By Charles Glover, Jr.
On Sunday, April 12, Jason Kidd coached the Milwaukee Bucks to a playoff berth with a victory over Kidd’s former team, the Brooklyn Nets. This is the first 40-win season and playoff appearance for the Bucks since the 2009-10 season.
When Jason Kidd was hired by the Bucks in July 2014, there was less focus on how good a coach he would be for the Bucks and more emphasis on the manner in which he landed the position. At the time, Marc Lasry, Bucks owner and Kidd’s former business partner, acknowledged that Kidd’s agent reached out to the Bucks’ owners about joining the club.
“We were asked to keep it confidential and we did and I think in retrospect that was a mistake,” Lasry said. “That was our fault. We shouldn’t have done that. In this process, we made some mistakes.” The manner in which Kidd’s hiring occurred stood out and caused public feedback. Boston Globe writer Gary Washburn stated, “[Kidd] didn’t exactly pick an organization primed for a resurgence.”
Fast forward to the current situation for the Bucks who have remained off the NBA radar for the majority of the NBA season, despite their remarkable turnaround. The Bucks will be the only team in the playoffs with none of its active players appearing in an NBA All-Star game. The team has overcome a number of challenges this season. The number two overall draft pick, Jabari Parker, suffered a season-ending knee injury and there was also the unexpected departure of center Larry Sanders due to mental health problems.
The Bucks won 15 games last season and most observers expected the team to be in line for a lengthy rebuilding period. However, coach Kidd has helped his emerging stars like Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton become reliable contributors. Kidd has also been able get good production from veterans such as Jerryd Bayless, O.J. Mayo, Zaza Pachulia and Ersan Ilyasova. Taking a team from second in the draft to sixth in their conference is a compelling, NBA Coach of the Year, type of feat.–OnPointPress.net–
Charles Glover Jr. is a sports aficionado and a training/benefits consultant. Follow me @GloverIsGood on Twitter.com,