The Brooklyn Nets easily have been the NBA’s biggest disappointment this season, falling to 9-19 after their Christmas Day loss to the Chicago Bulls.
That mark ties the Nets with the crosstown New York Knicks for 11th in the highly watered-down Eastern Conference, and the most recent defeat reportedly prompted first-year head coach Jason Kidd to go off on his team in the locker room.
Kidd called out the team for its lack of effort, according to ESPN.com, and veteran forward Kevin Garnett expressed similar frustration with his teammates before storming out of the room.
The loss was Brooklyn’s fourth in a row and second straight by 17 points.
"The bottom line is effort, and we’re not doing that right now," Kidd told reporters after the game. "At the end of the day, the coach can only hold you responsible for energy and effort. If you’re not giving it, I have to take you out. If you’re missing shots, that’s just part of the game. But if you’re not giving energy or effort, I’ve got to take you out."
Effort has been a common concern for the Nets, who were expected to compete for an NBA title after bringing in Garnett, Paul Pierce, Jason Terry and Andre Kirilenko during the offseason. Point guard Deron Williams, who missed 11 games with an ankle injury earlier this season, told reporters Wednesday that he is surprised lethargy is an issue for such a veteran-laden team.
"I’m even surprised with this season, how it’s played out. It’s like a nightmare," Williams said. "The way the injuries have been and the things we talk about every day: the lack of energy, the lack of effort. I didn’t see that being a problem when we put this team together."
The Nets will play host to the NBA’s worst team, the Milwaukee Bucks, on Friday before traveling to Indiana for a date with the Eastern Conference-leading Pacers the following night.