Bucks Fire Jason Kidd

3:32pm: The Bucks have issued a press release confirming that they’ve officially relieved Kidd of his head coaching duties.Jason Kidd vertical

“We appreciate everything that Jason has done for the Bucks organization, but we have decided to make a coaching change,” Horst said in a statement. “We believe that a fresh approach and a change in leadership are needed to continue elevating our talented team towards the next level, bringing us closer to our goal of competing for championships.”

3:03pm: The Bucks have parted ways with head coach Jason Kidd, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). According to Wojnarowski, assistant Joe Prunty will take over for Kidd as the interim coach in Milwaukee, beginning with tonight’s game against the Suns.

Unlike Earl Watson (Suns) and David Fizdale (Grizzlies), who were the first two coaching casualties of the 2017/18 NBA season, Kidd wasn’t at the helm of a lottery-bound team — the Bucks currently hold the No. 8 spot in the Eastern Conference. Still, Milwaukee only has a one-game cushion on ninth-seeded Detroit, and would be out of the playoff picture for the time being if not for the Pistons’ five-game losing streak.

Given the expectations for the Bucks coming into the season – not to mention the in-season trade for Eric Bledsoe – team leadership was disappointed with the team’s mediocre 23-22 record so far, according to Wojnarowski (via Twitter). Woj adds that “frayed relationships” within the organization and “general non-alignment” also contributed to Kidd’s dismissal.

After coaching the Nets to a 44-38 record in 2013/14, Kidd made the move to Milwaukee, where he has coached the Bucks for the last three and a half years. During that time, he compiled a 139-152 record, leading the Bucks to a pair of playoff appearances — the team was ousted in the first round in both 2015 and 2017.

During that 2017 first-round loss to the Raptors, the young Bucks took a 2-1 lead and flashed tantalizing promise, prompting many NBA observers to forecast bigger and better things from the team this season. Despite Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s MVP-level play so far though, the Bucks have been up and down overall, particularly on the defensive end — as TNT’s David Aldridge tweets, Milwaukee is currently tied for 24th in the NBA in defensive rating.

Antetokounmpo’s presence will make the Bucks’ head coaching job one of the most sought-after NBA roles this summer, though it will be interesting to see how the Greek Freak reacts to today’s news. ESPN’s Chris Haynes tweets that Antetokounmpo is “devastated” by Kidd’s firing, with ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne adding (via Twitter) that Giannis is close with Kidd and trusts him. Gery Woelfel of The Racine Journal Times doesn’t contradict those accounts, but offers a different perspective, tweeting that Kidd “didn’t endear himself to many players, including some of the important ones.”

While Kidd reportedly had a lot of influence with Bucks ownership earlier in his tenure, that influence eroded significantly over the last year, according to Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Milwaukee’s ownership group is made up of three co-owners who often have differing opinions, so their levels of support for Kidd may have varied. Still, the club’s decision to promote Jon Horst to general manager in the offseason might have been a signal that Kidd’s influence was waning — Kidd was believed to have supported Justin Zanik, who was passed over for the GM job and ultimately left the organization.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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25 thoughts on “Bucks Fire Jason Kidd

  1. Alex Graboyes

    Wtf. Whyyyyyy. Worst coaches need to be fired. Btw i am a bucks fan. This better be fake news. Omfg. They are losing teams that need coaches fired. I am very mad.

  2. KCelts

    Came out of nowhere but honestly the right call. Milwaukee should be way better than what they are.

    • hiflew

      But this could go either way. Either they get inspired and really come together as a team OR they fall apart through in-fighting and sticking by their old coach. It seems a strange gamble to take right now.

      The team that should be thrilled with this is the Celtics. I have a feeling the last team they want to see as the #8 seed is Milwaukee.

    • bdpecore

      Kidd’s schemes both offensively and defensively have lost their luster and are being exposed. His lack of adjustments is another reason he should be

  3. stretch123

    Smart move. Bucks underperforming this year. They should try to hire Fizdale or Mark Jackson.

  4. The owners have been at each others throats for almost one year now. One of them wanted John Hammonds out and got his wish. The others were not happy. That’s why they picked a nobody in the organization. One of the owners was in “love” with Kidd, the others were not.

  5. brewpackbuckbadg

    Who would have ever thought things could get worse once Kohl left. Will this organization ever have stability?

    • 11Bravo

      This has been the most stable it’s been in a long time. The team has a lot of pieces in place, the most since 2001. Kidd just wasn’t the right coach for this team with throwing players under the bus and his ego. They’ll be better off without Kidd

  6. OCTraveler

    Kidd to the Lakers as a “special assistant” – give him one responsibility = manage everything related to Lonzo Ball

  7. Reflect

    I have no idea if Kidd is a good coach or not, but I do know that 3 months into the first year where the roster doesn’t suck is too soon to find out.

    It can take up to a full year for a roster to settle into a system. Better teams have started off worse, like the Cavs, big 3 Heat, and current Thunder.

    • hill

      I’m a fan. I’ve watched almost all the games. And Kidd’s coaching is abyssmal. Rotations are messed up. Roles are ill-defined. He gives long runs to garbage players Liggins and GP2 whilst ignoring his young future assets. He instructs Middleton to miss a FT whilst up 3 with :02 to play because he “is afraid of a 4-point play” that’s not fake news, that’s a genuine Jason Kidd thought process. His hyper-aggressive D has proven year in, and year out to be a failure yet…he keeps it up. The horrible defense and poor rebounding have led them to be 23rd in pace. You can’t pay with pace if you’re always taking the ball out of bounds underneath the opponents basket while the 5 defenders coast back on D. He’s been a disaster for the past 2 months. It’s time.

      • hill

        Oh — and throwing your team under the bus repeatedly — won’t win you any support in the lockerrom our out. He said “this team is too young to coach. they just have to make all these mistakes and when they’re older, maybe 25 or in the 28 year old range, they’ll learn.” That’s also not fake news. He actually says this stuff.

        • x%sure

          I would say using whilst instead of while is worse than comments preferring experienced players. They’re not tanking, they’re going for maximum success, which however, Kidd does not seem to be doing enough of given the talent.
          They have not been drafting tough guys though, preferring long graceful players.

  8. I think people are getting WAY ahead of themselves with the Bucks –
    they’re about as good as they should be right now. When your second
    best shooter is Tony Snell, you’re going to struggle to win games. I
    think Giannis will be a multiple MVP during his career, and I love the
    kid – but right now he’s Deandre Jordan with a handle and an IQ. He can’t shoot, at all. It’ll come, but at the moment their offense is giving it to
    him and letting him try to Euro Step five defenders packed into the
    key against him…

    They’re SO thin at the 4/5 spot, both figuratively and literally. Thon was drafted high, but is a quandry for a coach: barely play him, and who else do you have? Play him a bunch and get beaten up inside but accelerate his growth?

    Your back up PG – Obama’s brother – has been starting at the 2, and your third PG, Delly hasn’t hit a shot in the Bucks games I’ve watched (37% FG)

    They have NO shooting outside of Middleton, and… yep… Tony Snell.

    I think everyone should have sat tight until Jabari came back, he could board and shoot the three… Bled, Khris, El Greco, Jabari and Henson should start. Kilpatrick, Pres, Snell, Thon and ? second unit. They NEED a scoring big. Trade Delly and Jet for Moose Monroe! (joke)
    (Why a Manu move became known as Euro Step, I’ll never know –
    dude’s Argentinian)

  9. adshadbolt

    Lakers need to bring him in as an assistant coach or advisor to the gm or something so he can help mentor Lonzo

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