NEW YORK -- Not long after Jason Kidd revealed he had "no relationship" with Billy King and that he believed the Nets general manager wanted to fire him last December, the Milwaukee Bucks head coach heard boos in his return to Brooklyn.
Facing the Nets for the first time since his sudden departure in June, Kidd was booed as soon as he emerged from the tunnel for the National Anthem.
Fans then booed Kidd for about 10 seconds more after the former New Jersey Nets great was introduced, though it wasn't deafening or intense.
Before Wednesday, Kidd hadn't said much in detail about the reasons behind his exit from Brooklyn. But for the first time since leaving Brooklyn, Kidd revealed his lack of a relationship with King and his belief that the front office wanted to fire him when the Nets were in the midst of an abysmal 10-21 start last season before turning things around.
When recently discussing what went wrong in Brooklyn after his one season there as head coach, Kidd twice in the last month referred to reports by ESPNNewYork.com and Yahoo! Sports about how the front office considered making a change when the Nets were off to a tumultuous start last December. He clarified why he mentioned those reports, which the team's front office has steadfastly denied.
"I think it really helped me to see what I was dealing with, what type of people I was dealing with," Kidd said when asked if that impacted his departure. "To give me a fair chance to coach a team that had injuries, we make a big trade (sending three first-round picks for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett) -- but understanding that they did want to fire me in December, so I think it just shows what type of people I was dealing with."
When asked specifically about what his relationship was with King and whether he thought King wanted to make a change during the Nets' 10-21 start, Kidd replied, "Well, he is management so my relationship with Billy was to figure out how to get things right when he was around.
"It really was no relationship."
King declined to comment to reporters.
Despite that, team ownership ultimately decided to stick by Kidd last December after seeing that the coach had the backing of the Nets players.
Several Nets walked over to Kidd on the sideline before the start of the third quarter and embraced their old coach. Garnett, Brook Lopez, Deron Williams, Alan Anderson, Mirza Teletovic, Jarrett Jack and Mason Plumlee were among those to slap hands with Kidd one-by-one as the Nets were finishing up halftime warm-ups. Garnett gave Kidd a big hug.
Kidd was asked during his pregame session with reporters if he sought control of basketball personnel decisions in addition to his coaching job in Brooklyn, which sources say is the reason why the Nets allowed Kidd to talk to the Bucks and then later traded the coach to Milwaukee for two second-round picks in June.
"I didn't promote myself to do anything but to learn how to be a coach," Kidd said. "Nope, didn't try to promote myself. Billy is the GM. He's put the Brooklyn Nets together, so, you know, it is what it is. I didn't try to promote myself. I was still learning to be a coach."
Owner Mikhail Prokhorov hired Kidd last summer despite the fact that one of the franchise's all-time great players had no prior head coaching experience. After the difficult start filled with turmoil and injuries, Kidd led the Nets to the playoffs. The Nets beat the Raptors in the first round, winning a Game 7 on the road in Toronto before falling to Miami in five games.
When asked about his thoughts about the Kidd divorce, Prokhorov said earlier this month, "I think we shouldn't get mad. I think we should get even. And we will see it on the court."
"I think there is a nice proverb in English: Don't let the door hit you where the good Lord has split you," Prokhorov added.
Kidd says he has moved on after his split with the Nets.
"I think sometimes things don't end the right way," said Kidd, whose No. 5 jersey is retired and hangs in the rafters at Barclays. "Sometimes things, you know, one side talks and the other side goes about his business. Again, I think you've heard from their side, it's business. It happens, coaches have gotten traded.
"I think Doc (Rivers) got traded from Boston, was there a big deal made of Doc being traded? No. it's just part of the business. As a player, you get traded, and as a coach you have the opportunity to get traded. We move on. Unfortunately, one side hasn't so... but eventually both sides will move on."
Kidd said any negative reaction from fans won't affect how he feels about the Nets franchise and his memories of leading the team to two straight NBA Finals appearances as a player.
"No, we have gone through too many battles," Kidd said. "Being able to take a franchise from the bottom, to going to the Finals two years in a row to having the winning seasons, changing the culture of that whole Nets -- understanding Dr. J was Mr. Net, and hopefully I could be in that same conversation.
"Teammates, coaches, we did a lot for this franchise," Kidd added. "But 'what have you done for us lately' is the motto. I understand everybody has their opinion. It's business. I work for the Milwaukee Bucks."