The Los Angeles Lakers had their first game last night in four months, as LeBron James, Anthony Davis, the rest of the players and coaching staff were able to play the game they love to return to some sort of normalcy. Jason Kidd, the Lakers’ lead assistant coach under head coach Frank Vogel, is there with the team but his mind may also be elsewhere in the NBA world.
That is due to Kidd’s connection to the New York Knicks in regards to their head coaching search after the Knicks fired David Fizdale in December 2019. Tom Thibodeau, previously a head coach for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Chicago Bulls, has been considered the most likely hire for the Knicks in recent weeks. However, Stefan Brody of the Daily News is now reporting that Jason Kidd is now “a frontrunner” after contract negotiations with Tom Thibodeau have stalled. Brody’s detailed report is below:
The Knicks coaching search has turned messy with Jason Kidd emerging as a frontrunner after contract negotiations with Tom Thibodeau stalled, a plugged-in NBA source told the Daily News.
Kidd, an unquestioned Hall of Fame player, is viewed by the Knicks as a conduit to attracting free agents, but there are also people in the organization who are skeptical of his coaching ability following underwhelming stints in Brooklyn and Milwaukee. As a result, the Kidd hire would come with the caveat of the front office picking at least some of his assistant coaches.
Jason Kidd now a frontrunner for Knicks coach as search turns messy: source https://t.co/GhSp96pw2q
— Stefan Bondy (@SBondyNYDN) July 24, 2020
In regards to “attracting free agents”, it’s long been rumored that people within the NBA believe Jason Kidd could possibly attract the talents of one Giannis Antetokounmpo. Giannis’ impending 2021 free agency has long been discussed as many are suspecting that he may want to leave the Milwaukee Bucks for a larger market, or at least a team that is more suited to win him a championship especially if things don’t go well in Orlando for the team. Giannis was very upset when the Bucks let Kidd go, but the people within the Knicks organization aren’t wrong to question his coaching ability, as the Bucks underperformed in Kidd’s short time there.
Reading in between the lines, this may be a negotiation tactic in disguise for discussions with Tom Thibodeau. If it is reported that Kidd may be a frontrunner, that gives the Knicks more leverage with Thibodeau in discussions. Either way, Kidd should definitely be considered a threat to Thibodeau’s shot at the Knicks job due to the reasons above as well as Kidd’s reverence with players (such as Giannis as well as LeBron James) in the league.