General Manager Billy King announced Kidd would become the 18th coach in Nets history Thursday at the Barclays Center with franchise guard Deron Williams in attendance.
“This is a great challenge and so I’m looking very forward to this,” Kidd said. “I have a lot to learn about coaching, but when I played the game I felt like an extension of the coach.”
“Really what stood out to me was his leadership, just his knowledge of the game,” said King of the decision to hire Kidd, who has no previous coaching experience.
Kidd, who just announced his retirement after playing for the Knicks last season, was selected over former head coaches George Karl (Nuggets) and Lionel Hollins (Grizzlies), and current assistant coach Brian Shaw (Pacers).
Kidd is the third player in NBA history to become a head coach the season following retirement and the first since Mike Dunleavy in 1990.
“I’m nervous. I’m a rookie, why wouldn’t I be nervous?” Kidd said. “I think there’s a lot of work to be done. Hopefully I can rely on the experience I’ve had as a player.”
Kidd averaged 14.1 points, 9.1 assists, and 7.2 rebounds during six seasons with the Nets. He also played with Williams on Team USA
While Kidd has not appointed any assistant coaches, he described former Nets head coach Lawrence Frank as a “great candidate.”
“There’s a lot of people out there that I will be giving a phone call to,” Kidd said.
“The ceiling for him is very high because he has a great work ethic,” King said. “Any time you make a hire, it’s a risk. You’ve got to believe in your gut and the person. I believe he’ll be good. I don’t worry about the risks.”