Jason Kidd: Proud to coach Bucks

ByMike Mazzeo ESPN logo
Saturday, July 5, 2014

In a letter to Milwaukee Bucks fans distributed by the team via its official Twitter account, recently hired coach Jason Kidd wrote that there is no place he would rather be than in Milwaukee.

Dear Milwaukee, a message from Jason Kidd. #GoBucksGo pic.twitter.com/uJSBaWGYb7

- Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) July 5, 2014"Over the past couple days, I've been asked: 'Why Milwaukee?' My answer is simple: there is no place I'd rather be," Kidd wrote. "Over my twenty years in the NBA as a player and a coach, I have always been impressed with the level of support that Bucks fans have given this team, in good times and bad.

"With a talented roster, new owners that are passionate about being successful in Milwaukee, and a great fan base, we have the makings of something special here and I'm proud to be leading this new era of Bucks basketball."

Kidd signed a three-year, $15 million contract with the Bucks, sources told ESPN.com's Marc Stein, after Milwaukee acquired his coaching rights from the Brooklyn Nets.

On June 25, Kidd, who had just completed his rookie season as coach of the Nets, approached Brooklyn ownership about getting final say in player personnel decisions, Nets general manager Billy King said during an interview on ESPN Radio.

Brooklyn ownership denied his request, prompting Kidd's agent, Jeff Schwartz, to reach out to Milwaukee ownership. The Nets then granted the Bucks permission to speak with Kidd.

While negotiations between the two sides were supposed to be kept private, word leaked that Kidd, who still had three years remaining on his four-year, $10.5 million deal, was likely on his way out.

Brooklyn quickly hired Lionel Hollins to replace Kidd, who has since denied that he tried to make a power play. New Bucks co-owners Marc Lasry and Wes Edens have admitted that they regret how everything went down. Former Bucks coach Larry Drew, who was fired, and general manager John Hammond were initially kept in the dark as Lasry and Edens were in talks with Kidd. Initially, it was believed that Kidd would become president of basketball operations, but that was not the case.

The Bucks (15-67) finished with the worst record in the NBA last season. But their recent selection of Jabari Parker with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2014 draft, along with the hiring of Kidd as coach, has given the franchise plenty of reason for optimism going forward.

"From the moment that Marc Lasry and Wes Edens purchased this franchise, they have clearly and repeatedly stated their singular focus -- to return championship-caliber basketball to Wisconsin," Kidd wrote. "I am humbled by the trust they have put in me and the opportunity they have given me to turn that dream into reality."

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