Larry Drew (left) and Mike Woodson during happier times. (Rich Addicks/AJC)
Photo: Rich Addicks / AJC
Photo: Rich Addicks / AJC

Mike Check: Jason Kidd does to Larry Drew as Drew did to Mike Woodson

The new owners of the Milwaukee Bucks bungled their way to hiring Jason Kidd as their coach, pursuing Kidd without telling coach Larry Drew or Bucks GM John Hammonds.

Marc Lasry and Wes Edens can be excused because they are free to make their franchise a clown show if they wish, but Kidd broke a professional code by pursing the job while Drew still had it.

Before you feel too sorry for Drew, though, remember that Kidd is doing unto Drew what Drew once did unto Mike Woodson. Actually, what Drew did to Woodson was worse because at least Kidd has no personal connection to Drew.

Drew was on Woodson’s Hawks staff as lead assistant when he angled for Woodson’s job four years ago. Woodson considered this the ultimate betrayal by his former NBA teammate and long-time friend and, as far as I know, the two men have never spoken again because of it.

Hawks owners were considering letting Woodson go when his contract expired after the 2009-10 season. In a move that shows ASG are/were as amateurish as their Milwaukee counterparts, they approached Drew during the season to ask him what he might do differently than Woodson as a head coach.

If Drew were loyal to Woodson, he would have shut down those conversations. Just to be on the safe side, Drew might have even told Woodson what was going on just so there wasn’t even a hint of disloyalty.

Instead, Drew told Hawks owners what he'd do as a head coach. The Hawks eventually parted ways with Woodson and hired Drew, who lasted three seasons in the job before new GM Danny Ferry let Drew walk to Milwaukee.

Now Drew is out after one season as coach of the Bucks' talent-deficient, injury-depleted roster.

Drew's actions with Woodson in Atlanta doesn't change the fact that Bucks owners erred by keeping Drew in the dark as they sought out his replacement. They probably should have fired Drew before looking for a new coach. At the very least, they should have told Drew they planned to talk to Kidd. (The owners have since admitted they screwed up and apologized to Drew.)

But at least Drew knew what was coming after days of media reports about the Bucks negotiating with the Nets to let Kidd out of his contract. Woodson didn't have the same forewarning when Drew was having his talks with Hawks owners.

Coaching is a business, just like everything else in professional sports, but there are some things you just don't do. If Drew didn't know that before, maybe he does now.

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