Jason Kidd's Coaching Resume: A Closer Look

Jason Kidd is a still a name with some cache around the NBA, but the Knicks can't let that dissuade them from the truth about his coaching ability.
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There's no shortage of reasons to raise an eyebrow over Jason Kidd's name popping up as the latest in what is quickly becoming a long line of candidates for the Knicks head coaching position.

Kidd may be the greatest pure point guard of his generation, but he also made his fair share of noise off the court, from butting heads with coaches to the assault allegations by his ex-wife to the drunk driving incident that occurred shortly after he became a Knick, and most recently, his attempt at a behind the scenes front office takeover in Brooklyn.

All of that noise has subsided over recent years, especially after Kidd had what seems to be a successful first year as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Lakers. That doesn't mean the microscope can't still be placed on his record as head coach, which leaves more than a bit to be desired.

On the surface, it's not terrible: Kidd has a record that is close to .500, with 183 wins and 190 losses. He also led teams to the playoffs in three of the four seasons he finished as head coach, and on the date he was fired in 2018, the Bucks were in 7th place in the East.

It could also be argued that Kidd had Milwaukee trending in the right direction on offense, going from 25th and 26th in offensive rating over his first two seasons to 13th in his third and 10th at the time he was fired during his fourth. Again: it's not all bad.

But a closer look reveals a different story. As mentioned in Tuesday's Knicks Film School Newsletter, Milwaukee trended in the opposite direction on defense despite having solid personnel on that end of the court, including maybe the most versatile defender in the league, even a few years ago.

More than that though, his teams by and large failed to meet expectations.

Starting in Brooklyn, the Nets team he took over - the one that was famously featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated with a question that can now generously be answered with "anybody decent" - was seen as a legitimate title contender before the season.

Jason Kidd with his Nets before he ever coached a game

Jason Kidd with his Nets before he ever coached a game

That team had a preseason over-under of 52.5 and the fourth best title odds. They finished 44-38 and barely got by the Raptors in the first round of the playoffs before getting wiped by Miami in five games.

The following season in Milwaukee is where Kidd earned many accolades, and they were indeed well-deserved, as he took a 15-win team and led it to a .500 record. But knowing what we know now, perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that a team with Giannis Antetokounmpo starting to figure things out made a bit of a leap.

The next three years, the oddsmakers gave the Bucks preseason predictions of 42.5, 34.5, and 47.5 wins. They ended up winning 33 and 42 games, respectively, in Kidd's second and third seasons, and were on a 42-win pace when Kidd was fired. Again, knowing that he had the soon-to-be two-time MVP in his third through fifth seasons during this time, not to mention future All-Star Kris Middleton, the results leave a lot to be desired.

All in all, while it's fine that Leon Rose is performing his due diligence, this is one instance where the results speak for themselves. 

The Knicks need to pass on Jason Kidd.