Ethics Dunce: NBA Coach Jason Kidd

"Clean up on Court One!"

“Clean up on Court One!”

Needing a time out with his team trailing in a close NBA game with the L.A. Lakers, Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd used a trick he had apparently learned as a player at the knee of another cheating coach. Kidd “accidentally on purpose” spilled his cup of Coke on the basketball court. Naturally, play had to be halted so the mess could be mopped up, giving Kidd that time-out he needed to set up the next play. (His Nets lost anyway. Good.)

Later, Kidd insisted that his spill was accidental.  “Cup slipped out of my hand I was getting Ty,” Kidd told reporters. “Sweaty palms. I was never good with the ball. In the heat of the battle, you’re trying to get guys in and out of the game, and the cup fell out of my hand.” Then video showed Kidd telling a player, “Hit me!” to force the spill. That sparked a $50,000 fine from the NBA, but no acknowledgment of wrongdoing by the coach. Later he admitted that he “probably” shouldn’t have done it, “it” being “cheating,” but that he was just trying to win the game. “It’s about trying to win and those guys in that locker room, and I tried to put those guys in a position to get a basket, a good look and we did,” he said.

A sports team must not tolerate a coach who cheats, lies about it, and later attempts to justify his cheating by saying he was trying to win the game. Uh, games are won by staying within that game’s rules, Coach. I think its back to junior high for you. You seemed to have missed some basics, somehow.

When a team leader essentially endorses a complete absence of sportsmanship, integrity and honesty, it is not a question of whether bad things are going to happen on that team, but only how many bad things, how bad, and when.

The $50,000 fine isn’t enough punishment, not even close. The NBA  should suspend him and put Kidd on probation, and the Nets should fire him. He’s a liar and a cheater. What kind of coach is that for any team to have? If the Nets brass let him continue to lead the team, they are rejecting sportsmanship and character as values the franchise cares about.


Sources: Sports Illustrated 1,2,3

Graphic: Newsday

4 thoughts on “Ethics Dunce: NBA Coach Jason Kidd

  1. Where’s Metta World Peace when you need him? See, he KNEW this would happen! Someone throws a soda and he went ballistic! He knew the dark future of basketball!

  2. The choice of Jason Kidd as head coach of the Nets was a head-scratcher from the beginning. He had JUST retired from playing, I mean like days before. No coaching experience whatsoever.

    He offered that he would like to coach the team…and then BOOM. Hired. Then he immediately got arrested for driving drunk.

    (The Nets had had a perfectly competent, accomplished coach on a long contract, Avery Johnson, prior to this, and they had fired him basically as one of those “look, we did something about our underperforming team!” moves. Now they are really underperforming-nearly at the bottom of the terrible Eastern Conference. Serves them right.)

  3. This example is pretty egregious, but I do love discussions about what behaviors are “part of the game” vs “cheating.” If a football player plays up the wind being knocked out of him it stops the clock too, and even spiking the ball to stop the clock is an “incomplete pass.” Somebody was the first to throw a pass to nowhere, before that became an accepted play.

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