Leading Off: Does Kidd deserve to be punished by NBA?

Say this for Jason Kidd, he’s making a splash as a rookie coach for the Brooklyn Nets.

But for all the wrong reasons.

His Nets dropped to 4-11 after Wednesday’s 99-94 loss to the visiting Los Angeles Lakers, continuing the slow start for the veteran team built to win an NBA title now or never. So far, the experiment of combining old players on a new team and an old player new to coaching is failing miserably.

Still, some Nets fans see the cup half full, saying there’s plenty of season left to turn things around. Others see it half empty, because of aging players who will only grow more tired through the season.

However, that cup spilled over Wednesday night, leaving Kidd all wet – literally.

The Nets coach was fined $50,000 by the NBA for purposely having one of his players, Tyshawn Taylor, bump into him and knock a cup of soda and ice onto himself and the playing floor. Game officials were forced to call a timeout, which Brooklyn did not have and needed, with the game on the line. The delay allowed the Nets to substitute and draw up a play. Replays show Kidd mouthing “hit me” to Taylor.

It was a pretty clever tactic, really, gamesmanship Kidd likely learned on Oakland playgrounds rather than from Dick Motta, his rookie-season coach with the Dallas Mavericks in 1994-95. Still, it was a steep price to pay – besides the dry cleaning.

Afterward, Kidd said the cup simply slipped from his hands. Yeah, sure. It slipped the same way Judge Smails’ golf club slipped out of his hands to comedic effect in the 1980 classic film “Caddyshack.”

But nobody is laughing in Brooklyn, and certainly no one was laughing in the NBA commissioner’s office.

– Victor Contreras

Today’s poll

Should Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd be punished by the NBA?

•  Yes, in a sense he was cheating.

•  No, it was just gamesmanship.

To vote, go to

Thursday’s results

What should Sacramento-area fans be most thankful for?

• DeMarcus Cousins: 1%

• Vivek Ranadive: 76%

• Colin Kaepernick: 7%

• Bay Area baseball: 6%

• Prep football: 10%

Total votes: 151