Finding The Balance: The Jason Kidd – John Hammond Situation


Late Sunday night, a report alleging that coach Jason Kidd would be named president of basketball operations and current GM John Hammond was on the way out surfaced and needless to say, it caught some fire.

Not only from Bucks fans, but also from key people within the organization like Jake Suski, the team’s spokesman, who released the following statement shortly after the alleged report was made public:

"“Unequivocally not true. Our owners are extremely happy with the team we have in place and the tremendous strides we’re making.”"

While the report was made false very quickly, it echoes the original stance from when Kidd was first hired as the team’s coach last year that Kidd could eventually get a an even higher ranking title within the organization while still being the team’s coach.

However, what’s unknown with Kidd’s alleged power play in Brooklyn is if his true intent was to lose favor within the team’s organization that led to him coming to Milwaukee.

There were some rumblings during Kidd’s tenure with the Nets that the front office in Brooklyn were close to making a coaching change after a disappointing start to 2013-14 season.

Nevertheless, it’s a reality that Bucks fans certainly have qualms about and it’s certainly something we’ve seen recently around the league, as well as from former Bucks’ coaches like George Karl.

The partnership between Kidd and Hammond, while it’s only been a little over a year, has found the right balance in constructing the roster to both of their likings.

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Yes, there have been certain personnel moves that have had past ties to Kidd like Kenyon Martin, Jorge Gutierrez, along with players that share the same agent as Kidd like Jerryd Bayless and Michael Carter-Williams but Hammond has signed off on those moves as well.

The Kidd effect has been real.  We just saw it last week with the biggest free agent signing in team history with Greg Monroe as he cited the direction the team is headed in under Kidd as a factor in his signing with the team.

Even with the re-signing of Khris Middleton, one could wonder how differently his free agent situation would have gone without Kidd as the team’s coach, and if we even would’ve seen the kind of improvement from him throughout the year.

That isn’t to say the team would have been here without Hammond too.

Hammond’s done a great job as a scout for talent, especially from the middle of the pack where the Bucks have drafted regularly in the last few years (not including second overall pick Jabari Parker).

Where he’s made questionable moves was under the old ways of a “win now’ mentality.

While some may argue that the mentality hasn’t changed and that may be true, the key difference this time around is that it’s been on the shoulders of the young core of players that the team has assembled.

During an appearance promoting the team’s announcement that they would hold a preseason game in Madison against the Timberwolves, both Kidd and Hammond shot down the report themselves:

"“I think sometimes sources can be wrong, media can be wrong, coaches can be wrong,” Kidd said. “With this report that came out yesterday, it was totally wrong. Hammond has been in the league I think a little bit longer than I have, so this is another source for me to learn.”“We’ve had a chance to be together a year now, and I can tell you how much I enjoy working with Jason,” Hammond said. “I think we have a good camaraderie in how we work. We have a good relationship in how we do our jobs.”"

It may be the end of this chapter for the foreseeable future, but the fire may stoke up again when Hammond’s contract is up for negotiation at this time next year.

While the road ahead looks unclear at this time, it doesn’t take away from the fact that the Kidd/Hammond dynamic has already done wonders for a team on the rise.

Finding a good division of power when handling key decisions for a team is hard to find (see Sacramento) and it would be a shame to see either Kidd or Hammond leave the organization because of some front office friction.

After all, where would this team be right now without either of them here?

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