FOCO releases Brooklyn Nets 75th anniversary collection

FOCO released an exclusive Brooklyn Nets 7th anniversary bobblehead collection on Friday.

Whether you are an OG fan who rooted for the New Jersey Nets in East Rutherford or a new breed of a fan when they moved to Brooklyn, there is a bobblehead collectible for you.

The collection features past and present stars Jason Kidd, Kevin Durant, and James Harden.

A 10-time NBA All-Star, Kidd spent seven seasons with the New Jersey Nets and led them to two NBA Finals appearances in 2002 and 2003. Durant and Harden are part of the team’s current superstar trio. Oddsmakers have installed them as the favorites to win the title this season.

All three Nets players were recently named to the NBA’s 75 greatest players.

Each bobblehead stands on a diamond-themed base with the Nets logo front and center and an NBA 75th logo behind them while holding a diamond basketball.

Kidd’s bobblehead sport the throwback Nets home jersey of the 2000s. Durant and Harden are clad with the classic black and white Brooklyn jersey.

They are being sold on FOCO’s official website for only $75 each. The bobbleheads are limited to just 275 individually-numbered units making them a sought-after collectible.

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Brooklyn Nets coaching candidates revealed

New York Knicks, Ime Udoka

Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that Los Angeles Lakers assistant Jason Kidd, Philadelphia 76ers assistant Ime Udoka, Los Angeles Clippers assistant Tyronn Lue and Jeff Van Gundy are candidates to become the next head coach of the Brooklyn Nets.

Charania says that Nets owner Joe Tsai wants a “full-scale head coaching process to identify the best partner for team ownership, the front office, coaching staff and players.” The process will begin after the Nets’ season concludes.

Kidd played seven and a half seasons with the New Jersey Nets and coached the Brooklyn Nets in the 2013-14 NBA season. He was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks after one year, where he coached for three and a half seasons. Kidd is in his first season as an assistant with the Lakers.

Udoka was an assistant with the San Antonio Spurs from 2012-19. He joined Philadelphia’s coaching staff in 2019.

Lue was an assistant coach for the Boston Celtics from 2011-13, the Clippers in the 2013-14 season and the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2015-16 before being promoted to head coach in January 2016. Lue’s Cavs won the 2016 NBA championship. The head coach was fired six games into the 2018-19 season and rejoined the Clippers coaching staff in 2019.

Van Gundy last coached in the NBA in 2007. He was the head coach of the Houston Rockets from 2003-07. Beforehand, he was an assistant for the New York Knicks from 1989-96. He then became the team’s head coach in 1996, a position he’d hold until 2002.

The Nets parted ways with head coach Kenny Atkinson and promoted assistant Jacque Vaughn to interim head coach in March.

The Nets, 34-36, are 6-2 under Vaughn and 4-2 in the NBA bubble. They recently clinched the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. They’re playing without Spencer Dinwiddie, DeAndre Jordan, Taurean Prince, Wilson Chandler, Nic Claxton, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in Walt Disney World.

Jason Kidd the frontrunner to be the New York Knicks head coach

New York Knicks, Jason Kidd

According to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, Jason Kidd is the new frontrunner to be the New York Knicks’ next head coach.

Bondy says Kidd “is viewed by the Knicks as a conduit to attracting free agents” but adds “there are also people in the organization who are skeptical of his coaching ability following underwhelming stints in Brooklyn and Milwaukee.”

Kidd is an assistant with the Los Angeles Lakers under head coach Frank Vogel. After retiring from the NBA in 2013 (Kidd’s last season was with the Knicks in the 2012-13 season) Kidd was named the Brooklyn Nets head coach. After a supposed power-play move within the organization, Brooklyn traded Kidd to the Milwaukee Bucks in 2014.

Kidd coached the Bucks for three and a half seasons, getting fired in 2018. During Kidd’s time in Milwaukee, he coached Giannis Antetokounmpo, a free agent in 2021. The 2019 NBA Most Valuable Player Award recipient reportedly had a sound relationship with Kidd. It has been reported that some NBA teams feel Kidd could be the “link” to Antetokounmpo.

Bondy says that potential assistants under Kidd include Kenny Payne, Rod Strickland and Mike Woodson, the Knicks head coach from 2012-14, and a reported candidate for the current coaching vacancy.

The New York Knicks fired head coach David Fizdale in December 2019 after going 4-18. They promoted assistant Mike Miller to interim head coach. The Knicks went 17-27 under Miller.

The team fired president Steve Mills in February, replacing him with former agent Leon Rose. Under Rose, the Knicks have retained Scott Perry as general manager, hired Walt Perrin as assistant general manager, and hired William Wesley as executive vice president/senior basketball advisor, among other moves.

Tom Thibodeau has been the long-standing favorite to be named the Knicks head coach given his relationship with Rose and Wesley by means of Creative Artists Agency. A source tells Bondy that owner James Dolan has been “unwilling” to meet Thibodeau’s contract requests and any deal between the two sides at this point would require a “concession.”

Knicks interviewing Jason Kidd, making him 11th reported head-coaching candidate

New York Knicks, Jason Kidd

The New York Knicks have received permission from the Los Angeles Lakers to interview Jason Kidd for their head-coaching vacancy per Marc Stein of the New York Times.

Kidd is currently in his first season as an assistant with the Lakers on head coach Frank Vogel’s coaching staff.

Steve Popper of Newsday says that Kidd would have “interest” in coaching the Knicks. Popper also says that some teams see the former point guard as a “link” to Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, a free agent after the 2020-21 NBA season.

Kidd rounded out his NBA career with the Knicks (the 2012-13 NBA season) and is a 2018 inductee into the Naismith Hall of Fame. Outside of the Knicks, he played for the New Jersey Nets, Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks (twice).

Kidd was named the head coach of the Brooklyn Nets in 2013 and had a reported power struggle with management after the 2013-14 season, leading Kidd to be traded to the Bucks. He coached the Bucks for three and a half seasons. Kidd was fired during the 2017-18 season and didn’t coach in the NBA the ensuing season.

Kidd is the 11th reported candidate for the Knicks’ head-coaching position. The others are interim head coach Mike Miller, former Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau, former Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson, former Knicks head coach Mike Woodson, Philadelphia 76ers assistant Ime Udoka, Orlando Magic assistant Pat Delany, Chicago Bulls assistant Chris Fleming, San Antonio Spurs assistant Will Hardy, Dallas Mavericks assistant Jamahl Mosley and Golden State Warriors assistant Mike Brown.

The Knicks fired head coach David Fizdale in December 2019 and promoted Mike Miller. President Steve Mills was fired in February and replaced by former agent Leon Rose.

Thibodeau, a former CAA client under Rose, has been considered the favorite for the job. The former Timberwolves and Chicago Bulls head coach was an assistant for the Knicks from 1996-2003. According to SNY‘s Ian Begley, Atkinson has “legitimate internal support within the organization” to get the job.

Former GM Rod Thorn Blames end of Nets Eastern Conference Dominance on not resigning Kenyon Martin

Many people come to mind when Nets fans reminisce over the early 2000s teams that went to two straight finals in 2002 and 2003. Jason Kidd, Kerry Kittles, Keith Van Horn, Byron Scott, and Richard Jefferson are among some of those names. One name every Nets fan will forever remember was the energetic, undersized yet effective power forward, Kenyon Martin. “K-Mart,” who only ended up playing 4 seasons with the Nets, was undoubtedly their second most important player during those two runs to the NBA Finals. Martin was the #1 selection in the 2000 draft by the New Jersey Nets, which also happened to be the first draft of Rod Thorn’s with the franchise. It has been 20 years since that draft, and Thorn believes the Nets lost their Eastern Conference Crown when they failed to resign Jason Kidd’s favorite alley-oop partner, Kenyon Martin.

Thorn Shares Thoughts on What Led to Nets Demise in Recent Interview with Ian Eagle

Thorn, a legend most notably recognized for drafting arguably the greatest player of all in Michael Jordan during the 1984 draft, turned the Nets from a joke to one of the most dangerous teams in the East with only a few draft picks and several roster moves. Outside of trading for Jason Kidd, who quickly became the leader and best player on the Nets, Thorn’s second-biggest move was drafting Kenyon Martin.

K-Mart’s numbers never jumped off the sheet. In 4 years with NJ, he averaged a respectable 15.1 ppg and 7.6 RPG. At 6’9, he was undersized for the power forward position but prided himself on being the most energetic player on the floor at all times. Hustling for loose balls, throwing down high-flying alley-oops from Jason Kidd, and scoring on second-chance opportunities were several of Martin’s strengths. Pair his energy and ability to get out in transition with an all-time distributor in Jason Kidd, and what we received on the court was some of the best basketball in the history of the New Jersey Nets franchise. To refresh your memory of just how ferocious a player Martin was, here are several highlights from his days with the Nets:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3c-q3bt-LzE&w=560&h=315]

When asked by Ian Eagle about Kenyon Martin, Thorn had this to say: “We were never the same after Kenyon left. We never replaced him while I was there. Tremendous heart gave it his all, run the court, was great playing with Jason. A little undersized for Tim Duncan, but did a great job for us, loved it.” After the 03 seasons, Martin would play one more season with the Nets before eventually agreeing to a sign-and-trade with the Denver Nuggets. According to an interview by Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson in 2018, Martin claims the Nets never offered him a contract after the 2004 season, forcing him to agree to a sign-and-trade with Denver for a lucrative seven-year $92.5M dollar contract.

Unfortunately, we all know how this story played out. Martin left after the 03-04 season, the Nets traded for Vince Carter to take over as the primary scorer, and while the pairing of Carter and Kidd were sensational together for several years, they never peaked quite as hard as the early 2000s Nets teams did. Nets fans will forever be grateful for Rod Thorn turning around the franchise in trading for HOF point guard Jason Kidd and drafting significant pieces in Kenyon Martin and Richard Jefferson. But one could only wonder, what if the Nets had resigned K-Mart after that 03-04 season and continued to build off the Kidd/Martin/Jefferson trio? Could we have potentially returned to an NBA final if we ever found the right Center to pair with those three? These are the types of questions that have kept Nets fans up for the past 15 years, including me.

Brooklyn Nets: Crazy Fact about Vince Carter’s NBA Career

Vince Carter joined the New Jersey Nets in the middle of the 2004 – 2005 season and immediately Nets fans were enamored with Carter’s ability to consistently score around the rim via high-flying dunks and acrobatic layups. Unfortunately, Carter’s tenure with the Nets as is not as glorified as it should be, due to the fact that Carter joined the team shortly after their multiple NBA Finals Runs as well as Brooklyn’s efforts to distance themselves from any players associated with the great New Jersey teams, exceptions being Jason Kidd (former coach) and Richard Jefferson (current color commentator for Nets games on YES). Recently, a ridiculous statistic regarding the longevity of Carter’s career has surfaced, reminding fans just how great he was.

Carter has played with or against 40% of NBA players in the history of the league

Reddit user babyyodavan discovered this crazy fact after 4 days of research by using a list of every NBA player that ever played and crossed off the names of players that were on the court in each of Carter’s 1,541 games for both Carter’s team and the opponent. Check out the Reddit post here.

Carter has played for (in order) the Toronto Raptors, New Jersey Nets, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, Sacramento Kings, and the Atlanta Hawks. While many believe this last season was Carter’s final season in the NBA, I would not rule out a return after the season was cut short. Carter’s years as an all-star and longevity will surely earn him a spot in the Hall of Fame.

There are many discussions about the Brooklyn Nets embracing their New Jersey roots more and potentially having a throwback jersey night in which players would wear the colors from when the team played at the Continental Arena. Anthony “Pooch” Puccio of NetsDaily wrote a fantastic article explaining why it would be a good idea for Brooklyn to acknowledge their history in New Jersey, you can read it here.

On Wednesday night, the YES Network will broadcast Vince Carter’s dramatic return to Toronto (as a Net). On the same night, Sarah Kustok will be interviewing former Net great Jason Kidd as well. Tune in to both!

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for your latest Brooklyn Nets news and listen to the Fireside Nets w/ Spen & Nick podcast!

Brooklyn Nets: All-Time Starting Five Lineup

Brooklyn Nets, Joe Johnson

If the Brooklyn Nets were able to create a starting five featuring their best position players of all time, regardless of which period the players played in, who would that starting five be? This starting five can feature any player on the team after the Nets joined the NBA in 1976, so I will NOT be including Julius Erving and Rick Barry on this list.

My All-Time Starting Nets Five

Center: Brook Lopez

Career Stats: 16.8 ppg 6.4 RPG, 9 seasons with NJN/BKN

This position might have been the most difficult to select. There were several solid options to choose from, including Derrick Coleman and Jayson Williams, who played very solid basketball for the Nets in the ’90s, to old-timer Daryl Dawkins who was a dunk machine in the ’80s. I ended up going with Brook Lopez due to his consistent scoring and ability to play a true 5. The other players on the list were undersized centers and were better suited as Power Forwards.

A talented scoring big man drafted by the Nets from Stanford, Lopez’s 9-year tenure with the Nets often goes overlooked, as he was always one of the more quiet personalities on the team. Lopez offensively had all the tools to be an all-star center: post up scoring ability, great mid-range game, and he could even hit the open three on occasion. At his peak, Lopez averaged over 20 points per game for the Nets and helped with their transition from New Jersey to Brooklyn. The big knock on Lopez was and will always be his lack of rebounding, as he never averaged more than 9 rebounds per game in any season. Lopez was also viewed as “soft” on defense, and while he averaged more than 1.5 blocks throughout his career, he never struck fear into his opponents.

Power Forward: Kenyon Martin 

Career Stats: 12.3 ppg, 6.8 RPG, 4 seasons with NJN

Yes, K-mart’s career numbers will not wow anybody. Derrick Coleman averaged more points and rebounds than K-Mart so did Buck Williams. Obviously, from a historical standpoint, Kevin Garnett is the greatest PF to ever play for the Nets, but he played for the Nets well after his prime. K-Mart only played in NJ for 4 seasons, but his presence was so significant in New Jersey  I’m sure many Nets fans would assume he played there longer.

K-Mart was a pivotal member of the Nets teams that represented the Eastern Conference in back to back NBA Finals. Even as a limited shooter (his jump shot was one of the ugliest in the NBA) and undersized big man, Martin relied heavily on his athleticism and energy to score and make plays for his team.  He brought an intensity to the Nets that was unprecedented and upon Jason Kidd’s arrival, quickly became one of Kidd’s favorite players to set up for shots around the rim. From diving for loose balls every night to high flying two-handed dunks, Martin was an extremely fun player to watch, and he always seemed to elevate his game during the playoffs (see his ppg and RPG higher in playoff appearances with NJN).

Small Forward: Kevin Durant

Career Stats: 27.0 ppg, 7.1 RPG, 0 seasons with NJN 

Technically, Durant 100% qualifies for this list. While he hasn’t played in a Nets uniform yet, there is no small forward in the history of the franchise that has accomplished anything close what to KD has. Durant is a former MVP (2013 – 14 season), 2-time NBA champion (won Finals MVP in both), 4-time scoring champion, and a 10-time all-star. He is arguably the best scorer in the last decade, and he is just 31 years old. The Nets will await to see if Durant can return to an elite level next season, almost 2 years removed from the Achilles injury he suffered in the 2018 – 19 NBA Finals.

Other small forwards considered: Richard Jefferson, Bojan Bogdanović, Keith Van Horn, Kendall Gill, and the interchangeable SF/SG players, Vince Carter and Joe Johnson.

Shooting Guard: Vince Carter

Career Stats: 16.7 ppg, 4.5 seasons with NJN

VC joined the Nets in 2004 after 7 great years with Toronto and instantly developed chemistry with teammate Jason Kidd. The loss of K-Mart to Denver became a distant memory in the eyes of Nets fans, as Carter provided fans with highlight-reel dunks and alley-oops on a nightly basis. Two of the best Vince Carter plays on the Nets you will ever see: His reverse dunk alley-oop pass from Kidd in 2006 and his posterization of Alonzo Mourning in 2005. While the Nets never went back to a championship with Kidd and Cater, the pair gave fans several years of extremely entertaining basketball.

While one could make the argument that Carter was a small forward for the Nets, he and Jefferson shared wing duties and were interchangeable at the 2 and the 3. Other notable shooting guards that could have been selected include Drazen Petrović, who was becoming a superstar for the Nets until he passed away after a tragic car accident in 1993 and Joe Johnson, who was the leader on Brooklyn teams that went to the playoffs in the early 2010s.

Point Guard: Jason Kidd

Career Stats: 12.6 ppg 6.7 RPG 8.7 APG, 6.5 seasons with NJN

This one was a no-brainer; Jason Kidd is the greatest Net of all time and was the main piece during the franchise’s most successful run to date. From the time he was traded to the Nets in 2001 for Stephon Marbury to when he was traded back to the Mavericks in 2007, there was never a greater time for basketball in New Jersey. Always an elite passer, Kidd made everyone on the Nets better because he made the game easier for them. Whether it was setting up players like K-Mart or Carter for epic fast-break dunks to finding open shooters like Keith Van Horn, Lucious Harris, and Kerry Kittles for open three-pointers, Kidd always knew where his teammates were going to be before they got there. If you want to relive some of Kidd’s greatest assists of his career, many of them with a Nets uniform on, watch this video here. The man was an absolute magician with the basketball.

Kenny Anderson, D’Angelo Russell, and Kyrie Irving are several other notable great NBA point guards.

Do you agree or disagree with my list? Let me know @firesidenets on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for your latest Brooklyn Nets news and listen to the Fireside Nets w/ Spen & Nick podcast!

The dark horse candidate for the Knicks’ head coaching job

New York Knicks, Jason Kidd

It’s still the 2019-2020 season, but the New York Knicks are already be focused on next year. After another lost season, the team has shifted its focus towards offseason tasks. These include the draft, free agency, and finding a new head coach.

After being promoted from the G-league following the firing of David Fizdale, current head coach Mike Miller has battled with a depleted roster. While it may be unfair for him to lose his job, the writing seems to be on the wall that the Knicks will make a coaching change next season.

There seem to be four names circulating around the league as the lead candidates: Tom Thibodeau, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson, and recently fired Nets coach Kenny Atkinson. There’s one, not as talked about name that may pick up a lot of steam this offseason: Jason Kidd.

Jason Kidd checks a lot of boxes for the Knicks:

Kidd has head coaching experience. He coached the Nets right out of retirement to a 44-38 record before losing in the second round of the playoffs. He then coached the Milwaukee Bucks for four seasons with limited success. Currently, he is an assistant coach for the top-seeded Los Angeles Lakers.

One of the greatest point guards of all time, Kidd’s experience could do wonders for some of the Knicks’ young players. The Knicks offense has been a mess all season, and having Kidd there to constantly pass down offensive wisdom could prove to be valuable.

Kidd has also forged many great relationships around the league, most notably with his former player, Giannis Antentokounmpo. With Giannis set to be a free agent in 2021, this could be something the Knicks take into consideration.

After mixed results in his first few years of coaching, you know Jason Kidd is itching to prove that he’s learned from his mistakes. The Lakers will be a favorite to win the NBA finals this year. If they can get there, expect Jason Kidd to receive a lot of head coaching interest around the league. Don’t be surprised if the Knicks reach out.

New York Knicks: Could Jason Kidd be the next head coach in MSG?

New York Knicks, Jason Kidd

Since the firing of head coach David Fizdale, a number of names enter the conversation for the job opening in New York City. In the time being the New York Knicks assigned Mike Miller as the interim head coach for the time being. But one name lurking around the league for the position is one Jason Kidd.

Jason Kidd has connections to New York basketball. He played for the Knicks in the 2012-2013 season and was named head coach for the Brooklyn Nets in 2013. Jason Kidd is known for developing young talent and it is believed the Knicks chose to part ways with David Fizdale because of his lack of developing players like Kevin Knox and RJ Barrett. Jason Kidd in his very first year in Brooklyn leads them to a 44-38 record and an exit in the conference semifinals. Next year he chose to leave Brooklyn for Milwaukee because he wanted more power than just being a head coach. Once Jason Kidd took over the Milwaukee Bucks he turned a 15-67 team to a 41-41 record and snuck into the NBA playoffs.

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith spoke on First Take claiming that he was told the Knicks are targeting Jason Kidd as their potential next head coach because they believe Kidd has the ability to lure the Greek Freak to the Big Apple. Kidd was also one of the candidates the Knicks looked at for the head coach job in 2018 before they gave the position to David Fizdale. Back in 2018 when the Bucks fired Jason Kidd because they believed the team wasn’t performing to their fullest potential under him, Giannis was furious with the organization and wanted to leave Milwaukee. With Giannis expecting to hit the free agency market in 2 years, Knicks are once again holding out hope that they won’t strike out again like they did this past summer with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

Kidd has a winning track record and was a crucial part of the development of now superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo. Regardless if Jason Kidd does or doesn’t lure Giannis to New York, the Knicks should still target Jason Kidd as their next head coach. He is currently in Los Angeles hoping as an assistant coach with hopes to be promoted in the near future, but with how successful the team has been performing thus far it doesn’t seem likely. Kidd has a winning track record and is known to be excellent at developing young talent which the New York Knicks are filled with. With young studs like Kevin Knox, RJ Barrett, and Mitchell Robinson on the team, Knicks are looking for a coach to come in and turn them into all stars in this league.