Andrei Kirilenko Criticizes Jason Kidd

After the entire Jason Kidd soap opera played out in Brooklyn earlier this offseason, current members of the Nets were swept under the rug. The primary focus was on Kidd’s relationship with the ownership group and his eventual move to the Milwaukee Bucks. 

This doesn’t mean that Nets players are without an opinion on this topic.

Veteran forward Andrei Kirilenko had this to say to a Russian tabloid magazine (h/t SB Nation).

So the pressure is huge. And Kidd couldn’t handle it. Or maybe didn’t want to.

Kirilenko’s words seemed to get a bit tougher later in the interview.

Basically he was not able to do much of anything, if you look at the big picture – we have to admit that fact…When Kidd became head [coach] of the team, no one really knew what to expect,” he added. “Of course he had colossal experience as a player but no coaching experience. Or reputation.

The fact that Brooklyn added a coach without any experience isn’t surpising in and of itself. We have seen the NBA trend towards this in recent years, the most recent examples being Derek Fisher (New York Knicks) and Steve Kerr (Golden State Warriors).

The lack of experience may have been an issue. But it seems that Kidd’s own ego and personality were bigger issues, at least from the perspective of Brooklyn’s front office and ownership group.

For his part, Kirilenko is looking forward to the experience that new head coach Lionel Hollins brings to the table.

No one knows how we’ll play under Lionel. Maybe better. Maybe worse. But one thing is for sure: Hollins, unlike Kidd, has huge experience as a coach. And he has an excellent understanding of what to do and how to develop the team’s playing.

It will be interesting to hear what other Nets players have to say about Kidd’s awkward split with the team and his one year on the bench in Brooklyn. Pure conjecture, but they may very well mirror what Kirilenko said.

Photo: NY Post