Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach, Jason Kidd has now won an NBA Championship as both a player during his time with the Dallas Mavericks playing alongside Dirk Nowitzki and as an NBA assistant coach alongside head coach Frank Vogel and players in LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
A ten-time NBA All Star and triple double assassin, Kidd was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018.
Appearing on the Heavy Live With Scoop B Show this week, I asked two-time NBA Champ and fellow Hall of Famer, Isiah Thomas what makes J-Kidd special.
“When you talk about observation and participation. Jason Kidd’s gift from a participatory standpoint in terms of him understanding offenses and defenses because he’s had to dissect it, play against it and then was successful in understanding what he was seeing,” Thomas told me.
“So there isn’t a defense that hasn’t been invented that Jason Kidd hasn’t played against and beat; so he will know where the weak spots are in every defense that he faces that he coaches against and he can tell his players, ‘This is what you look for and this is where the openings are going to be.”
After retiring from basketball, Kidd became an NBA head coach in stints with the Brooklyn Nets and the Milwaukee Bucks.
Like Kidd, Thomas also had stints in coaching in the NBA. Thomas worked in the front office with the New York Knicks, where he later coached . He also coached the Indiana Pacers; who he guided to the NBA Finals against the Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal starred Los Angeles Lakers in 2000.
Million Dollar Question: Is being a former NBA player a prerequisite for being an NBA head coach?
“I don’t think it matters,” says Thomas.
“But, there’s a certain thing that from a playing standpoint in participating and experiencing an emotion you would have that someone who’s never done it can never feel or understand. It doesn’t mean that they can’t coach it, it just means that they can’t feel it or understand so, that fear or that success, that overcoming that moment and that doubt… if the person that you’re talking to can’t relate to that or never felt that then he can’t communicate and help guide you over that hump. So therefore, a lot of players get over that hump on their own when they’re playing for a coach that’s never experienced what they’ve experienced. I look at – when you walk into their locker room and you have 12 to 15 millionaires sitting in front of you, that voice and that intimidation, that command for respect; because those PhD’s that are sitting in front of you they know exactly in 30 seconds if you are educated and you know what you’re talking about or you don’t. And you’ll lose the locker room in 30 seconds if you don’t know your stuff. Because they’re all PhD’s. And this is when you know – whenever you see a team and there is a huddle and there’s a huddle after the huddle…the huddle after the huddle is the PhD’s saying, “Okay I know what we heard over there, but check this out. Just in case, we gotta have a Plan B. Let’s put Plan B together.”