It was only a handful of months ago when Jason Kidd’s presence on the bench of the Brooklyn Nets as head coach was being questioned as much as a newborn horse would be if competing at the Belmont Stakes.
But after taking his lumps early on, Kidd has gotten his team to turn things around in a big way, and now has a realistic opportunity at finishing the season with Coach of the Year honors. After a 10-21 start to a season that was flooded with championship expectations, Kidd convinced his Nets that a New Year’s resolution was much needed. Fast forward to the All-Star break, and Brooklyn now sits at 24-27.
Without Brook Lopez the Nets aren’t making it past the two-time defending champion Miami Heat or up-and-coming Indiana Pacers in the postseason, but the third seed in the East is still very much up for grabs.
And for a team that came out of the gates as lifelessly as the Nets did to overcome it all and end the season with the third best record in their conference, you would have to give the coach a boatload – scratch that, a yacht-load – of credit if that were to happen.
Yes, the Coach of the Year usually goes to the man who leads his team to the most dramatic reversal of fortune from the previous season, and going from the fourth seed last season to the third in 2013-14 wouldn’t really qualify, but considering the abyss that the Nets and their rookie coach would have climbed out of to get to that point, making an exception wouldn’t be absurd at all.
Of course, there’s still a long way to go.