NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Ever since Jason Kidd bolted Brooklyn for Milwaukee, Nets player have kept quiet about their former head coach.
Nets forward Andrei Kirilenko told SovSport, a Russian newspaper, that the future Hall of Famer made an “unequal exchange” by leaving Brooklyn after just one season to become the Bucks’ head coach.
The veteran also questioned Kidd’s mental toughness and ability to succeed on the New York stage.
“The pressure is huge,” Kirilenko told the newspaper (translated from Russian). “And Kidd couldn’t handle it … or maybe he didn’t want to.”
General manager Billy King hired Kidd to be Brooklyn’s head coach just 10 days after he retired from his playing career. The best player in franchise history got his team off to a slow start, but rebounded nicely to finish 44-38 in his maiden campaign.
The season was ultimately a failure, however, as Brooklyn — expected to contend for an NBA championship after compiling a superstar roster — was bounced by the Heat in fives games in the second round of the playoffs.
Shortly after Kidd was hired by Milwaukee, the Nets hired veteran coach Lionel Hollins.
Brooklyn is expected to take a step back in 2014-15 after losing both Shaun Livingston and Paul Pierce to free agency, though it could be a dark horse in the Eastern Conference if Brook Lopez and Deron Williams return healthy and play full seasons.
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