A workforce ignored in its personal city lastly had the highlight. Multiple All-Stars had joined forces to carry a title to Brooklyn. A Hall of Fame level guard with no earlier teaching expertise had led the Nets right into a extremely anticipated Eastern Conference semifinal battle.
The scene was related seven years in the past.
But no matter unfolds within the upcoming playoff sequence between the Nets and Bucks, it is going to 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 turn into 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 is a nice proverb in English: Don’t let the door hit you where the Good Lord has split you,” Prokhorov stated within the aftermath. “We did what we thought was best.”
The saga seems 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 workforce.
The Nets anticipated their former celebrity to be a part of that group. Kidd, then 40, was employed lower than two weeks after ending his 19-year enjoying profession, with the Knicks.
“He has the fire in the belly we need and has achieved as a player everything the Brooklyn Nets are striving to achieve,” Prokhorov stated after signing Kidd to a four-year, $10.5 million deal on June 12, 2013. “We believe he will lead us there.”
Kidd’s ties to the franchise grew deeper as soon as he returned to the workforce he had led from 2001-08. He purchased a minority stake within the Nets and Barclays Center 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 longer term for the potential to win instantly of their new house, buying the growing old 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 choose.
The Nets opened the season at 10-21 and finally completed sixth (44-38) in a weak Eastern Conference — amassing fewer wins than Avery Johnson and P.J. Carlesimo had mixed for the season prior — earlier than shedding to the Heat 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 together with his former coach and had Frank demoted, months right into a six-year deal, to file day by day scouting studies. Kidd was additionally fined $50,000 for deliberately spilling soda on the courtroom to delay the tip of a detailed recreation through which the Nets had no timeouts left.
Yet the rookie coach nonetheless had the gall to attempt and leapfrog King, who’d helped make the bizarre hiring the 12 months prior.
“This is business, and things happen,” King stated then. “I don’t look at it as any personal affront to me. Whatever he felt he needed to do, he did. And when ownership did, they did.”
The relationship between Kidd and King was reportedly strained, with King allegedly suggesting a training change to possession after the Nets’ gradual begin.
“I think once [the Nets] OK’d the talk to Milwaukee, that just showed … rumors or no rumors that they wanted to fire me in December had to have some legs,” Kidd stated. “I think it really helped me to see what I was dealing with, what type of people I was dealing 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 past couple days, I’ve been asked: ‘Why Milwaukee?’ ” Kidd wrote in a letter to Bucks followers. “My answer is simple: there is no place I’d rather be.”
Kidd led a Bucks workforce 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 a disappointing fourth season and is now a Lakers assistant.
The Bucks have received 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.