Brooklyn Nets head coach Jason Kidd has been fined $50,000 by the NBA for his actions during his team’s 99-94 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night.
Down two with 8.3 seconds left, out of timeouts, and the Lakers’ Jodie Meeks at the free-throw line, the rookie head coach was bumped by one of his own players, Tyshawn Taylor. As a result, Kidd spilled his drink, which led to a stoppage in play for the cleanup. That delay was critical, allowing the Nets to draw up one final offensive play the coaches otherwise wouldn’t have been able to do.
The problems stems from the fact that Kidd appears to be saying the words “hit me” to Taylor, prior to getting bumped and spilling the drink.
The NBA is going to have none of that. You’re not going to be able to game the system and walk away unscathed.
The former star point guard pleaded ignorance after the game, per Mike Mazzeo of ESPN New York: “Cup slipped out of my hand while I was getting Ty. Sweaty palms. I was never good with the ball. In the heat of the battle, you’re trying to get guys in and out of the game, and the cup fell out of my hand.”
Taylor also insisted nothing nefarious was going on, denying his coach instructed him on the bump:
No [Kidd didn’t say that]. I wasn’t paying attention. I just kind of bumped him. I didn’t even know he was holding [anything]. [But] coach was drinking a soda on the sideline. I was like, ‘What’s he doing?’ It could ice a free throw shooter and be a timeout when you don’t have one, but that wasn’t the thought process. I was just coming out, and he was in my way. ‘Coach, get out of my way, bro.’
However, the league isn’t buying it.
Kidd has no doubt had his problems early in his coaching tenure. At 4-11, Brooklyn is tied with Cleveland for the third-worst record in the Eastern Conference. The high-priced roster has been one of the biggest disappointments this season.
This cup incident has at least given Nets fans a reason to laugh and forget about what’s happening on the court.
-Alon Fishman(NBA Junior Correspondent)