When the Los Angeles Lakers hired Frank Vogel to be their next head coach, they seemingly chose him with the condition that he bring on former Milwaukee Bucks head coach Jason Kidd as his lead assistant coach.
While this is a highly unusual practice for NBA teams, it appeared that bringing on Kidd would be a condition for any prospective head coach.
A dispute over Kidd was part of the reason why former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue ended up turning down the Lakers head coaching position.
Although early in their tenures, Vogel and Kidd seem to be working well together as a head coach-lead assistant coach tandem. In fact, Vogel raved about Kidd, saying how comfortable he felt with him as his lead assistant. He also said how all assistants want to eventually become head coaches and that shouldn’t be any different with Kidd, according to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated:
“I’ve gotten really comfortable with Jason,” Vogel said. “What I would say is every assistant coach in the NBA wants to be head coach. Jason’s no different in that regard. It was brought to my attention that they had an interest in bringing him on as an assistant … we had a great talk and a great interview and he’s in a terrific place. The thing about Jason that kept me to have an open mind immediately is that the lead assistant role on my staff, I’ve always tried to fill with a former player, a former respected player that has coaching experience dating back to Brian Shaw first, initially, and then onto Nate McMillan, and then Corliss Williamson on my coaching staff in Orlando.
Vogel also detailed what he found impressive about Kidd, including his Hall of Fame resume as a player and his ‘fierce’ inner competitor, something Vogel feels can ‘bring teeth’ to the message he brings to the team:
“A Hall of Fame player, really just a fierce, fierce competitor, someone that can really bring teeth to my message with our team, and so I saw a great potential in Jason puts potentially being on my staff. And when I interviewed him and we had a great talk, it became very clear that we are aligned in what we could accomplish as a tandem.”
Kidd has had very little success as a head coach in this league, meaning the reasons for skepticism are absolutely high.
However, if Vogel believes this tandem can work, then it can possibly. Time will tell which version of Kidd the Lakers are getting for the 2019-20 NBA season.