Milwaukee Bucks: Is The Ownership Sold On Jason Kidd?

Feb 25, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Milwaukee Bucks head coach Jason Kidd (left) reacts during the second half of a game against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 25, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Milwaukee Bucks head coach Jason Kidd (left) reacts during the second half of a game against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports /

Another report has surfaced on the front office of the Milwaukee Bucks and it suggests that there is a growing tension revolving around head coach Jason Kidd.

It began as awkwardly as a coaching tenure could start.

The Milwaukee Bucks were fresh off of drafting the second overall pick of the 2014 NBA Draft, Jabari Parker, and there was a growing excitement surrounding the team as well as the new ownership group of Marc Lasry, Jamie Dinan and Wes Edens.

After all, it was the moral victory of going through the team’s worst season in the history of the franchise and the collective fanbase was still feeling the scars from the previous eight months.

It was then only 48 hours later after the draft that reports came out that the Bucks were interested in hiring Jason Kidd.

However, there were a couple of problems: Kidd was the coach of the Brooklyn Nets and the Bucks had Larry Drew in place as their coach.

While Drew had his own share of flaws, he was undoubtedly dealt a bad hand with all of the injuries (the Bucks roster collectively missed 318 games during the season (according to Jeff Stotts of, almost doubling the league average of 166 games) and personnel issues he had to deal with during his lone season in Milwaukee.

Additionally, Drew was on hand in the team’s war room during the draft (as evidenced here) and certainly had some influence in the team’s decision to draft Parker.

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The rumors grew as it was reported that Kidd initiated a “power play” to gain an organizational role with the Nets in addition to his current coaching status, to only later be rebuffed by the team’s ownership.  That rejection caused to Kidd to seek the same positions with the Bucks due to his ties with the new ownership, namely Lasry.

To make matters worse, on the Bucks side of things, the team’s current front office as well as Drew was reported to be in the dark about the new ownership’s intentions to bring Kidd in for the head coaching job.

Days later, the decision was made as Kidd was dealt to the Bucks, the Nets received draft pick compensation (two second-round draft picks, to be precise) and Larry Drew was unceremoniously fired.

While Kidd ended up being hired only as the team’s coach and general manager John Hammond lasted through the transition, rumors have continued to swirl around Kidd’s power within the organization.

Those rumors have been stoked once again as Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports that there is a “growing division” within the Bucks ownership over Kidd’s influence and decision making.

Wojnarowski has reported on Kidd’s growing influence within the organization ever since he first made his way to Milwaukee, but according to him, a recent development around last week’s trade deadline suggests that everyone may not be on board:

"“At last week’s trade deadline, Kidd tried to engineer a massive deal with New Orleans that Milwaukee ownership ultimately rejected, league sources tell me. That wouldn’t have happened a year ago, but the fact that it did now speaks to the growing division within Milwaukee’s ownership group on Kidd.  At the least, there’s increasing reluctance to grant Kidd player personnel power.”"

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Wojnarowski’s an incredible reporter and he has strong ties around the NBA, but it’s important to remember his long history with Kidd, going all the way back to his playing days in New Jersey as well as his brief coaching stint in Brooklyn.

He’s also very connected to the Nets organization (former Nets assistant GM Bobby Marks is one of the founding members of Wojnarowski’s new venture, The Vertical) and it certainly shows when he breaks major scoops regarding the team.

However, Wojnarowski rightly points out Kidd’s history regarding his controversial exits from teams as both a player and coach. With a reported growing dissatisfaction within the team’s ownership group, at what point should we start worrying about Kidd’s relationship with the LED ownership?

Some fans have become very suspicious about Kidd’s influence within the organization and it’s well known that a number of players on the Bucks share the same agent as Kidd. As a result, questions about some of the team’s transactions over the last 20 months abound.

Of course, that has led to many wondering of Hammond’s sway in the organization and despite the speculation, the team has gone as far as recently giving Hammond a contract extension just before this season began.

However, it’s clear that the narrative regarding Kidd’s desire for more power, whether it’s as GM or President of Basketball Operations, will never end until he leaves or is granted his wish.

That will surely create problems for an ownership that’s looking to create a new era of Bucks basketball headlined by young and burgeoning stars, many of whom have flourished under Kidd.

We saw how players like Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo fared under Drew and while each are special talents respectively, Kidd has definitely put them in a better position to reach a level of play at a rate we couldn’t have imagined.

Kidd’s impact has been seen off the court as well, specifically with the high-profile arena saga that happened last summer. Kidd was present at major meetings in both the state’s capitol as well as Milwaukee and while it could be viewed as some good PR, it’s certainly more than a head coach would normally be asked to do.

We haven’t always agreed with Kidd’s decisions this year and there’s been a lot of frustration from fans about the lack of success that many of us expected from the team this year.

But this is bigger than just basketball as there are relationships and a level of trust involved. You have to wonder if Kidd would have even come to Milwaukee if it weren’t for his ties to the ownership.

This is all pure speculation at this point, but it’s hard to ignore the growing smoke for much longer.

Next: NBA Draft 2016 Prospect Watch: Denzel Valentine

The LED ownership took a controversial step to bring in Kidd in the first place and if we are to believe the continuous rumblings regarding Kidd’s aspiration for more power, we may be heading on a path that leads to yet another disastrous ending for Jason Kidd.