(Reuters) - Jason Kidd said on Wednesday he is eager for the challenge of coaching the NBA’s young Bucks team in Milwaukee and that leaving the Brooklyn Nets for his new post was just “business.”
Kidd, signed by Milwaukee on Tuesday after they traded two future second-round draft picks to Brooklyn for the rights to negotiate with him, was grilled about the job shift by local media at his introductory news conference.
“This is business,” said Kidd. “It’s business. That’s what it comes down to.”
Kidd, 41, left the veteran-laden Nets after his first season as a coach, finding a different challenge and a more lucrative deal in Milwaukee.
The former 10-time NBA All-Star point guard signed a three-year contract with the Bucks worth between $12 million and $15 million, according to local reports. Kidd left Brooklyn after the first year of a four-year deal worth $10.5 million.
Kidd reportedly grew unhappy with his Brooklyn deal after big contracts awarded this off season to first-year coaches Steve Kerr by Golden State and Derek Fisher by the Knicks. He asked the Nets to change his job description by adding authority over basketball personnel decisions and was denied.
Kidd, who led Brooklyn to a 44-38 record after a spluttering start, steered them to victory over Toronto in the first round of the playoffs before losing to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference semi-finals.
He said Wednesday he was content to work under Milwaukee general manager John Hammond and focus on results on the court for a team that finished 15-67 last season under coach Larry Drew, who was fired on Monday.
“I’m a coach and that’s what it’s all about,,” Kidd said. “This is a young team. They have a lot of talented guys. My job as coach is to bring out the best in them but also to teach them how to win and to play at a high level.
“It’s about wins and losses.”
In Milwaukee, Kidd is reunited with co-owner Marc Lasry, who he got to know during his playing days with the Nets when Lasry was a limited partner with the team.
Kidd shrugged off a question about leaving a major market and a playoff team to come to a small market with a team that was 52 games under the .500 mark.
“It’s not about the market. It’s about being able to teach and I have a great opportunity here in Milwaukee with the young roster,” said Kidd.
“I’ve played in small markets, I’ve played in big markets. Basketball is inside the arena. It doesn’t recognize what market you’re in. It’s about wins and losses and that’s how I approach it.”
Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Frank Pingue