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Understanding The Milwaukee Bucks-Brooklyn Nets-Jason Kidd Saga Through Shakespeare Part 1

May 2, 2014; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets head coach Jason Kidd reacts against the Toronto Raptors during the first half in game six of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

You remember Jason Kidd, right? The guy who somehow talked his way into being the head coach of the Brooklyn Nets despite retiring as a player just a few months prior? The same Jason Kidd that was notorious for throwing coaches under the bus, who re-assigned his lead assistant Lawrence Frank — who was one of his main selling points to Brooklyn brass — to write “daily reports?” 

Kidd made an unsuccessful power play for control of basketball operations, not even aiming to de-throne Nets general manager Billy King but establish a position higher than him. Think about this, and its varying degrees of fucked-up-ness, for just a second. 

A  barely-second-year head coach whose job was in jeopardy after the first two months of the season, demanded a position of power akin to Doc Rivers and Gregg Popovich (both of whom have actually, you know, accomplished something in their coaching careers), burying a claymore in the back of the very general manager who hired him in the first place. The Nets said “nyet.” To help us understand this in more dramatic fashion, we turn to William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Here, Prokhorov plays Peter Quince, Billy King plays Francis Flute, Yormark plays Snug, and Jason Kidd, fittingly, plays Bottom. 

KIDD

Ready. Name what part I am for, and
proceed.

 PROKHOROV
You, Jason Kidd, are set down for Coach.

 KIDD
What is Coach? a lover, or a tyrant?

 PROKHOROV
 An idiot, that kills himself most gallant
 for power.

      KIDD
   That will ask some tears in the true performing of
    it: if I do it, let the audience look to their
   eyes; I will spill drinks, I will condole in some
    measure. To the rest — yet my chief humor is for a
   tyrant. I could play Ercles rarely, or a part to
    tear a cat in, to make all split.
          “The raging rocks
          And shivering shocks
         Shall break the locks
               Of prison gates;
          And Phibbus’ car
         Shall shine from far
          And make and mar
               The foolish Fates.”
    This was lofty! Now name the rest of the players.
    This is Ercles’ vein, a tyrant’s vein; a lover is
    more condoling.

      PROKHOROV
    Billy King, the bellows-mender.

      KING
    Here, Prokhorov.

      PROKHOROV
    King, you must take General Manager on you.

  KING
  What is General Manager? a wand’ring Brooklyknight?

 PROKHOROV
 It is the executive Coach must stab in the back.

 KING
 Nay, faith, let me not play an executive, I traded for Joe Johnson.

  PROKHOROV
   That’s all one: you shall play it in a mask, and
   you may speak as small as you will. (FIX)

 KIDD
 An I may hide my face, let me play General Manager too, I’ll speak in a monstrous little voice. “GM! GM! ” “Ah, Coach! thy GM dear, and Executive dear!”

PROKHOROV

 No, no; you must play Coach: and, King, you GM.

KIDD
   Well, proceed.

 PROKHOROV
Myself, Owner
 Yormark, the joiner; you, the CEO: and, I
 hope, here is a play fitted.

 Yormark
 Have you the CEO’s part written? Pray you, if it
 be, give it me, for I am slow of study.

PROKHOROV
 You may do it extempore, for it is nothing but roaring.

KIDD
Let me play the CEO  too: I will roar, that I will do any man’s heart good to hear me; I will roar, that I will make the commissioner say “Let him roar again,
let him roar again.”

PROKHOROV
An you should do it too terribly, you would fright
the fans and the players, that they would shriek; and that were enough to hang us all.

ALL
That would hang us, every mother’s son.

KIDD

I grant you, friends, if that you should fright the fans out of their wits, they would have no more
discretion but to hang us: but I will aggravate my
voice so that I will roar you as gently as any
sucking dove; I will roar you an ’twere any
nightingale.

  PROKHOROV
 You can play no part but Coach; for
Coach is a stubble-faced man; a proper
man as one shall see in a hardwood court; a most lovely gentleman-like man: therefore you must needs play Coach.

KIDD
   No, fuck that, I want all of the parts.

PROKHOROV
That’s not in the script.  

KIDD

I don’t care, I want to be Coach, GM, President of Basketball Operations, CEO and owner and…um…sultan. Yeah, Sultan.

PROKHOROV

No

KIDD

I want to go to Milwaukee. 

Jordan White

Jordan White loves basketball, loves writing and loves writing about basketball. He marvels at every Ricky Rubio pass and cries after every Brandon Roy highlight. He grew up in Kansas, where, contrary to popular belief, there is running water, electricity, and no singing munchkins. Follow him on Twitter: @JordanSWhite