Sports Out West

Jason Kidd, Nets head coach: Journey akin to Mark Jackson’s path

Photo Credit: Kathy Willens/AP

In a stunning development less than two weeks in the making, the Brooklyn Nets have made recently-retired Hall of Fame-bound point guard Jason Kidd their new head coach. Kidd, 40, agreed to the contract details just nine days after retiring following his 19-season career.

Despite having zero coaching experience, he beat out the likes of Indiana Pacers associate head coach Brian Shaw, who met with Nets team officials for about five hours prior to the hiring of Kidd. While this may be seen as a bold move by a franchise still transitioning from their move to Brooklyn, Kidd will now look to follow in the footsteps of Golden State Warriors head coach Mark Jackson as a player-turned-head-coach without coaching experience.

Kidd’s path is quite similar to Jackson’s. While he didn’t make the immediate transition right after his playing days, Jackson spent his time as a broadcaster, watching the best teams play up close and in person on a weekly basis.

As point guards, the two often played the role of coach and leader on the court, a role both have no problem assuming. Both as motivators and as coaches who can relate to players, their clout as top NBA players will aid in their coaching growth. One big reason why Kidd was selected over Shaw was his potential to breakthrough with star point guard Deron Williams, thus guiding him and the team to great heights.

Since they’re both inexperienced, they were smartly-surrounded by a great coaching staff. While Jackson had Michael Malone, now the new head coach of the Sacramento Kings, Kidd will likely be supported by Lawrence Frank and Tim Grgurich.

While this is a lofty decision, perhaps the Nets are trying to imitate the success accomplished by Jackson and the Warriors. Taking a veteran point guard known for his skills and leadership abilities on the court and molding him into a franchise’s fearless leader has been done before, but there is a definite high-risk, high-reward mentality for a team in a win-now mode.

Photo Credit: Kathy Willens/AP

Follow and interact with Austin Chang on Twitter @_austinchang.
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Austin Chang

Austin Chang is the Associate Editor of Sports Out West and a San Francisco Bay Area-based sports journalist. His work can also be found on Yahoo! Sports and RamsTalk. Follow him on Twitter @_austinchang.