The Milwaukee Bucks sent two second-round picks to the Brooklyn Nets to acquire the services of head coach Jason Kidd. In a move characteristic of a 15-67 franchise, the Bucks hadn’t even informed current coach Larry Drew that he had been fired until after reports surfaced that they had acquired their new helmsman.
The idea that Kidd would stroll the sidelines as a head coach–let alone witness a team trading players for his services–seemed a dubious proposition at the beginning of 2014. The rookie coach started the season suspended for two games as a result of a driving under the influence arrest. He followed this up with the embarrassing “spillgate” in which he deliberately dumped a drink on the floor to delay a game. By Christmas, a revamped Nets that had added such star power as Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce in the offseason, struggled at 9-19.
But the team rebounded to finish at 44-38 and make a run into the second round of the playoffs. The Bucks finished at an NBA worst 15-67 last season.
Kidd’s departure from Brooklyn under these unlikely circumstances stems in part from a power play from the former point guard. Kidd, who had made a strong case for termination at times during the season, made an emphatic case for authority over the front office after the season. He also watched as first-year coaches Steve Kerr and Derek Fischer enjoyed higher salaries upon their hirings this offseason.
The Bucks enter the 2014-2015 campaign with a new star in Jabari Parker, the Duke forward picked second in last week’s NBA Draft.