Ever since the Boston Celtics promoted Brad Stevens to the role of team president, the club’s head coaching search has been a hot-button topic. In the wake of the move, a number of names have been bandied about as Stevens’ replacement.
None of them match the profile of L.A. Lakers assistant and Hall of Fame floor general Jason Kidd, though.
Earlier this week, Yahoo’s Chris Haynes indicated that Kidd is expected to interview for the Boston job. However, Beantown’s pro-Kidd camp nonetheless had cause for concern as the 48-year-old figured to be a top candidate for the Portland Trail Blazers job as well.
Particularly after Blazers star Damian Lillard made it known that Kidd was his pick for the gig.
However, a more recent development may bode well for Kidd’s Celtics candidacy.
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Woj: Kidd Withdraws From Consideration in Portland
As first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Sunday, Kidd has pulled his name out of the hat in Portland.
“Portland’s a first-class organization and will have great candidates for its head coaching job, but I’ve decided not to be one of them,” Kidd told ESPN. “Whoever they choose will have big shoes to fill from Terry [Stotts].”
Ironically, it may have been Lillard’s vociferous endorsement of Kidd that caused him to withdraw. According to Woj, he felt that the public nature of Lillard’s “Jason Kidd is the guy I want” decree left Kidd uncomfortable with the very concept of pursuing the opening.
It was Kidd’s fear that “he would put both Lillard and Portland’s process in an awkward circumstance” in the event that he pursued the job. Now, Portland’s loss may end up being the Celtics’ gain if Stevens finds himself of the belief that Kidd is the right person to succeed him as head coach.
Some believe that Kidd landing in Boston could also give the Celtics an inside track on landing Lillard if he and the Blazers decide to part ways.
Kidd’s Coaching History
After spending 19 years in the Association as a point guard and retiring in second place all-time in assists and steals, Kidd quickly moved to bench for the Brooklyn Nets in 2013. He went on to lead the team to a 44-38 record during the 2013-14 season.
Despite logging a winning record and getting to the second round of the playoffs, the season was viewed as a disappointment for Kidd given that his roster boasted stars like Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Joe Johnson and Deron Williams.
Things would get worse that offseason when a reported power struggle between Kidd and Nets GM Billy King resulted in the former leaving for the Milwaukee Bucks after just one season. The move was made more controversial due to the fact that the Bucks had just hired Larry Drew to become their coach.
In the end, Kidd got the gig and proceeded to lead the bad-luck Bucks to a surprising 41-41 record. Of course, some of that could be credited to the emergence of Giannis Antetokounmpo. And, over subsequent seasons, Milwaukee largely fell short of the expectations Kidd had helped create.
Midway through the 2017-18 campaign, the team made the decision to move on from him.
Over parts of five seasons as a head coach, Kidd compiled a record of 183-190. Although the perceived underperformance of his teams and the controversy that surrounded him left a bad taste in the mouths of some, he has since rebounded to become a major part of Frank Vogel’s staff with the Lakers.
Last season, he helped Los Angeles capture an NBA title.