ESPN’s David Thorpe looks at burning questions facing each team in the Atlantic Division this season in his latest Insider story.
His question facing the Nets: Does the Brooklyn Nets’ Jason Kidd have any clue how to coach?
On paper, the Nets should be better than they were last season, and Brook Lopez appears poised to become an elite center. But based on Kidd's performance this summer, he still must learn the basics of coaching. We can look to Golden State coach Mark Jackson, who found his voice in his second year, as an example of someone who figured things out quickly.
However, it appears Kidd has a more significant learning curve. Coaching a summer game with a cell phone (turned on, no less) in your pocket is almost the worst mistake a coach can make. Answering it is the worst. Well, although he wasn't coaching the game (assistant Eric Hughes was) when he did both, it still was surprising he would do that on the bench. There are numerous other nuances Kidd will have to learn, but he is fortunate in one respect: He has a brilliant set of players -- basketball IQ-wise -- to work with.
My take? Kidd is inexperienced, and the Nets are taking a huge gamble by installing him as their coach. With a veteran-laden roster, one would think hiring a veteran coach makes more sense. Still, the Nets believe in Kidd. They think he’ll command respect from his players -- especially the veterans -- and be able to make the transition from player to coach. Ultimately, Kidd won’t be able to be properly evaluated until he has several games of experience under his built.