Jason Kidd eyes Nets' vacancy

Updated: June 11, 2013, 9:26 PM ET
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com

Jason Kidd met with Brooklyn Nets general manager Billy King on Monday to pitch himself as the team's next head coach, according to sources close to the process.

Kidd impressed the Nets in that he was extremely well-prepared for the interview and he exhibited the kind of supreme confidence that would seem to command the respect of players, a source told ESPN's Chris Broussard.

A person with knowledge of the details told The Associated Press the Nets' coaching decision is down to Kidd and Brian Shaw. The person told The Associated Press the team has just those two candidates.

One source close to the process said Kidd has a "natural advantage" in a faceoff with Shaw, given his star power and his existing relationship with the franchise. Sources say that the Nets, though, are adamant about going ahead with their plans to interview Shaw on Wednesday.

Sources told ESPN.com that Shaw will be flown to Brooklyn Tuesday night on a private jet sent by Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov and formally interviewed for the post Wednesday afternoon.

But Prokhorov's well-chronicled desire to make a splash with his coaching hire -- dating to his longstanding pursuit of Phil Jackson which started in December after the firing of Avery Johnson -- appears to have given Kidd significant momentum to offset his lack of coaching experience.

There is also a perception in coaching circles that Shaw, who has been waiting years for his head-coaching break, would prefer the Los Angeles Clippers' job in a nod to his deep ties to Los Angeles after playing on three championship teams with the Lakers.

"Jason can be very, very convincing in those situations," one source said of Kidd's Monday presentation to King.

Sources told ESPN.com that an element of Kidd's plan would be hiring former Nets coach Lawrence Frank to serve as a top assistant coach. The presence of one or two assistant coaches with head-coaching experience on the bench is seen as a prerequisite for the Nets to seriously consider Kidd as a head coach candidate. Frank was fired in April after two seasons as coach of the Detroit Pistons.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Frank spoke glowingly of Kidd.

"I think Jason could become a great coach," Frank said on NBC's "Mike'd Up" on Sunday night. "Think about his training: 19 years of playing, an NBA championship, two Olympic gold medals. ... [He's] one of the smartest players to ever play the game, a great leader who has a great presence. I think Jason could be a great head coach."

One source told ESPNNewYork.com that a decision could be made this week. Shaw, associate head coach for the Indiana Pacers, interviewed Monday for the Clippers' coaching vacancy, sources told ESPNLosAngeles.com.

Kidd's meeting with King was originally scheduled as an open-ended discussion about potential employment with the Nets. But sources told ESPN.com on Sunday night that Kidd is determined to convince King that he is ready to make an immediate jump into coaching after retiring last week.

"Jason feels he's really ready to do this," one of his associates told ESPN.com.

The Nets will be replacing P.J. Carlesimo, who was ousted the day after Brooklyn's first-round playoff elimination by Chicago.

Kidd's interest in the Nets' position was first reported Sunday by Yahoo! Sports.

"There are some hurdles to overcome," one source said of Kidd emerging as a serious contender for the post.

But Kidd's history with the team -- he led the Nets to two NBA Finals appearances when the franchise was based in New Jersey -- and his close relationship with star guard Deron Williams could bridge those gaps, another source said. Kidd -- with no coaching experience at age 40 -- only would be considered if he could assemble "an All-Star cast" of veteran assistants to support him, the source said.

Shaw has been widely considered Brooklyn's leading candidate. According to league sources, he also will interview with the Nets this week.

Kidd announced his retirement Monday, ending a 19-season career during which he made 10 All-Star appearances and led the NBA in assists five times.

Kidd, who had two years remaining on his contract with the New York Knicks, is second all time in NBA history in career assists and steals.

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich believes Kidd has the "intuitive skills" and overall ability to be "really, really good" at coaching.

"When you've played for a number of coaches, he's pretty much seen everything that the NBA can offer," Popovich said Sunday prior to Game 2 of the NBA Finals. "So he does have experience. If he's crazy enough to want to be a head coach in this league, I wish him all the best.

"He certainly has the intuitive skills to know what's going on out there. Obviously, he would be able to have relationships with the players that he's had with his coaches throughout. So if that's what he wants to do, and that's who [the Nets] want to hire, I think he's got an opportunity and a possibility to be really, really good at it."

ESPNNewYork.com's Ohm Youngmisuk and Mike Mazzeo, and ESPNLosAngeles.com's Ramona Shelburne contributed to this report.

Marc Stein | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com
• Senior NBA writer for ESPN.com
• Began covering the NBA in 1993-94
• Also covered soccer, tennis and the Olympics

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