With a 3-8 start out of the gate, referring to the long-awaited Brooklyn Nets as disappointing would be quite an understatement. Thankfully for coach Jason Kidd, he’s been gifted an enormous break coming in the form of an equally dysfunctional blue and orange bunch that also calls New York City home right across the Hudson.
While the New York Knicks certainly didn’t receive the extravagant summer hype that the Nets were subjected to, they were nonetheless projected to be a top-flight Eastern Conference contender, not 3-8 as well. Despite laying all the blame on himself, not too many people are calling for Kidd’s job just yet. But, you’ve got to wonder how different the situation would be if the Knicks weren’t suffering from the same level of ineptitude as the Nets.
It really doesn’t take much wondering at all. The expectations placed upon Brooklyn after all the offseason additions were too high for them to be the only team in the city to deal with such colossal failure. Had the Nets’ extreme underachievement been coupled with a blazing 8-3 or 9-2 start by the Knicks, Kidd’s seat would have been hotter than a Caribbean beach in the middle of August.
In fact, it would have gotten so hot that associate coach Lawrence Frank might’ve found himself in the same position that he did almost exactly 10 years ago — stepping into the interim coach’s role because the Nets just handed their head coach a pink slip.
Say both teams continue to trend downward. How much time will that buy Kidd? It doesn’t seem like much as the new year is only a little over a month away, even if it isn’t completely his fault. Owner Mikhail Prokhorov has shown he loves to swipe his team credit card just as much as the late, great George Steinbrenner did.
You think his patience couldn’t also mirror the one the Boss was infamous for? There’s no doubt in my mind that it could.