The Brooklyn Nets Will Win With Jason Kidd

Jason Kidd w/ Deron Williams

Jason Kidd w/ Deron Williams

The Brooklyn Nets rocked NBA headlines last week with the hiring of Jason Kidd as their new head coach. Kidd was nine days into his retirement as a player from the NBA when the Nets announced him as their new coach. It’s everything a team on the rise, such as the Nets, would want out of a big announcement. It was sexy, clever, attention-grabbing, and outside-the-box. The Nets wanted Phil Jackson, however in my opinion, they will win with Kidd.

The Nets are not hiring Kidd because of his coaching experience because well … he doesn’t have any. That makes the question of what makes Kidd qualified for the job a reasonable and valid one. It’s not Kidd’s blank coaching resume that got him this opportunity, it’s that with this team and at this time he’s the most logical choice for this job.

Kidd is arguably the greatest player in Nets history, leading them at point guard to consecutive NBA Finals in 2002 and 03′ when the team played in New Jersey. He knows what it takes to become a championship team and how they should be built. His name rings bells throughout the league from teammates, opponents, and coaches all praising his contribution to the game. Kidd brings credibility with him whenever he walks through an NBA door. The Nets are owned by a Russian billionaire who’s determined to make good on his investment and makes sure it’s his team and not the crosstown New York Knicks that dominates any headlines. The Nets franchise player Deron Williams has a very strong relationship with Kidd and also happens to be their point guard. It’s no question to me that Kidd walked into the right door at the right time and for the right owner.

Time will tell if Kidd can take the Nets to a championship. This isn’t a case of someone taking over a team that’s starting from scratch or looking to rebuild, the Nets are a playoff team with high expectations. This is a team that should have beaten Chicago in the first round of the playoffs this year. Kidd is being brought in to be the piece that connects all the dots and I believe he’s the right man for the job. The Nets will make sure Kidd is surrounded by the best staff of assistant coaches they can assemble to offset his lack of coaching experience. They could have went another direction with Brian Shaw, Lionel Hollins, and George Karl all available at the time of Kidd’s hiring. Any one of those moves would have been logical with the exception of one thing … their not Kidd.

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AROUND THE NFL: Ex-Giants RB Ahmad Bradshaw Signs With Colts

Running back Ahmad Bradshaw and the Indianapolis Colts reportedly reached an agreement on a one-year deal. Injuries slowed Bradshaw down in his last couple of seasons with the Giants. Bradshaw pound for pound is one of the toughest running backs in the NFL who always runs hard and is strong in pass protection. If he stays healthy it could be a low-risk\high reward investment for the Colts.

Ahmad Bradshaw

Ahmad Bradshaw

NBA NEWS: Patrick Ewing To Be Named Associate Head Coach For Bobcats

Patrick Ewing

Patrick Ewing

It’s no secret that Patrick Ewing wants to become an NBA head coach one day. He’s  been pursuing this goal for years and has put in the work as an assistant coach in Houston and Orlando. Ewing hasn’t reached his goal yet, however he appears to be back on track towards one day making it. According to  Adrian Wojonarowski of Yahoo Sports, the Charlotte Bobcats have reportedly reached an agreement with Ewing to join their coaching staff as associate head coach.

Ewing would be joining the coaching staff of new Bobcats head coach Steve Clifford. It seems to be a fit that makes a great deal of sense for Ewing. Clifford and Ewing have a strong professional history together,  and of course the Bobcats are owned by Ewing’s good pal Michael Jordan. Ewing will also get a chance to be the lead assistant coach with Charlotte. It’s not the goal Ewing has in mind, however it’s an ideal situation for him at this point in his coaching career. It could very well open that elusive door for him down the line.

Morning Quick Hits: Maurice Cheeks\Tavaris Jackson\Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter

NBA

PISTONS TAB MO CHEEKS AS NEXT HEAD COACHMaurice Cheeks has agreed to become the next head coach of the Detroit Pistons. Cheeks is recognized as one of the greatest point guards in NBA history and has head coaching stints in Portland and Philadelphia. Cheeks most recently was top assistant coach for the Oklahoma City Thunder and played a key role in the development of All-Star guard Russell Westbrook. The Pistons could be looking for Cheeks to work some of that magic on their young guard Brandon Knight.

NFL

BUFFALO PARTS WAYS WITH TARVARIS … Tarvaris Jackson expected to be competing this summer for the Buffalo Bills starting quarterback job. Jackson is now out of a job, the Bills have released him. Jackson’s exit appears to have opened the door a little wider for 1st round pick EJ Manuel as he competes this summer for the starting job with Kevin Kolb.

MLB

JETER BACK ON THE FIELDDerek Jeter has yet to play this season for the New York Yankees and isn’t expected back until after the All-Star break. However, there is a glimpse of good news for Yankees fans. As reported by ESPNNew York.com, Jeter is back on the field, taking grounders and swinging the bat again. It’s the first time Jeter has participated in these particular baseball activities since April when he reinjured the ankle he fractured last season in the Yankees ALCS loss to the Detroit Tigers. Jeter turns 39 on June 26th.

GIANTS BLOG: Mini Camp Opens With The Victor Cruz\Hakeem Nicks Subplot

Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz

Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz

The New York Giants open their mini camp today with questions surrounding the team that could make for a very hot summer on and off the field. The franchise quarterback still doesn’t have his top two wide receivers on the field to throw the football to. The defense has question marks on the line and in the secondary. It’s more than enough sub-plots with the Giants this summer to keep things interesting and intriguing and I’ll be following along right into the regular season here on the blog. I’ll start it off this week with this …

The Victor Cruz\Hakeem Nicks Subplot

Head coach Tom Coughlin isn’t the biggest fan of distractions off the field taking away from the team concept. The Giants remain in contract negotiation-limbo with Victor Cruz. Talk between the two sides are reportedly at an extremely slow pace currently and that’s alarming for Giants fans who grew accustomed to Cruz celebrating in the end zone the last couple of years with his salsa dance. Cruz is an unsigned restricted free agent who isn’t expected to be at mini camp. He wants his long-term contract extension with guaranteed money and he’s holding firm to his stance on that. The red flag in all of this may not come up until June 17th. That is the day the Giants can reduce the tender offer they have currently on the table for Cruz as a restricted free agent from $2.879 million to $630,000. I don’t see the Giants going that far, however stranger things have happened and it could very well speed up the negotiation process. I don’t see Cruz making it to mini camp, however if these talks are still ongoing heading into training camp later this summer then things could get a little ugly.

While the Giants continue to wait it out with Cruz, they fully expect Nicks to be in mini camp and ready to go. Nicks skipped voluntary OTA workouts and apparently didn’t give the Giants a reason. This didn’t please Coughlin, however it’s important to remember that the workouts were voluntary. Mini camp is mandatory and I don’t see Nicks risking being fined for missing out.

Cruz and Nicks are the motor that makes the Giants offense click and even though the Giants have a corp of hungry receivers behind them who are waiting to get their names called, Manning and Coughlin would love nothing more than to have their guys in camp and on the field catching passes. Nicks should be good to go, although possibly a bit limited due to the minor knee surgery he had earlier in the offseason. Cruz … well that’s an entirely different story altogether as we all wait to see how it develops.

As for those hungry corp of receivers, this week I’m going to take a deeper look at who could very well be in position to seize the moment this summer.

Around The NFL: Tim Tebow Signs With The New England Patriots

Tim Tebow

Tim Tebow

Tim Tebow has signed with the New England Patriots and they expect him to be at the team’s mandatory minicamp, as reported by ESPN.com.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, however Tebow will almost certainly have to prove himself worthy of making New England‘s 53-man roster. Nothing has been handed to Tebow since entering the NFL and that won’t change with this opportunity he’s been presented with the Patriots. Tebow spent one frustrating season with the  New York Jets before finally getting his release papers this past April. It looked as if Tebow wasn’t going to find another team willing to sign him, however the Patriots have decided to roll the dice and see what happens.

Tebow is going to be reunited with Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who was head coach in Denver when they drafted Tebow in the first round in 2010.

What we know about Tebow off the field is that he’s a magnet for media attention and that’s not all his fault. However, if any NFL head coach knows how to counter that it’s Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. The focus in New England won’t be on one player, it will continue to be on the team and I think this is the ideal situation for Tebow to enter into. On the field, while Tebow has struggled to find consistency as an NFL quarterback, there is no doubt about him being a football player. He’s not going to New England to be the starting quarterback, their set with future Hall of Famer Tom Brady. The Patriots most likely are going to look to use Tebow in scenarios where his unique skills set can be maximized possibly at tight end, running back, special teams, and maybe a special package for him at quarterback. Basically what the Jets failed miserably to do with him. It sounds like the perfect scenario where Belichick can stick it to the Jets one more time.

 

NBA News: Lionel Hollins Out As Memphis Grizzlies Head Coach

Lionel Hollins (Getty Images)

Lionel Hollins (Getty Images)

It appears that the Memphis Grizzlies and Lionel Hollins have decided to agree to disagree and go their separate ways. 

The two sides have decided to part ways due to “philosophical differences”, as reported by Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. The Grizzlies informed Hollins that they will not be renewing his contract which is set to expire June 30th. From all indications it just looks like a situation where a change of scenery is perhaps best for Hollins as the Grizzlies management appears to just be ready to turn the page and bring in a new voice. Letting a head coach walk away who’s had the success Hollins has had in recent years with Memphis has to be something of a head scratcher for the Grizzlies fan base. Hollins coached the Grizzlies to the NBA playoffs in each of the last three seasons, winning 56 games this past season and advancing to the Western Conference Finals. It was the best season in franchise history for the Grizzlies.

All signs are pointing towards Hollins landing on his feet, he’s set to interview with the Los Angeles Clippers and Denver Nuggets later this week. The Grizzlies could be looking at former Nuggets head coach George Karl, former Phoenix Suns head coach Alvin Gentry, and top Grizzlies assistant coach David Joerger. Joerger could be the favorite to land the job, he’s well-respected in the executive office of the Grizzlies and could be had at a lower price than Karl or Gentry.