Less than 24 hours after the Brooklyn Nets ended their 2020-21 season, the Boston Celtics underwent a shakeup that sent shockwaves throughout the NBA landscape — and they don’t seem done making headlines just yet.
Brad Stevens is forfeiting his coaching duties to become the new head of basketball operations as president Danny Ainge plans to resign, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Stevens’ first task on the job? Find someone to fill the vacancy he left behind at head coach.
According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, the Celtics already have a few candidates in mind.
“Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Jason Kidd and former Atlanta Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce are expected to be head-coaching candidates for the Boston Celtics,” Haynes tweeted.
The latest Celtics news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Celtics newsletter here!
Kidd Would ‘Love’ Another Head Coaching Opportunity
Kidd, a 10-time All-Star and NBA champion, is undoubtedly one of the greatest point guards to ever roam the NBA hardwood. However, while his on-court performance may have earned him Basketball Hall of Fame honors back in 2018, his shift over to the coaching ranks has been far less prolific. Yet, the 48-year-old believes he’s evolved since joining the Lakers’ coaching staff as an assistant, learning from his shortcomings.
“I hope I’m close. I would love to have another opportunity at it,” Kidd told The Undefeated about potentially becoming a head coach once again. “Being here with (Lakers head coach) Frank [Vogel], understanding his strengths and watching him and how he handles different situations, is a big key that I’ve learned. Patience, communication is really key to understanding where everybody stands. Not just your top players, but the end of the bench.”
Kidd & Pierce’s Head Coaching Resumes
After calling it quits after a 19-year playing career, Kidd took over the reins of a star-studded Brooklyn Nets team, featuring the likes of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. Kidd’s Nets eliminated the Toronto Raptors in a seven-game series to kick off the playoffs that year. According to The Elias Sports Bureau (h/t ESPN), Kidd became the 19th first-year head coach to appear in a Game 7 on the road, and the first to win. Yet, the Nets would go on to lose the following series 4-1 to the Miami Heat. Less than two months later, Kidd was sent packing.
The Milwaukee Bucks acquired Kidd’s coaching rights from the Nets in exchange for two second-round picks (2015, 2019). Yet, despite having a young Giannis Antetokounmpo at his disposal, Kidd mustered up a mere 139-152 record in Wisconsin, never once escaping the first-round from 2014 to 2018 before being relieved of his duties. Since Kidd’s departure, the Bucks have made the playoffs in three consecutive seasons, accumulating a combined record of 162-65.
Pierce, 45, served as the Atlanta Hawks’ head coach for each of the past three seasons, before ultimately being fired this season following a 14-20 start. Pierce owns a career record of 63-120 as a head coach.
His replacement, Nate McMillan quickly turned things around for the Hawks, leading the team to an outstanding 26-12 record. Atlanta is on the verge of advancing to the conference semifinals, currently owning a 3-1 lead over the New York Knicks in their first-round playoff series.