A Bucks game against the Suns once again ended with a significant injury, only this time, it did not involve a player. Following the conclusion of the game, head coach Jason Kidd announced that he would be out indefinitely as he is set to undergo hip surgery.
Kidd notified his players of his decision following the game, as he wanted them to be able to concentrate and record a victory, which they did.
The nagging hip pain stems from Kidd’s playing day’s as a Dallas Maverick. He tried aiding with the pain by taking cortisone shots, but finally decided it was time to give in and have the surgery.
So, who replaces Kidd as he is out for a couple of months recovering? The answer is assistant coach Joe Prunty. Prunty serves as the Bucks offensive coach and Kidd says that both he and defensive coach Sean Sweeney’s roles will remain the same as long as he is gone.
Prunty began his coaching career in San Diego, California at the University of San Diego High School. He made an incredible vault from there into professional basketball as he joined the San Antonio Spurs staff as an assistant video coordinator in 1996. Six years later, he was promoted to assistant coach. Prunty was a part of two titles in San Antonio in 2003 and 2005.
After his nearly decade-long stint with the Spurs, Prunty moved on to the Dallas Mavericks for three years. He then went onto the Portland Trailblazers for two years and then the Cleveland Cavaliers for three seasons. Prunty has definitely made his rounds around the league on the coaching scene. He was then united with Jason Kidd in Brooklyn in 2013.
Prunty garnered interim head coaching experience right out of the gates in his time in Brooklyn when Jason Kidd was suspended by the NBA two games after pleading to a misdemeanor DWI charge. In those two games, Prunty went one-and-one, losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers and then a victory over the defending Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat.
Prunty also has some experience, albeit only one game, of being Milwaukee’s interim coach. Earlier this season, Prunty took over for Jason Kidd when he was serving his one-game suspension for his actions in the game against the Sacramento Kings.
In the long run, Prunty won’t be changing much of the game plan. This is still Jason Kidd’s team. It’s not as if he will be dumping out all of the things Kidd preaches and building up from scratch. The Bucks coaching staff emphasizes points together, and that’s what the team will keep on hearing. All that might change is Prunty’s rotations from Kidd, but we can’t really gauge that until we see him get a couple of games under his belt.
All that we can ask is for Prunty to man the ship well enough until Kidd gets back and avoid utter destruction. Nobody is expecting him to soar to the level of Luke Walton and the job he is doing in Golden State replacing Steve Kerr. However, a fun fact exists in the facet that Prunty coached Walton in high school during their time at University of San Diego High School. Were not saying the Bucks are about to have a 24 game winning streak, but who knows, maybe Prunty can help jumpstart this Bucks team.