Nets forward Andrei Kirilenko had some harsh words for former Nets coach Jason Kidd when he said in a report from a Russian media outlet that Kidd either couldn't handle the pressure in New York or didn't want it.
The 41-year-old, 10-time All-Star point guard led Brooklyn to the Eastern Conference semifinals vs. Miami in his first year as head coach. Miami won that series 4-1. Shortly after the end of the season, he left the Nets in rather controversial fashion after he had interviewed for the Bucks' head coaching job even though Larry Drew was already been in the spot. Without reportedly informing his team, Kidd left for Milwaukee, Drew was let go and Brooklyn ended up hiring Lionel Hollins to replace Kidd.
The 33-year-old Kirilenko, an All-Star in 2004, said of New York that "the pressure is huge" and perhaps Kidd simply couldn't deal with it, according to the report:
"And Kidd couldn’t handle it. Or maybe didn’t want to ... Basically he was not able to do much of anything, if you look at the big picture – we have to admit that fact."
[h/t SB Nation]
- Marc Weinreich