The Brooklyn Nets are a strange franchise, which is a weird thing to say considering just how orthodox and familiar an organization they are in terms of personnel. The team has a rich owner – the richest owner. It has a big payroll, which we’re used to in New York, but this is actually the biggest payroll in the whole dang league. It has stars all along the roster, which most teams try to accomplish, but this is easily the largest collection of former All-Stars in the NBA. And it has the league’s most famous coach; and before you argue on Gregg Popovich or Doc Rivers’ behalf, just ask yourself just how many Jason Kidd jerseys you’ve seen fans wearing over the last 20 years.
This is probably why Kidd, who led the Nets to two Eastern Conference titles as a player, will likely have his number someday retired by the Nets. Or, it’s probably why the current Nets coach has already been shooed into a de facto number retiring, as Nets rookie Mason Plumlee recently gave away. From Bleacher Report, via Beyond the Buzzer and The Basketball Jones:
“I wanted 5, 5 is what I wore in college. I don’t want to spoil it, but I think [the Nets] are going to retire it [for Jason Kidd]. 21 was what I was going to wear next and then they were said KG might want 21. Then 00 was taken so I went with the next number, number 1. ”
“I don’t want to spoil it, but let me just go ahead and spoil everything for you. It’s not like I have a powerful and mysterious boss that will go to no end to dispose of secrets and those who displease him.”
The Kidd retirement ceremony was a no-brainer from the start, because despite Kidd’s uneasy end in New Jersey, the ten-time All-Star was the best player to work for the Nets in the franchise’s post-ABA run. And as Trey Kerby noted, things became all the more obvious when Kevin Garnett chose not to wear No. 5 after being dealt to Brooklyn, partially in tribute to his late friend Malik Sealy, but also probably because that digit just wasn’t available, wink-wink.
In typical Nets fashion, the actual ceremony will probably be an odd one. We can’t recall the last NBA coach that had to work the night of his jersey retirement, much less for the team that was hosting the presentation. It's an insanely quick turnaround for someone that didn't even to post-playing duty as an assistant coach, as Kidd’s unveiling will likely come five months after his last game as an NBA player.
(And, presumably, a few games after he’s re-instated by the NBA after a likely suspension due to his upcoming plea bargain in a drunk driving charge.)
Considering the current ill-will between Kidd and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, a man who too often doesn’t act his age in dealing with point guards that have spurned him, this is probably Kidd’s best chance to have a number retired. The fact that perhaps the fame-chasing team’s least-famous member leaked the news via a website’s transcription of an interview just makes it a bit more ridiculous.