Hall of Famer Rick Barry is glad that the Brooklyn Nets decided to go with Jason Kidd as their next head coach, but candidly admitted a reason other than Kidd’s readiness for that sentiment.
“I’m happy to see them get new blood in there,” Barry said the other day. “I’m so tired of these guys [executives] recycling guys [coaches]. They go from one team to another. The guy loses, he gets fired, he gets hired someplace else by one of his buddies that’s a GM or something.
“Jason’s [Kidd] been there. He’s been there out on the floor and knows the things that have to be done. I think it gives him a tremendous advantage.”
While I definitely agree with Barry that it’s quite refreshing to see the next wave of coaches get their big break – whether they spent years as an assistant or get their opportunity because of a gut feeling like Kidd’s situation – I can’t say that I have a problem with “recycling” the other coaches who have considerable experience.
Sometimes things just don’t work out in one place for one reason or another, but that doesn’t mean that particular coach isn’t fit for this sort of job somewhere else. Those coaches didn’t make it that far without having any idea of what they’re doing, and there are instances where it’s obvious that they deserve a second or third chance.
There’s also a greater sense of security going with experience over the unknown, which would explain why teams are so hesitant to go with mystery men.
Had the Nets themselves chosen to go with a Jeff Van Gundy, Phil Jackson, Jerry Sloan or someone of that nature, no one would be complaining.
Even when it comes to coaching, the bottom line is talent.