While the Los Angeles Lakers get ready for their first-round playoff series against either the Portland Trail Blazers or the Memphis Grizzlies, their lead assistant coach continues to make the news. That assistant is none other than Jason Kidd, who has recently been connected to the Brooklyn Nets vacancy following a report that he was in talks with the New York Knicks before they hired Tom Thibodeau. Today, Alvin Gentry was dismissed from being the head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans, with Kidd now being tied to that vacancy as well (first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN, also reported by Marc Stein/NY Times).
As @wojespn reported last week, two names expected to be in the search are Ty Lue and Jason Kidd.
Another name to watch – if the Nets don’t retain him – is Brooklyn’s Jacque Vaughn. https://t.co/wlqGMtxBCo
— Andrew Lopez (@_Andrew_Lopez) August 15, 2020
Clippers assistant coach Ty Lue and Lakers assistant coach Jason Kidd are expected to be prime candidates for the Pelicans' coaching vacancy, league sources say, with Lue and Kidd also both on the Nets' list of prospective candidates when Brooklyn's search starts in earnest soon
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) August 15, 2020
First off, I just want to say that no one in sports is working harder than Jason Kidd’s agent. You would think that his phone rings all day with team executives wanting him to be their head coach. The fact of the matter is that Kidd hasn’t been offered a head coaching position since being fired by the Milwaukee Bucks in January 2018. The team had posted a middling 23-22 record at that point although Giannis Antetokounmpo was continuing his meteoric rise to one of the best players in the NBA. The move by the Bucks was actually protested by Giannis, who appeared to have had a great relationship with Kidd despite his scrutinized coaching tactics.
It was very briefly reported in last year’s offseason that the Lakers were having conversations with Kidd about the Lakers’ head coach position that was vacant at the time following the firing of Luke Walton. Those talks did not go anywhere as the team pivoted to Tyronn Lue. Those talks infamously fell through, with the team then hiring Frank Vogel. Kidd was hired as lead assistant as Lue accepted the same position with the Los Angeles Clippers, and the rest is history.
Although Kidd has now been connected to the open Nets and Pelicans positions, there’s no guarantee that he will be offered one of those positions. Lue, evidenced by the Lakers’ search last year, is probably regarded higher than Kidd these days with other great coaches being on the market too including the Nets’ former coach Kenny Atkinson.
We’ll see once the season is over where those talks continue to go, but this may end up as Kidd’s first and final season with the Lakers.