Fortress, Avenue Founders Nab Nets Coach For Bucks

Jul 2 2014 | 5:14am ET

Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry have made quite a splash at their latest investment, snatching a high-profile coach for their Milwaukee Bucks.

The co-founders of Fortress Investment Group and Avenue Capital Group, respectively, have hired former star player Jason Kidd to coach their new basketball team. Kidd, widely considered a future Hall of Famer for his 20-year playing career, coached the Brooklyn Nets to a first-round playoff victory last year—his first as a coach.

Relations between Kidd and the Nets, with whom he spent some of his best years as a player, deteriorated after he sought control over the team’s basketball operations and was rejected. The Nets then allowed him permission to seek another job.

To land Kidd, Edens and Lasry’s Bucks—who had the worst record in the National Basketball Association last year—agreed to give the Nets two second-round draft picks over the next four years. They also fired Larry Drew, whose tenure as Bucks coach matched Kidd’s with the Nets—one year.

Kidd “is a determined leader, a tough-minded competitor and a great teammate,” Edens and Lasry said.

The two alternative investments honchos bought the Bucks in May for $550 million.


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