The 2013-14 NBA season was going to be the year of the Brooklyn Nets. Owner Mikhail Prokhorov put all his eggs in the same basket when he traded for Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry. The move left the Nets in a financial spider web with no draft picks and little flexibility for the upcoming years. Then Prokhorov added a rookie coach, fresh out of retirement from the game itself. The move to hire Jason Kidd left many dumbfounded. How was all of this going to forge a championship?
Now it is January and all of the fears and suspicions have come true. Prokhorov’s hopes of winning a title this season have been critically reduced to the mere prayer of making the playoffs. Injuries, incidents and scandals have plagued Brooklyn from the start. The injuries to players such as Deron Williams and Brook Lopez are more than enough to sink anytime, but add on Kidd’s stunts and that is a recipe for pure disaster.
Sitting below .500 at 12-21, the Nets are two games out of the eighth and final playoff spot. Thanks to the awfulness of the Eastern Conference, Brooklyn still has a legitimate and real shot at the postseason, but some changes need to be made if they hope to continue playing basketball into April and May. Even if they do make some changes, the Nets still have years of hardship ahead of them.
First thing is first, fire Kidd. Stan Van Gundy described Kidd and the Nets as “bush league” and there really isn’t a better phrase to use. Between purposely spilling a drink during the game to the confrontation with assistant Lawrence Frank, Kidd has only caused distractions and turmoil. On top of all the shenanigans, Brooklyn is playing so poorly. They continually get blown out and lose to sub-par teams. I understand that there have been some noteworthy injuries that Kidd has had to deal with, but look at the roster. There are some big names who aren’t injured, and in a weak East, the Nets should be able to still make the postseason on top of all the injuries.
Kidd is nothing more than a one-man circus show and Brooklyn is much better off without him. It was a mistake in the first place to hire someone without any professional coaching experience and who only retired from the game last season. A three-year-old could have told Prokhorov it was a dumb idea hiring Kidd.
Once Kidd is fired, the Nets should be able to make a run at the playoffs, but the next few years are going to be tough. Pierce and Garnett are obviously at the end of their careers and will become more of a burden than help. Prokhorov’s “all-in” approach seems like it is going to come back to bite him in the rear-end.
After all the offseason hype around the Nets, it has been a huge disappointment in Brooklyn. This year certainly will not produce a championship ring and as of right now, the Nets have restored to a salvage operation: Just make the playoffs. At this point, only change can save the mess that Prokhorov has created and at the end of the day, Prokhorov has only himself to blame.