The Brooklyn Nets are on the verge of bringing in the teams 4th head coach in the last 2 years.
Jason Kidd was the guy last season, but his greedy reputation kicked back in full gear and he asked ownership if he could not only be the coach, but also President of Basketball Operations. Now, he’s headed to Milwaukee to be the next head coach of the Bucks.
He wanted more power than Billy King who’s been an executive in the league for years, while Kidd just retired as a player about 13 months ago.
Let’s take a look now at the top 5 candidates to replace Jason Kidd as coach.
5. Jeff Van Gundy
Although highly unrealistic, Jeff Van Gundy would be a rock-star as coach of the Brooklyn Nets. He took the Knicks to the NBA Finals in 1999, and was the coach of the Tracy McGrady Yao Ming duo in Houston. Van Gundy would bring tremendous credibility, and respect with him to Brooklyn. At the end of the day though, he’s got a safe, secure, high-paying job working alongside Mike Breen at ESPN, and I just can’t see him leaving to coach a team that isn’t on the brink, at least not at the moment, of winning a championship. If he were seriously interested, he’d be the top choice.
4. Lionel Hollins
To me, Lionel Hollins is the safe, boring pick here. He had some nice moments in Memphis, when his 8th seeded Grizzlies team shocked the 1-seeded San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the 2012 playoffs, and in 2013 when he took Memphis to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history before getting swept by those same Spurs in 4-games. Hollins coached the Grizzlies to its best season in franchise history, but was fired due to differing opinions with ownership about how the franchise should be run going forward. I think Hollins would do a solid job in Brooklyn, but he’s not a sexy name.
3. George Karl
George Karl has the most experience out of all the candidates. He’s been a head coach in the NBA for 25 years, as coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, Seattle SuperSonics, Milwaukee Bucks, and most recently the Denver Nuggets. He led Seattle to the NBA Finals in 1997, and led the Nuggets in 2013 to a franchise record 57 wins. Karl was named NBA Coach of the Year before being fired shortly there after. He spent the last year as an analyst on ESPN. Like Van Gundy, Karl would bring tremendous respect and credibility with him to Brooklyn.
2. Patrick Ewing
Patrick Ewing, unlike Jason Kidd, has paid more than his share of dues. He’s been an assistant in the NBA since 2002, most recently as the associate head coach in Charlotte, and deserves his chance to be a coach. Ewing starred for 15 years in New York with the Knicks. There, he led the Knicks to 2 NBA Finals appearances, and is the only player in the franchise’s history to appear in over 1,000 games. With his New York background, Ewing knows what it’s going to take to succeed in Brooklyn. The fans would welcome him with open arms, and he could help take Brook Lopez’s game to new levels. Let’s give Patrick a shot!
1. Mark Jackson
The man that makes the most sense is Mark Jackson. He’s born and bread in Brooklyn, New York, went to St. John’s, played for the Knicks from 1987-1992, and during the 2001-2002 season, was an announcer with the YES Network as well as ESPN, and did a tremendous job as coach of the Golden State Warriors for the past 3 seasons. Jackson inherited a Warriors team that had made the playoffs just once in the past 17 years, and turned them into a Western Conference powerhouse. He took Golden State to the playoffs for the first time since 2007 in his 2nd season, and led them to the franchise’s first 50-win season since 1993-1994. However, Jackson was fired due to a rift inside the organization after the Warriors were eliminated by the Clippers in a thrilling 7-game series. In Brooklyn, Jackson would be coming home to a fan base that would adore him, he’s one of the most likeable guys in the game, he’s shown he can coach, and coach well. Jackson would be an unbelievable fit in Brooklyn.
Who would you like to see as the next head coach of the Brooklyn Nets? Leave a comment below.