Photo courtesy Milwaukee Bucks
Strange circumstances brought Jason Kidd into his new role as head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks, and things didn’t get any more normal at his introductory press conference today at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
The controversy surrounding Kidd’s hiring
were not addressed by General Manager John Hammond, and co-owners Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry in their initial comments, and the behind-the-scenes details of what took place remain fuzzy.
Lasry did, however, respond to this question from Milwaukee Magazine
’s Howie Magner
“What was the timeline of the hiring process and when was John Hammond brought into the loop on it?”
Marc Lasry: “Once we got permission to speak to Jason, we spoke to him. Wes and I met with him. We then brought John in when, I think, the news had broken. From that moment on, John handled all the discussions and the negotiations as to what we should be doing.”
Howie Magner: As a follow-up, why not bring John in at the beginning of the process?
Marc Lasry: “We were asked to keep it confidential, and we did. And I think it was, obviously, in retrospect, that was a mistake. I think we’ve learned a lot in the last couple days about, sort of, process and things. And I think that was our fault. And we shouldn’t have done that.”
Both Lasry and Kidd said the hiring process was initiated by Kidd’s agent, Jeff Schwartz.
“We had gotten contacted by [Kidd’s] agent, and then we told him we’d be interested in speaking,” said Lasry. “His agent ended up getting permission from the Nets. Once we got permission from the Nets, then we met with Jason.”
“The process started when Jeff [Schwartz] asked for permission and permission was granted,” said Kidd. “I talked to Wes and Marc and that’s when it started, that’s when the ball started rolling. I liked what I heard from Wes and Marc. From there, it was taken out of my hands.”
Lasry acknowledged that mistakes were made in the process of bringing Kidd, someone he said he’s known “a long time,” to Milwaukee.
“I think we’ve learned a lot in this process,” he said. “Our view -- and it hasn’t changed from the beginning -- is that all the basketball operations and everything goes through John [Hammond].”
Despite the sequence of events, Hammond said “nothing’s changed” with the new owners since his first meeting with them when they purchased the team.
“I had a chance to meet Wes and Marc shortly after they bought the team,” he said. “At that time, they talked about their vision and who they want us to become someday, it was a very clear one goal in mind, and that’s to be a championship team. For those of us that do this, that’s all we want, that’s all we’re here for. Nothing else matters. We want to win and we want to win big. I love that. I love to hear that. Nothing’s changed from them.”
Initial reports said Kidd was interested in a larger role in Milwaukee, but the Bucks owners reiterated their support for Hammond and assistant general manager David Morway.
“As we said when we had a press conference the day that we bought the team, our No. 1 goal was to hire people to run it that know what they’re doing,” said Edens. “We’re extremely happy with the work of the front office, with John and David and others.”