It was hard to know what to expect when Jason Kidd retired from the NBA as a player and moved right into a head coaching job with the Brooklyn Nets. Despite his historical attachment to the NBA heyday of that franchise, Kidd could hardly have picked a worse team to learn the ropes with. The Nets featured a starting lineup full of former All-Stars and a payroll that would make Donald Trump blush.
There was nothing but downside for Kidd with the Nets and he fell under fire -- and nearly out of his job -- as his club limped to an 11-21 start last season. But Kidd and the Nets got better, finished with 44 wins and won a playoff series. It was a nice recovery, but for many, the jury was still out on Kidd as a coach. And when this season started and Kidd had moved on to Milwaukee, few would have predicted that he would finish third in the Coach of the Year balloting. Third. Behind the two guys who led their teams to No. 1 seeds, and ahead of coaches like Gregg Popovich, Doc Rivers and Tom Thibodeau.