After a tumultuous first two-plus months on the job that saw him suspended, fined, criticized, and abandoned, Nets coach Jason Kidd was named the NBA's Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for January.
Entering January, Brooklyn ranked No. 18 in offensive efficiency and No. 28 in defensive efficiency. During the month of January, Brooklyn ranked No. 13 on offense and No. 10 on defense, finding success with a smallball approach after losing center Brook Lopez to a season-ending foot injury in late-December.
"Rollercoaster" doesn't begin to describe Kidd's first year as coach of the Nets. Here's a quick timeline...
- The Nets retired Kidd's jersey during a preseason game in October.
- Kidd is suspended for the first two regular season games because of a DUI arrest.
- The Nets held a player's only meeting on Nov. 19 after a 3-7 start.
- Kidd intentionally spilled soda on the court to delay a Nov. 27 game because he was out of timeouts.
- The NBA fined Kidd $50,000 for the soda stunt later that week.
- Kidd removed assistant coach Lawrence Frank from his bench in early December.
- Reports surface that Kidd and Frank engaged in a heated argument prior to the demotion.
- The Nets left the court early during a blowout loss to the Spurs on Dec. 31, forcing Kidd to take a timeout so that he could retrieve them from the locker room.
Despite the drama, Kidd received public support from Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov in mid-January.
“Jason Kidd is becoming more and more comfortable," the Russian billionaire said, according to the New York Daily News. "And what is important is he has the support of the players. And that’s the only way how we can conduct together. So everything is okay because, of course, we can’t make any excuse with injuries. And what I’m glad to see is the players stepping up in the situation. Now everything is more or less okay.”
Kidd, who retired as a player last summer after 19 seasons, joins Larry Bird, Larry Drew and Jeff Hornacek as the only people to win both Player of the Month and Coach of the Month honors. Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger took home Western Conference Coach of the Month honors for January.