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Nets Retiring Jason Kidd’s Number Is A Bad Thing

Last night Jason Kidd’s number was retired by the Nets, the team he lead as a player from the 2001-02 through most of the 2007-08 seasons as a star point guard and now leads as coach. I don’t think anybody can argue with Kidd’s on court proficiency which gained him this honor but I still wonder if this was the right thing to do based on his other behavior. For that matter I question if he was the right pick to coach the Nets.

I can go on and on about the allegations that came out during his divorce. Extramarital affairs, excessive drinking, even wife beating. But, as maligned as it sounds, these things don’t have much, if anything, to do with someone’s number being retired. So let’s focus on his basketball behavior.

In the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons, under coach Byron Scott and Kidd’s on court leadership, the Nets were the Eastern Conference champs and represented their conference in the NBA championship finals. They lost both times but the team hadn’t even won the division, much less the conference, since 1974 and had made the playoffs only once in the previous 7 years. Despite this success, Scott did not have Kidd’s support. Kidd approached team management and said a coaching change was needed and that’s exactly what happened.

Needless to say, in the 11 years since then the team has not reappeared in the finals. In fact they haven’t even made the conference finals in that span.

The fact is that since the Nets have been in the NBA their best chance at winning a championship was under Byron Scott.* Kidd would go on to win as a member of the Dallas Mavericks but he sent the Nets franchise into a tailspin that, despite having a great comeback season last year, it has still not recovered from.

So not only do the Nets have a coach who was a coach killer but they compound this silliness by honoring him in retiring his number. No wonder they’ve never won an NBA championship.

*The team won 2 of the last 3 ABA championships before making their NBA debut in the 1976-77 season. These remain the franchises only championships.

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