Brooklyn Nets' head coach Jason Kidd was in court early this morning to plead guilty to a charge of driving under the influence stemming from an incident last July. After a night out Kidd drove home and crashed his black Cadillac Escalade into a telephone pole near his home in the Hamptons.
Kidd stood before Judge Andrea Schiavoni at the Southampton Town Justice Court this morning. Judge Schiavoni let Kidd hear it, saying “You could have killed yourself that night. You could have killed someone else.” The rookie head coach did agree to a plea deal which will knock his misdemeanor DWI charge down to a violation of Driving While Ability Impaired. As part of the plea deal Kidd will speak at two Suffolk County High Schools talking to kids that will soon be receiving their licenses about the dangers of driving under the influence. Also Kidd will pay $8,100 in restitution to the people that lost power due to the crash.
Kidd refused to take a breathalyzer after the accident and could have fought the case and had a good chance to win. However, he decided to plead guilty and begin to make amends for his wrongdoings and move past this whole incident.
Suffolk County District Attorney, Thomas Spota, was very pleased that the Nets' head coach agreed to the plea deal so he can influence the youth of Long Island. Spota said "Because of his status as a professional athlete Mr. Kidd is the perfect person to reinforce the important message we've been trying to send, which is don't drink and drive.”
If Kidd is able to complete these stipulations of the deal by September 30th and they are deemed acceptable by the court then his charges will be dropped to a violation. Now that the court troubles seem to be behind him, Kidd will be waiting for a decision by the NBA’s league office about a possible suspension. In recent history, players and coaches that have plead guilty to DWI’s have received two game suspensions by the NBA and it is expected Kidd will receive the same punishment. The league should hand down a punishment in the coming weeks meaning that Kidd will likely not be on the sideline for the, much anticipated, opening night of the new look Nets season. Assistant Head Coach Lawrence Frank will likely assume the head coaching duties if Kidd is suspended.
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