Several months before the Los Angeles Lakers determined Luke Walton’s fate, they were prominently linked to Tyronn Lue as the franchise’s next head coach. L.A. was also linked to Jason Kidd, though he wasn’t said to be a serious candidate.
Upon parting ways with Walton at the conclusion of the 2018-19 NBA season, Lue and Monty Williams took center stage in the Lakers’ coaching search. They each received two interviews, and the Lakers reportedly met with Kidd and Juwan Howard as well.
As their decision appeared to reach the final stages, Williams was hired by the Phoenix Suns. Most interpreted that as officially clearing the way for the Lakers to hire Lue. However, negotiations stalled over contract length and the Lakers’ search continued.
Kidd reappeared in the picture, along with Lionel Hollins, Mike Woodson and Frank Vogel. In the end the Lakers settled on Vogel, but with Kidd as an assistant coach, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski:
Jason Kidd has agreed to join Vogel's Lakers staff in a prominent assistant coaching role, league sources tell ESPN. https://t.co/ZrQRWfq1US
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 11, 2019
Kidd’s return to the coaching ranks after being fired by the Milwaukee Bucks 45 games into the 2017-18 campaign. However, this marks the first time he will serve as an assistant.
He immediately went into coaching after retiring, and his best season came as a rookie head coach. Kidd led the Brooklyn Nets to a 44-38 record and appearance in the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Then in a controversial move, Kidd began to angle for the Bucks head coach job while Larry Drew was still employed. Kidd was hired, and he went on to lead Milwaukee to three playoff appearances. His firing reportedly upset Giannis Antetokounmpo, but some players were said to have soured on Kidd.
Although Kidd’s tenure with the Bucks was ultimately marred by controversy, he also garnered recognition in some circles for developing Antetokounmpo and other youngsters on their roster. That should be of significance with the Lakers and their young core, but there is also Kidd’s relationship with LeBron James as well.
James lauded the Nets’ hiring of Kidd back in 2013, and the two were teammates on the Team USA roster for the 2008 Olympics.