The Brooklyn Nets have named Jason Kidd their new head coach, the team announced Wednesday night.
The hiring was first reported by ESPN’s Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne.
A source says Kidd signed a three-year deal. He will be introduced at a 2 p.m. ET news conference Thursday at Barclays Center.
“This is a tremendous opportunity to be named head coach of the Brooklyn Nets, and it’s a role I have been studying for over the course of my playing days,” said the 40-year-old Kidd, who retired as a player earlier this month. “Championship teams are built on being prepared, playing unselfishly and being held accountable, and that’s how I expect to coach this basketball team. I am truly excited about this next phase of my basketball career.”
Kidd’s hiring came after the Nets met with Brian Shaw for five hours Wednesday. Sources told ESPN.com that although Shaw had been targeted by the Nets for some time and made a strong presentation during Wednesday’s interview, Kidd convinced Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov and his advisers that he is ready to jump directly into the lead seat on an NBA bench despite the fact that he has no prior coaching experience.
A source with knowledge of Kidd’s meetings with the Nets said the former star point guard “didn’t just come in and puff out his chest. He got up on the board and drew up plays and showed he had command of what he wanted to do on offense. He had good knowledge of the personnel, and explained his philosophy.”
The move reunites Kidd with the franchise he led to consecutive NBA Finals in 2002 and ’03, when the Nets played in New Jersey. He spent 6½ seasons with the Nets, averaging 14.6 points, 9.1 assists and 7.2 rebounds per game, and is their career leader in numerous statistical categories.
“Jason Kidd has a long and legendary history with the Nets and with the city of New York,” Prokhorov said. “He has the fire in the belly we need, and has achieved as a player everything the Brooklyn Nets are striving to achieve. We believe he will lead us there. Welcome home, Jason.”
ESPN.com reported Monday that Kidd, in a sit-down that day with Nets general manager Billy King, sold Brooklyn on the idea that the presence of former Nets and Detroit Pistons head coach Lawrence Frank can provide him with a lead assistant who can help Kidd compensate for his own lack of head-coaching experience.
“Jason is a proven winner and leader with an incredible wealth of basketball knowledge and experience,” King said. “This will be a natural transition for him to move into the role of head coach, as he embodies the tough, smart and team-first mentality that we are trying to establish in Brooklyn.”
One of the main draws to Kidd is the effect he has on Nets point guard Deron Williams. Kidd and Williams are close friends, with Kidd somewhat in the big brother role. The Nets believe that if Williams is engaged and playing his best, many of their problems are solved and the Nets are a far better team. With Kidd at the helm, they believe Williams will play at his optimum level.
“Excited to get to work under our new head coach @RealJasonKidd great leader and great basketball mind will be a great head coach #BROOKLYN,” Williams tweeted Wednesday night.
A source said Kidd’s relationship with Williams gave him an advantage over Shaw.
“That relationship had a big role in this, because if anyone can really get through to Deron, it’s Jason,” the source said. “Deron has the keys to the castle and controls how things go forward here, and he has a lot of respect for Jason.”
Another advantage Kidd had over Shaw, the source added, was the future Hall of Famer’s presence.
“That was one thing that really stood out,” the source said. “When he walked into the building, people were at attention. Jason still had that aura about him.”
The Nets did not retain P.J. Carlesimo despite the fact he went 35-19 after taking over for Avery Johnson this past season. The Nets were beaten by the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the playoffs.
Information from ESPN’s Marc Stein, Ramona Shelburne, Stephen A. Smith, Chris Broussard, Mike Mazzeo, Ian O’Connor, Ohm Youngmisuk and The Associated Press was used in this report.
This article was originally posted on ESPN.com