What a long, strange trip it's been.
The Jason Kidd saga seemed to reach its conclusion today when the Milwaukee Bucks agreed to send two future second-round draft picks to the Brooklyn Nets in order to secure the release of Jason Kidd, who will take over as the Bucks' new head coach.
There was just one loose end to tie up: the incumbent head coach, who had reportedly been kept in the dark through this entire process. Consider it tied.
Larry Drew has been formally fired as coach of the Bucks, sources told ESPN— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) June 30, 2014
Drew was presumably fired during a meeting with new owners Marc Lasry and Wesley Edens this morning.
It's a somewhat sad end for Drew, who has been bumped from team-to-team two years in a row now. Drew's contract with the Atlanta Hawks expiring following the 2012-2013 season, and the team told him, in thinly veiled terms, to look elsewhere for his next job. He was eventually replaced by Mike Budenholzer.
Now he's looking for work again after a disappointing 15-win season with the Bucks. Drew was brought in to be a strong presence on the team, hopefully ironing out some locker room issues and maybe leading the Bucks back to the playoffs. Instead, injuries decimated a team that proved to be short on talent anyway while players continued to bicker internally, ultimately leading to the worst record in franchise history.
Drew's job was never thought to be "safe" this summer, not after the season he led. And to be clear, there were many faults to be found in Drew's performance. Rotations were often mismanaged, priorities were never really clear, and game plans seemed to set the players up for failure all too often. But the circumstances were tough for everyone, and even immediate reflection leads to the conclusion that this whole matter was handled rather poorly. If a decision was made to remove Drew from his position, he should have known before everyone with a Twitter account, and he should have heard it from the mouths of those who made the decision. Only one of those criteria was ultimately met.
The focus now turns to the remaining offseason tasks, in which Kidd will surely have a say. While there has been no word to suggest the Bucks are also looking to replace GM John Hammond and assistant GM David Morway, "no word" feels like very little assurance right now. Explanations from Lasry and Edens should come soon, and it will be important for them to explain why things were handled the way they were and what the expectations for everyone on the staff will be moving forward. At that point we can put this matter behind us and look to the future, one that still looks bright, if a bit less glossy today.