Jason Kidd RumorsAll NBA Players
The San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder showed interest in Copeland during free agency, but he said Bucks coach Jason Kidd, an ex-Knicks teammate, played the biggest role in signing a one-year, $1.1 million contract with Milwaukee. “The biggest hook for me was Jason Kidd, by far,” Copeland said. “Obviously, he was a friend of mine before all this. He was a great mentor for me in New York and someone I continue to grow under. An incredible mind on and off the floor.”
But the duo had the bad fortune of running into Shaq and Kobe and Tim Duncan in the Finals as they were in or just entering their primes. “I wish it could have lasted longer,” Martin said of his time with Kidd. “But for that short period of time, I don’t think there were two NBA players to do it better.”
In training camp, Dudley said, Kidd asked for a show of hands of who thought the Bucks would make the playoffs. When all the hands went up, Kidd assured them — they would definitely make the playoffs. “There was times where I got there at midnight to shoot,” Dudley recalled Sunday. “And I wouldn’t do it that often, maybe every three weeks. And they were there. Grg would sleep there. We would be playing cards, and they would come and say ‘Jared, what were you thinking on this rotation?,’ things like that. At the beginning of the season I was calling the defensive coverages, even though I wasn’t supposed to. One day Jason came to me and said ‘I don’t want you to talk any more. At all. In a game you can do that, but in practice, they need to learn.’ He forced Khris Middleton (to talk). He was clever in that way.”
When Kidd retired as a player, he hired a new agent to represent him for potential coaching jobs: Hal Biagas. He was a former attorney with the National Basketball Players Association who had changed careers in 2009 to represent players and coaches, first working for the powerful Wasserman Sports agency, whose basketball division was headed by the uber-powerful Arn Tellem, and then Schwartz’s Excel Sports in 2012. But Schwartz, who also represented players Paul Pierce and Deron Williams in Brooklyn, was still a powerful voice in representing Kidd’s interests. The relationship between Lasry, Kidd and Schwartz — the latter two close enough to the former to be invited to and attend Lasry’s daughter’s wedding in 2011 — led to the out-of-nowhere hire of Kidd as coach of the Nets in 2013. It was a stunning ascension for a former player — even a great one such as Kidd — who had retired as a player just nine days before getting the job, a position that most who seek it never reach despite a lifetime’s work.