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Is Kidd the right choice?



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NEW BUCK'S COACH Jason Kidd is shown here during an NBA basketball game against the Philadelhia 76ers when he was still coach of the New Jersey Nets. Kidd became the Bucks coach after losing his bid for front-office power with the Nets. AP Photo/Michael Perez.

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July 01, 2014 | 04:33 PM
Opinion

Jason Kidd is the new coach of the Milwaukee Bucks.

At first I was excited.

While I think GM John Hammond has done a good job, I’ve never been a fan of former coach Larry Drew.

But the more I read about Kidd, the less excited I became.

For starters, how the whole deal went down showed the apparent naiveté of the new owners when it comes to the NBA. They somehow thought their “secret” meetings would remain a secret.

Second, since it should have been obvious that word of the Kidd discussion would leak, why didn’t they at least tell Hammond what was in the offing? That would have been the right way — the Wisconsin way — to address it.

Third, Kidd’s departure from the Nets comes after what seems like an ego-fueled grab for more money and power.

That’s not the Wisconsin way, either.

Not only did the owners initiate the deal behind Hammond’s back, they put the GM in the position of finalizing the hiring of a coach he didn’t hire in the first place. Who knows? Based on Kidd’s track record, Hammond may have been asked to facilitate the hiring of the man who might want to replace him someday.

Maybe such under-the-table shenanigans works in big business. But this is Milwaukee and such chicanery doesn’t sit very well.

All of this comes on the heels of a great honeymoon between the new owners and Milwaukee, topped off by the drafting of Jabari Parker, who is as known for his character as he is for his basketball skills.

Does the Kidd hiring sour that good taste?

A little, but the fact is Kidd can coach.

As a player, every coach in the league wanted Kidd as their point guard because he was one of the smartest players in the league.

And, the story goes that while Kidd feuded with an assistant coach and the top brass of the Nets, his players stood by him. That’s a good sign.

After that rocky start, Kidd got a solid hold on the job and led the old-as-dirt Nets to the playoffs.

So I’m trying to forget my reservations and hope for the best.

After all, if Wisconsin fans can forgive Ryan Braun for his misdeeds we ought to be able to do the same for Kidd.

Winning cures all ills.

Maybe a year from now I’ll be applauding the hiring.

Right now, all I can muster is guarded optimism.

Halverson is interim Sports editor of the Regional News.

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