Early Tuesday evening, the Bucks made official the news that was widely reported last week: Head coach Jason Kidd had been signed to a three-year contract extension.
Kidd, who still has one season remaining on his original deal, will remain in Milwaukee until 2020.
"I greatly appreciate the confidence that our owners have placed in me by signing me to this extension," Kidd said in a statement. "We have a hard-working group of coaches that want to teach our young players and help them reach their full potential. We still have work to do but we’re committed to the goal of building a team that consistently competes for titles."
Perhaps interestingly, given previous rumors of Kidd wanting more power and possibly an increased role, the team’s press release Thursday noted in its first paragraph that "the agreement will keep Kidd in his position with the Bucks organization through the 2019-20 season." Such wording isn’t necessarily unique, but it’s not typical either.
"Our goal remains to be a consistent contender for NBA championships and we believe that Jason Kidd is the right man for the job," Bucks co-owner Wes Edens said in a statement. "In terms of preparing, developing and relating to today’s players, we think there is no better fit to lead our young and talented roster. We are excited that Jason will continue to call Milwaukee his home."
Edens, who was at the team’s practice facility last week in advance of the Bucks’ Block Party and groundbreaking event on Saturday, did not shy away from discussing Kidd’s contract, even though the extension hadn’t yet been finalized. "It's well-deserved," Edens said Friday of Kidd’s deal. "Jason has done a terrific job the last couple years. We're very happy with the continuity and where the team and the organization are headed. Jason obviously is a big, big part of that."
Kidd was hired on July 1, 2014 and given a three-year contract. After leading the Bucks to a surprising 41-41 record and the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs during his first season as coach in 2014-15, Milwaukee regressed to a disappointing 33-49 finish last season. Nevertheless, he received a vote of confidence after the season from the owners, especially Marc Lasry.
There had been some speculation around the league – and among local fans and media – that Kidd, who left Brooklyn after a failed power grab with the Nets, still sought a managerial position in Milwaukee. Those concerns were largely put to rest when the Bucks last month hired assistant general manager Justin Zanik, who’s considered the successor to GM John Hammond.
"I truly believe that continuity is extremely important in our business, so I’m very happy for Jason and the Bucks organization to continue the partnership we have," Hammond said in a statement. "Jason and his staff work tirelessly to help our players grow and develop and I look forward to working with them to build our roster into a consistent contender."
In three seasons as an NBA head coach, Kidd has compiled a 118-128 (.479) record, which includes a 44-38 (.537) mark in his first campaign with the Nets in 2013-14. Before becoming a head coach, Kidd had a decorated, 19-year playing career. He was a 10-time All-Star, five-time member of the All-NBA First Team, four-time member of the All-Defensive First Team, two-time Olympic gold medalist and a league champion in 2011 with the Dallas Mavericks. Drafted in 1994 and the co-Rookie of the Year that season, Kidd played in 1,549 games (including playoffs) with four teams during his lengthy career.
Kidd indicated last December that the mileage on his tires as a player was a big part of the reason he had to undergo hip surgery during the season, when he missed 17 games.
He's been in attendance throughout the Bucks' pre-draft workouts, watching as the team – which owns the No. 10 pick in Thursday's NBA Draft – brings in prospects like Henry Ellenson, Jacob Poeltl, Diamond Stone and others.
"I’m excited that my family and I will continue to make our home in Milwaukee," Kidd said in the statement. "We appreciate the terrific support we’ve received and look forward to many great years moving forward."
The Bucks begin play in the Samsung NBA Summer League in Las Vegas on July 8, though Kidd likely won’t be coaching that squad.
Born in Milwaukee but a product of Shorewood High School (go ‘Hounds!) and Northwestern University (go ‘Cats!), Jimmy never knew the schoolboy bliss of cheering for a winning football, basketball or baseball team. So he ditched being a fan in order to cover sports professionally - occasionally objectively, always passionately. He's lived in Chicago, New York and Dallas, but now resides again in his beloved Brew City and is an ardent attacker of the notorious Milwaukee Inferiority Complex.
After interning at print publications like Birds and Blooms (official motto: "America's #1 backyard birding and gardening magazine!"), Sports Illustrated (unofficial motto: "Subscribe and save up to 90% off the cover price!") and The Dallas Morning News (a newspaper!), Jimmy worked for web outlets like CBSSports.com, where he was a Packers beat reporter, and FOX Sports Wisconsin, where he managed digital content. He's a proponent and frequent user of em dashes, parenthetical asides, descriptive appositives and, really, anything that makes his sentences longer and more needlessly complex.
Jimmy appreciates references to late '90s Brewers and Bucks players and is the curator of the unofficial John Jaha Hall of Fame. He also enjoys running, biking and soccer, but isn't too annoying about them. He writes about sports - both mainstream and unconventional - and non-sports, including history, music, food, art and even golf (just kidding!), and welcomes reader suggestions for off-the-beaten-path story ideas.