Kidd Leads Nets to Record-Setting January
Brooklyn Nets head coach Jason Kidd has been named the NBA's Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for January after leading the Nets to a 10-3 record, the league announced today.
This marks the first Coach of the Month honor for Kidd in his first season as a head coach. The Nets' 10-3 (.769) record in January marked the best winning percentage for the month of January in the franchise's 38 NBA seasons.
However, it was not too long ago, that some thought Kidd should be fired.
Let's take a walk back. At the start of the NBA season, many were critical of the Brooklyn Nets management for hiring Jason Kidd as an NBA head coach. After all, he had just retired as a player from the New York Knicks only a few weeks prior to the head coach announcement.
Kidd lacked experience said his detractors.
As the regular season got into full swing and the Brooklyn Nets went on a downward spiral losing game after game, the naysayers amplified the chatter for the firing of the rookie coach.
With the Nets on a losing streak and many calling for the proverbial hammer to come down, Kidd made a decisive turn in early December; he demoted his primary assistant, Lawrence Frank, by "reassigning" him to report-filing duties.
The Nets fortunes didn't turnaround on a dime and the team continued to experience misfortunes in December.
Center Brook Lopez broke his foot in December. There was also the embarrassing 95-78 Christmas Day loss to the Chicago Bulls.
On December 31, The Nets left the court early during a blowout loss to the Spurs on December 31, forcing Kidd to take a timeout so that he could retrieve them from the locker room.
With a new year, often come new resolutions; and the Brooklyn Nets as a team must have decided to resolve to win in the new year.
The Nets strung together two five-game winning streaks under the first year head coach's guidance and held nine of their 13 opponents under 100 points, resulting in eight victories. Brooklyn also won four of five road games in January, including a buzzer-beating victory to begin the month at Oklahoma City January 2.
Kidd, who won NBA Player of the Month honors twice as a member of the Nets (November 2001 and December 2002) and once as a member of the Phoenix Suns (April 1999) becomes the fourth person in NBA history to win both coach and player of the month honors, joining Larry Bird, Larry Drew and Jeff Hornacek. Kidd also becomes the second person to win both honors with the same franchise, joining Hornacek, who captured both honors with the Suns, including Coach of the Month in December 2013.
Kidd becomes the fourth head coach in franchise history to earn Coach of the Month honors, joining Avery Johnson (November 2012), four-time winner Lawrence Frank (February 2004, April 2005, March 2006 and April 2007) and two-time winner Byron Scott (December 2002 and December 2003).
Speaking of Avery Johnson, even though he won Eastern Conference Coach of the Month in November 2012, Nets management lost patience with the team's struggles and fired Johnson the following month in December 2012.
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