The nightmare that has been Jason Kidd‘s tenure as Brooklyn Nets head coach could be nearing a bitter, belated end.
Disarray in the locker room and on the court have caused Kidd’s support within the organization to crumble, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reports. After public proclamations of support from the front office and the players during a stretch in which the Nets won four out of five games, the team is back to wondering whether Kidd actually has any idea what he is doing.
“The Nets had tried to be supportive of Kidd, but patience is running low on the belief he can deliver the structure and organization desperately needed,” Wojnarowski writes. “As the Nets have devolved into chaos, Kidd has increasingly isolated himself within the locker room and organization, sources told Yahoo Sports. From management to players, Kidd has shown an inability to manage crisis and keep the respect of his players.”
Kidd as a coach has turned out to be much like Kidd the player. He’s petty, self-absorbed and sensitive to criticism. He pushed Nets coach Byron Scott out the door after two straight NBA Finals appearances in New Jersey 10 years ago. History is repeating itself, only now Kidd is in the coach’s seat.
As the losses mount, Kidd has taken to deflecting blame onto the players. He called out his players — or didn’t call them out, depending on the telling — after Wednesday’s blowout loss to the Chicago Bulls. It wasn’t an isolated case, either. Kidd has increasingly questioned his players, particularly his stars, in public, even as they tell him in private that they don’t feel he’s giving them any direction.
“For all the stories about Kidd’s grandstanding speeches in the locker room, calling out players in private and public, make no mistake: He’s losing these Nets the way Scott lost Kidd a decade ago,” Wojnarowski writes. “Eventually, the players need a plan, need substance. There’s no faster way to lose a locker room than calling Kevin Garnett a quitter.”
With Brook Lopez‘s season-ending foot injury, it’s become clear the Nets cannot continue as constituted. They either need to make bold moves to remake the roster or to can the coach who has lost the locker room.
Maybe even both.