(Reuters) - The Brooklyn Nets made a major splash by naming recently retired point guard Jason Kidd as their new head coach on Wednesday.
Kidd retired at the conclusion of the New York Knicks’ season, where he played the last of a decorated 19-season career that is likely to land him in the Hall of Fame.
The 40-year-old had a successful stint with the Nets from 2001-2008, which featured successive appearances in the NBA Finals in 2002 and 2003.
“Jason Kidd has a long and legendary history with the Nets,” team owner Mikhail Prokhorov said in a statement. “He has the fire in the belly we need and has achieved as a player everything the Brooklyn Nets are striving to achieve.”
Brooklyn fired coach Avery Johnson in December and did not offer his replacement PJ Carlesimo a contract extension despite the fact he led them to the playoffs for the first time since 2007. They lost in the first round to Chicago.
A 10-time All Star, Kidd has career averages of 12.6 points, 8.7 assists and 6.3 rebounds while recording 107 triple doubles. He won the NBA title with Dallas in 2011.
Kidd was renowned for his intelligence, game management and leadership, qualities the Nets hope will serve them well.
“This is a tremendous opportunity,” Kidd said.
“It’s a role I have been studying over the course of my playing days. I am truly excited.”
Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Greg Stutchbury