Did anyone learn anything from Jets head coach Rex Ryan? During Ryan’s first year with the team, he made his presence known by predicting Super Bowl nearly his first day on the job and hasn’t backed down from the brash attitude since.
It was good when the team was winning but Ryan’s cockiness has burnt him over the last two years when he was still predicting championships with mediocre teams. It has also made him a “lame duck coach” this year and it is apparent that he has worn out his welcome.
New Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd doesn’t seem too worried about that.
On Friday, Kidd told reporters that he thinks the Nets can go toe-to-toe with the defending champion Miami Heat. The Nets are revamped with the additions of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry as the team looks to “win-now” with their core of aging veterans.
Here’s Kidd’s quote as told by ESPNNewYork’s Michael Wallace:
“They’re the blueprint, they’re the champs, they won it twice in a row, [and] they could have won it three times in a row. They put that team together to try to win championships, and they’ve had a lot of success. So if you want to compete with them, you’ve got to have the horses. And I think we have that.”
Kidd would continue to talk about how the bar is set high for his new team but didn’t drink the championship Kool-Aid that Ryan has in the past:
“When the Heat were put together, there was talk of going undefeated. They didn’t get off to a great start, but they found a way to win back-to-back championships. We’re not the Miami Heat, but we [also] feel that we can compete at a high level. With that being said, there’s going to be a lot of eyes on us.”
As a first time head coach at any level, Kidd will have his hands full balancing new guys such as Pierce and Garnett with guys such as Deron Williams who has quickly become a known “coach killer.” The new guys who have been focal points of teams their entire careers will have to mesh with Williams who has been the Nets biggest signing since their move to Brooklyn. Expectations are high and Kidd even referenced the challenges of winning when you’re “supposed to win.” Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has shown the ability to fire coaches quickly after things don’t go quite as planned (ask Avery Johnson and even PJ Carlesimo, who was the interim coach before Kidd).
Kidd better hope his team does not start quite like that Heat team that he referenced did three years ago. If the Nets struggle, Kidd’s first coaching job could be cut short.
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