After former Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle suddenly stepped down from his position earlier this month, Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban knew that he would have to hit a home run with the hiring of his new head coach. The Mavericks had suffered back-to-back exits in the first round of the playoffs both of which came to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Dallas’ loss to the Clippers in 2021 stung a bit more than it did in 2020. The Mavericks held a 2-0 lead in the series after winning the first two games on the Clippers’ home floor but ended up losing the series in 7 games. With Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic’s rookie contract expiring in 2023 and him having yet to sign an extension with the team this summer, Cuban’s next hire as head coach was even more of a pressure decision than he originally imagined.
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Mavericks Name Jason Kidd Next Head Coach
On Monday, June 28th the Mavericks officially announced their decision to make Nets’ legend Jason Kidd their next head coach. While the Mavericks hiring of Kidd may have come as a surprise to many it shouldn’t have. Kidd was drafted by the Mavericks with the second overall pick in the 1994 NBA Draft and remained with the team until 1996. Kidd returned to Dallas during the back-end of his career in 2008 and played a pivotal part in helping deliver the franchise its lone championship in 2011. Dallas infamously upset LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and the Miami Heat in the 2011 NBA Finals.
Now Kidd returns to Dallas in a different role, hoping to lead the Mavericks to a championship as a coach as opposed to as a player. For the Hall of Famer, he is just excited to return to the place where his NBA career started.
“Dallas has meant so much to me as a player and I want to thank Mark Cuban for the opportunity to return as a head coach,” Cuban said in a statement on Tuesday per Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson of Bally Sports. “I am excited to get to work with this young, hungry, and incredibly talented team and to continue to build a winning legacy for the Mavericks.”
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Kidd Sounds off on His Time With the Lakers
As extensive as Kidd’s resume is as a player, his coaching career is just as impressive and he has coached some of the NBA’s brightest stars in the process. During his one year with the Brooklyn Nets, He coached Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, then moved on to Milwaukee where he would have the opportunity to coach two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Giannis Antetokounmpo.
During his most recent stop as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Lakers, Kidd got a chance to coach LeBron James and Anthony Davis in route to them winning the 2020 NBA Finals. Although Kidd has chosen to move on from the Lakers after a disappointing title defense in 2021, he is forever grateful for the opportunity given to him by one of the best organizations in sports.
“These last two years with the Lakers have been incredible. From the front office to coaching staff to players,” Kidd said. “I have learned so much from so many people including Jeanie Buss, Rob Pelinka, Frank Vogel & Kurt Rambis. What a great ride, including a championship.”
Kidd is now faced with the task of getting the Mavericks back to prosperity as they have been somewhat of a lackluster organization over the past several years. With the full backing of the Mavericks’ front office and young stars in Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, Kidd is already in a great position to take the Mavericks to the next level.