Golden State Warriors' head coach Mark Jackson and Brooklyn Nets' Jason Kidd have a mutual respect and liking for each other. Kidd called Jackson his “role model”, and said he wants to become a coach like Jackson. Jackson supported Kidd during the whole Lawrence Frank reassignment fiasco, calling Kidd a “heck of a head coach” and strangely comparing the Nets’ head man to classic R&B singer Gladys Knight. This respect makes sense, since Jackson is a former announcer for the Nets on YES Network, and he often covered games where Kidd was running point for the then New Jersey Nets.
On Thursday, Jackson once again showered praises upon Kidd, saying he has done an “outstanding job”, according to a tweet from the New York Post’s Fred Kerber.
#Warriors Mark Jax praised #Nets JKidd 4 doing "Outstanding job especially when U think about the way it started & the hits he was taking."
— Fred Kerber (@FredKerber) February 27, 2014
Jackson, who also played point guard in the NBA, can empathize with Kidd. In the lockout shortened 2011-2012 season, his first year as a head coach, his Golden State Warriots struggled mightily at the beginning of the season, starting 6-12. However, unlike the Nets seem to be doing, they never turned their season around, limping to a 22-44 overall record. He did not come under much scrutiny, though, because he had a young team and expectations weren’t high. In Kidd’s case, there were sky-high expectations for the Nets, which they most likely will not meet.
Calling Kidd’s work in his first season “outstanding” might be a bit of a stretch. Despite the improbable turnaround, the Nets, with their roster topping $100 million and their combined 37 All-Star appearances, are still under .500 in a conference where two teams are vying for one spot in the NBA Finals. The future hall-of-famer has made costly mistakes, like any rookie head coach will in the course of their first season, but these mistakes have come under more scrutiny because of the lofty expectations. Kidd certainly looks like he could be a good coach in the league for years to come, but the NBA is a mercurial league where coaches are on very short leashes.