I consider my initial decision to hold off on writing about the whole Jason Kidd-Nets debacle my second savviest move of the past few months (No. 1? Buying senior citizen tickets at the movies. You get caught like 2% of the time and you just have to get it swapped for an adult. Tickets are 14 bucks in New York, no way am I paying full price).
Weird things happen in clusters in the NBA. I knew there was no effing way we were done with it once the Nets hired Kidd. Something else was going to happen, and it did. Forget about Doc (but don’t, we’ll be back to him); Denver fired the Coach of the Year, Memphis got rid of the only coach to ever win them a playoff series, Mike Brown somehow convinced Dan Gilbert that 2005-2010 never happened AND Mike D’Antoni still has a job. I mean…WTF?!
I’m not writing a column on all of them. I don’t have the time and you don’t have the patience. Instead, I’m shamelessly hijacking Howard’s brilliant Juice This formula (the best running segment we have on the site by the way), going a bit longer on the length, and doing this bit by bit. All we need is a title. Juice That? Screw it, we’ll come back to this later.
DOC DITCHES BOSTON
Umm…anyone else a little outraged by this? Doc spent the past six years preaching teamwork and Ubuntu, driving his teams behind the idea that they were playing for each other and only each other, and now he’s ditching them for the freaking Los Angeles Clippers?
You know who’s mad about this? KG. He’s the one who got left out. David Stern is going to throw one last semi-illegal hissy fit to keep him out of L.A. Now KG is doomed to a four-month charade before he’s traded to Golden State for 20 cents on the dollar. At least Paul Pierce has an out: the Celtics can just decline his option. KG’s stuck on a rebuilding team.
I get that Doc is kind of a star now, I really do, but man, if we blast players for lacking loyalty, we have to hold coaches to the same standard. I can’t imagine Celtics fans can have much love left for Doc after this. Rebuilding around Rondo, Bradley and cap space (coming in a year or two) isn’t the worst situation. We’ll talk more about the basketball stuff when we get into Chris Paul’s free agency profile. For now, I’m just annoyed by what Doc did.
THE BROOKLYN JETS
It’s much more fun when the shoe’s on the other foot. The Nets really have turned into the Jets of the NFL. It’s like absolutely no thought is put into any basketball decisions beyond how much air time it’ll get them on ESPN. It’s incredible.
I love Jason Kidd. He’s one of my favorite players of all time, a surefire Hall of Famer, and the captain of the “wait, is he white or not?” All-Star team (where he shares a backcourt with Mike Bibby; Blake Griffin headlines the front court). That doesn’t mean it makes any sense whatsoever to hire him as a head coach 10 days after he retired.
All of their hopes rest on Lawrence Frank coming in as their lead assistant and teaching Kidd the ropes. Umm…since when is it a good idea to rely on Lawrence Frank for anything? He’s a below-average head coach who also failed as a lead assistant (remember that year he replaced Thibs in Boston? Not a coincidence when their defense took a nose-dive).
It’s really fun rooting for the best-run team in New York for a change. God knows the Jets and Mets won’t ever grab that title.
DENVER AND MEMPHIS PLAY MUSICAL CHAIRS
GM: “You know what’d be a good idea?”
GM: “Firing our coach!”
Owner: “But we practically won 60 games! We easily could’ve won the West with a few breaks! Why would we possibly fire our coach?”
GM: “… Just trust me on this one.”
I imagine some form of this conversation took place in both Denver and Memphis. People love Denver because they don’t have stars. You know why that no star system works? Because they have a coach who makes it work! Meanwhile, Lionel Hollins just took the Memphis Grizzlies to the Western Conference Finals, turned Z-Bo into a good teammate, and turned the lesser Gasol into the greater Gasol. And they fired him? Yup, seems legit.
There was a period where it looked like Denver would hire Hollins and Memphis would hire Karl. Yeah, let’s stick a small-ball coach on a Grizzlies team that wins on defense and grit AND slow down the super-fun Nuggets in one fell swoop. It’s like the NBA just wants to troll me.
BRIAN SHAW FINALLY GETS A JOB!
I hate giving the Nuggets credit after just ripping them apart, but Shaw is awesome. Put aside the absurd number of close ups, announcer mentions and overall activity he got in the Miami series (which rivaled only Tom Thibodeau’s Boston tenture); he’s a freaking Phil Jackson disciple!
If you knew nothing else about a job applicant (which is often the case with assistants), wouldn’t you rather hire someone who graduated from Harvard than Florida State? Brian Shaw went to the Phil Jackson School of Coaching. He’s ready.
He was ready two years ago. He should have gotten the Lakers’ job in 2011. Shaw is going to be a top tier coach someday.
CLEVELAND SUCKS, REMIX (FEAT. MIKE BROWN)
If Gregg Popovich and Phil Jackson play chess when coaching, Mike Brown is bumbling through a game of Connect Four. How does this guy keep getting work? In seven years, he’s somehow failed to win a title with both LeBron AND Kobe. He pissed LeBron off so much he fled to Miami.
Are they going to bring back Danny Ferry as GM, too? Is Zydrunas Ilgauskas trying to make a comeback? I knew Dan Gilbert couldn’t build a young, LeBron-worthy juggernaut without somehow screwing up. If they win a title with Brown as their coach, I’ll write all of my columns in Comic Sans.
I will remember you,
(Cut to a picture of Chris Paul looking derisively at Vinny Del Negro)
Will you remember me?
(Cut to Byron Scott drawing up the same crunch time play for the 49th game in a row)
Don’t let your life, pass you by
(Cut to Doug Collins being curmudgeonly)
Weep not for the memories
(Cut to Keith Smart telling Tyreke Evans not to pass)
Gentlemen, you will be missed.
By: Sam Quinn