While Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel is in the midst of the most frustrating season of his coaching career, his former lead assistant Jason Kidd is enjoying great success in Dallas.
Kidd has the Mavericks on the verge of a top-3 seed in the Western Conference and has done exactly what Dallas fans had hoped in his first season with the franchise.
The relationship between Vogel and Kidd was always excellent during their time in L.A. together with Kidd openly discussing the things he learned from the Lakers coach and the love still remains between the two. Kidd has defended Vogel’s position with the Lakers amidst a lot of rumors about his job security and Vogel has regularly praised the job Kidd has done in Dallas.
In fact, Vogel loves what Kidd has done so much that he believes the Mavericks coach is deserving of the NBA Coach of the Year Award.
“I think he should be the Coach of the Year. I’m not saying that to get him fired. I know there’s always the jinx with that. I say that out of nothing but love,” Vogel said following the Lakers’ loss in Dallas.
“But he has done a phenomenal job here and I think the way they’re defending, the way that they’re playing team basketball he’s always been as a player and as a head coach really someone that preaches the extra pass. The way these guys play together is a big part of their success so far this season and no surprise that he’s done a great job.”
Kidd has certainly made a difference in Dallas as they have gone from a mid-level team in the West to one of the best, and have a real chance at making a playoff run. The odds of Kidd actually getting the award seem slim, however, as Phoenix’s Monty Williams is the odds on favorite with the Suns having far and away the best record in the NBA.
But that doesn’t change the excellent job that Kidd has done and Vogel continued to heap praise on his former assistant when asked how he has evolved as a coach.
“I’m not sure what he was like as a coach prior to me working with him, so in terms of how he’s evolved, I don’t have that feedback from his early years as coach. But with regard to me, he did a great job with us,” the Lakers head coach added.
“He’s got a genius-level mind for the game of basketball. He’s not afraid to coach guys hard and give tough love. You’ve seen that with his approach towards Luka [Doncic]. He definitely has a genuineness to him as well. He cares for the guys that we worked with together. I think you’re seeing that with how he’s coaching this Mavs team and you see how they’re performing on the floor. Obviously, he’s doing a great job here.”
When Rick Carlisle left the Mavericks last offseason, he specifically named Kidd as the person he believed would be perfect for the job. That has certainly been the case so far and even though Vogel has struggled in his third season with the Lakers, he won’t let that stop him from being happy for what Kidd has accomplished.
Vogel says 2022 season has been most difficult in coaching career
While Kidd is enjoying great success, Vogel has been trying to navigate a rough Lakers season. One that he admits is probably the most difficult of his coaching career.
“Yeah, I would say probably,” Vogel says. “Just because of the expectations that we’ve had. We’ve had too many really difficult nights and I think there’s an element of being a part of managing LeBron’s legacy for these final years of his career. I want to just give him the best opportunity to have team success throughout that.
“So we haven’t won at the level that we wanted to. It’s been challenging and the losses have been heavier, but we’ve been able to continue to mend and rebuild our team’s psyche and keep a belief in what we can be.”
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