Even for someone as mentally tough as Jason Kidd, the fact that he hasn’t given up on his players yet is remarkable.
Almost every coach with a group as disinterested and underachieving as these Brooklyn Nets would’ve by now.
Ever since last Saturday when center Brook Lopez’s season was deemed finished due to a broken right foot, the Nets have reverted back to square one where they decide that the only important half of the game is the opening one.
It was plenty visible against the Indiana Pacers during the third quarter on Monday night. The broken record continued eerily screeching on Christmas Day against the same depleted Chicago Bulls that shamed them in last year’s quarterfinals.
So if Kidd did put his players on blast in the locker room – as multiple sources report – after the Bulls made it clear that nothing’s changed since that series with a 95-78 victory in Brooklyn, major points to him for refusing to let go of the rope no matter how many times the players do. What they fail to realize is that their quantity of talent is good for nothing if their effort level only has a 24 minute life span every contest.
Thankfully for them, however, Kidd is yet to realize that he’s become the tragic hero of this play. Nothing he’s said or done has resulted in the consistent change everyone desires. Neither the public or private ripping nor the rotation changes have made much of a difference in spirit either.
“At the end of the day, the coach can only hold you responsible for energy and effort,” Kidd said after Wednesday’s loss. “If you’re not giving it, I have to take you out. If you’re missing shots, that’s just part of the game. But if you’re not giving energy or effort, I’ve got to take you out.”
All that needs to happen is for Kidd to bench a Deron Williams or Joe Johnson, but that would likely seem laughable if done. Without them, the Nets have no hope whatsoever.
But if Kidd is the one who has to unfortunately take the fall at or before the end of the regular season, a team with hungrier players will run at the chance to scoop him up.