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Jason Kidd: The NBA’s Latest “Fall Guy”

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 07: Head coach Jason Kidd of the Milwaukee Bucks looks on from the bench while playing the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena on November 7, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. Cleveland won the game 124-119. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

by Matt George – Sports 1140 KHTK

Former all-star point guard, and the extremely popular head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks, Jason Kidd, was unexpectedly fired yesterday afternoon. In his three and a half seasons at the helm of the Bucks, he helped develop Giannis Antetokounmpo, one of the NBA’s biggest young stars, and coached his team to a 139-152 record with two playoff appearances.

Despite a 23-22 start to the regular season, the Bucks decided to move on from Kidd, much to the shock of the team’s fans and even their own players. According to Kidd, Antetokounmpo offered to help him save his job. ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne was first to break the story.

A situation eerily similar to the Sacramento Kings’ firing of Mike Malone back in 2014, and even the David Fizdale termination by the Memphis Grizzlies earlier this season, Kidd is the latest victim to a front office’s sudden desire to shake things up.

The NBA head coach is the designated fall guy. While the star players run the league, the coaches seemingly become less and less important. When a quick fix is desired, a plan isn’t coming to fruition, or a franchise just needs someone to blame, the NBA head coach is there.

It’s hard to say that Kidd has underachieved with this Milwaukee team, which has been plagued by injuries in past seasons. It is safe to assume that the Bucks wanted more out of this season, and expected to be towards the top four in the Eastern Conference. Instead they find themselves down in 7th, behind teams they expected to be better than, including the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat.

While it is unfair to assume that Kidd is completely to blame for the Bucks not achieving their own expectations, he is the easy and obvious choice for the fall guy the organization needs to move in a different direction. Perhaps they have another coaching candidate in mind for the near future. Or perhaps they needed something to light a fire beneath their team.

One this is for sure, it is the players that ultimately matter. Despite their young superstar in Antetokounmpo, the Bucks are in need of more pieces if they hope to contend with the best of the East. It will take more that a new head coach to make that happen.