Jason Kidd is already earning a reputation as the league’s craftiest coach. The ten-time All-Star and former NBA champion now holds the clipboard for the Milwaukee Bucks after a strange, dramatic exit from his job on the Brooklyn Nets’ bench. And even though it’s still only the preseason, he’s already up to no good. At 1:38 of this clip, watch Bucks’ point guard Nate Wolters get an easy layup against the Minnesota Timberwolves, capitalizing on the misdirection created by Kidd’s fake timeout:
Kidd made his mark in this category with last year’s infamous spilled Coke incident. With the Nets trailing the Los Angeles Lakers late in a November game and Kidd having no timeouts to spare, he instructed one of his players, Tyshawn Taylor, to “hit (him)” while he held a cup of soda. The ensuing spill stopped the game, giving the coach enough time to draw up a play. Instant karma stole Kidd’s moment, though — Paul Pierce got a wide-open look at a three that rimmed out, and the Lakers won 99-95.
It’s going to take much more than sleight of hand for Kidd to thrive in Wisconsin, of course. With Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker on board, he’s got perhaps the most talented young duo in the league — but also a buttload of developmental work to do. It’s fitting that Kidd, at a ripe 41, is coaching these baby Bucks, who have nine players age 23 or younger. His coaching will have to mature as these men come of age under him; Kidd needs to be more of a molder of men than a trickster to do this job right.
— John Wilmes