There were seven coaching vacancies in the NBA at the end of the 2014 season, but the funny thing is the Milwaukee Bucks nor the Brooklyn Nets were one of them. In the last two weeks the Brooklyn Nets basically traded their head coach Jason Kidd to the Milwaukee Bucks, the Bucks fired their head coach Larry Drew before he even knew his job was in jeopardy, and the Lionel Hollins will replace Kidd as the coach of the Nets. Whew!
Kidd’s exodus from the Nets started in December when the team had a 10-21 record at the end of December and rumors were going around that Kidd was on the hot seat. He was unhappy with the rumors and his camp was putting a plan together to create stability in basketball operations and in job security.
The 41 year-old finished his first season of coaching with a 44-38 record and was named the Eastern Conference Coach of the Month on two separate occasions. It was reported a couple of weeks ago that Kidd approached the Nets ownership with a list of demands, with the role of overseeing the Nets’ basketball operation as the primary demand. Ownership declined the requests and that is when they incessantly worked on Kidd leaving the organization. Kidd’s messy departure leaked to the media and Brooklyn agreed Monday to deal Kidd to Milwaukee for second-round draft picks in 2015 and 2019. The Bucks fired Larry Drew, who had no indication he wouldn’t be back for a second season.
Kidd is the head coach right now, but eventually he will gain more power in the Bucks organization because of his close relationship with one of the new co-owners, Marc Lasry. Lasry and Wes Edens, both New York investment firm executives, recently purchased the team from former U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl for about $550 million after they pledged to keep the team in Milwaukee. Lasry and Edens have committed to providing $100 million to help build a new arena.
The Nets didn’t waste time finding a new coach. They were in the process of hiring Lionel Hollins a year ago before Kidd emerged as the front runner for the job. The Nets’ Twitter account tweeted out that an agreement in principle with Hollins to be the new head coach has been reached.
The Brooklyn Nets have reached an agreement in principle with Lionel Hollins to become the team’s new head coach.
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) July 2, 2014
It has been reported that Hollins deal with the Nets could be worth as much as 4 years/$20 million if the team picks up his 4th year option. Hollins was the head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies that finished with the most successful season in the franchise’s history in 2013. They finished with as 56-26 record and they lost in the Western Conference finals, which was the deepest playoff run they ever accomplished. Hollins and the new management didn’t see eye-to-eye on new philosophies and an eventual head coaching change was in the process despite Hollins’ success.
In June of 2013, Hollins’ contract would not be renewed and he was replaced by assistant coach Dave Joerger. Hollins has a career record of 214-201 in the regular season and 18-17 in the playoffs.