Call it due diligence. Call it courtesy. Call it whatever, but the Nets still intend to meet with Pacers assistant Brian Shaw today regarding the team’s head coaching position.

So call that meeting anything, but still call Jason Kidd the leading candidate for the job.

Kidd could not possibly earn that lofty status without the blessings of Nets ownership that he has earned, according to several persons close to the situation.

“The Russians are on board,” one of those persons claimed.

By retiring without a buyout, Kidd became free to seek a coaching job, leaving $6 million on the table. Yahoo! Sports reported the Nets were already in contract talks with Kidd.

Nets general manager Billy King has had a meeting with Shaw planned for several days. Shaw has received interest across the NBA landscape and is regarded as a hot commodity for the Clippers, with whom he interviewed Monday.

Kidd met with Nets team brass Monday and gave an effective presentation for his candidacy as coach, several sources maintained. One phrase from several persons aware of the situation and close to Kidd has repeatedly surfaced.

“Jason really wants this,” and he has impressed that upon his potential bosses.

Kidd is less than two weeks removed from retiring after 19 seasons of Hall of Fame type brilliance in the NBA, and he may be just days away from joining an elite fraternity of just 30 NBA head coaches.

Besides his pluses, there are minuses to Kidd’s coaching candidacy, which most recently include a DWI rap in July. But the inexperience factor is perhaps the biggest downside. Kidd has not coached anywhere, and so it is imperative he is surrounded by an experienced staff. One of his former coaches with the Nets, Lawrence Frank, is a logical choice but it is not certain if the man released by the Pistons after the regular season is ready to head back to a bench.

The marketing factor might not mean much to the average fan, but to those within the Nets hierarchy, it does. For all that the Nets accomplished in Brooklyn, equaling their second greatest win total (49) while making the playoffs, they remain New York’s second team. Remember, Kidd once attacked that problem as a player.