation. Kidd is a lot of different things, some of them pretty bad, but that’s of very little importance to the Brooklyn Nets.
Essentially, Jason Kidd is gone, so too is his sometimes erratic behaviors and it could quite possible be a blessing in disguise that Kidd’s attempted power play imploded on himself, leaving the Nets without a coach. Well, that was until Tuesday, as the team announced the hiring of Lionel Hollins.
The blessing in disguise has very little to do with Hollins either. He is a fine coach, one who they are reportedly paying $5 million a year to (which is more than double Kidd’s salary), but a guy who probably won’t have the ability to make the corpses on the Brooklyn roster regenerate and magically become more youthful.
What Hollins can do for the Nets, though, is add a stable leader to their team, have a team first mentality and will unlikely spill any soda on the hardwood at any point this season.
The actual blessing in disguise for Brooklyn is two separate, but related, things.
Brooklyn rids itself of Jason Kidd. This is the most important part.
Setting aside his off-the-court issues, Kidd’s reputation while in the NBA as a player was not exactly shinier than a diamond. It was a little bit more like a corroded piece of metal, rusted a little too much and about to be worthless for whatever function it was intended to have.
Forget the fact that Kidd — even after coaching the Nets to a great second half last year — is still a pretty unproven head coach. He’s also one of the very few NBA coaches that deflects blames to everyone but himself, which is part of the reason he supposedly attempted to make a cue and grab Billy King’s job and vanished Lawrence Frank earlier in the season, as the Nets stood by Kidd during a horrible start.
Kidd’s growing negative reputation will have an indirect positive consequence for the Nets. They don’t actually deserve them, mind you, but someone has to be the victim in this Jason Kidd is the equivalent to your nymphomaniac ex debacle.
So, by default, Brooklyn has been and will continue to feel the empathy, sympathy and whatever other goodwill people are throwing in their general direction. Not because they have done something right, but because the worse of the two evils decided he was better served working under his former financial adviser than he would be for a Russian and the inept Billy King.
The Nets are not a franchise we should feel bad for, though. I’ve covered it multiple times now.
Between the poorly constructed and shortsighted roster building, to actually hiring Billy King in the first place, all the way to stealing the Knicks business plan for success that has shown decades worth of it not working, Brooklyn does have a role in Kidd even attempting to make a play for more money and more power within their organization, but that’s not how the public will view it.
Instead, Jason Kidd was doing typical Jason Kidd like things and the poor Nets were left to hold the bag. Well, at least that is what the growing perception is.
Brooklyn has a great opportunity now. To seize Kidd’s backstabbing departure as a way to build goodwill within their fanbase and a little bit so nationally.
Heck, most people didn’t even notice that Billy King’s No. 1 offseason priority of re-signing Shaun Livingston lasted all but 24 hours and that he failed to reach his own admitted offseason primary objective.
Now is the time for the Nets to take risks. Risks bigger than the ones they first took when they brought Jason Kidd and the overpaid and decrepit body all stars to begin with.
Brooklyn, simply because of circumstance, needs to blow up their entire roster (well, as much as they could), and build a basketball team the same way most good ones are build — through the draft and not by headline stealing.
That will take some time. And, yes, I get it.
New York fans are supposedly pretty impatient. Yet, it seems pretty rational to think they can get a year pass alone for the way Kidd left the team and at least one more if they decide to take a Brooklyn vs. Jason Kidd stance.
Because nothing, outside of winning, can unite a fan base more than truly hating another person or team.
Jason Kidd is not only Brooklyn’s public enemy No. 1 going forward, but they should also send him a Hallmark card for him gifting them the status of being a sympathetic figure. I’m not too sure how long this can last, but I didn’t even know it would ever be possible to make a Russian billionaire, an inept GM and poorly run team a franchise folks feel bad for, yet not many people have been able to spurn franchises quite the way Jason Kidd has done throughout his entire career.