MILWAUKEE (AP) — New Bucks owners Marc Lasry and Wes Edens admitted Wednesday that there may have been errors in how Jason Kidd was lured to Milwaukee.
That doesn’t mean they aren’t happy to have him as the Bucks’ new head coach.
Kidd was formally introduced Wednesday at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. Kidd said there were no hard feelings over his abrupt and surprising departure from Brooklyn, where he won 44 games and reached the second round of the playoffs as a first-year head coach but left after a failed bid for more front-office power.
His messy departure leaked to the media and Brooklyn agreed Monday to deal Kidd to Milwaukee for second-round draft picks in 2015 and 2019. The Bucks fired Larry Drew, who had no indication he wouldn’t be back for a second season.
Lasry said it was wrong to not bring general manager John Hammond into the loop earlier in the process, which began last week when the owners sought permission from the Nets to speak with Kidd. Lasry and Kidd are friends.
“We were asked to keep it confidential,” Lasry said. “In retrospect, that was a mistake.”
Kidd didn’t offer much explanation of his reasoning for taking the job in Milwaukee, where he inherits a team that finished a league-worst 15-67 a year ago but adds No. 2 overall pick Jabari Parker to a group that includes 19-year-old Greek phenom Giannis Antetokounpo, forward John Henson and center Larry Sanders.
He downplayed questions about moving from the NBA’s largest market to its smallest.
“I’ve played in big markets and I’ve played in small markets,” Kidd said. “It’s not about the market, it’s about being able to teach and I have a great opportunity here in Milwaukee to be part of a young, talented roster.”
Kidd spent 19 years in the NBA before moving to the bench. He will now have to work with Hammond, who is under contract through the 2015-2016 season.
Edens and Lasry, both New York investment firm executives, recently purchased the team from former U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl for about $550 million after they pledged to keep the team in Milwaukee. Lasry and Edens have committed to providing $100 million to help build a new arena. Kohl also announced he would donate $100 million for a new facility to replace the team’s downtown arena, which opened in 1988.
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