When Jason Kidd was brought on as a Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach, pundits began to speculate that head coach Frank Vogel’s job was in jeopardy before it even began.
Kidd has already seen some controversy during his brief coaching career and it seemed he was on course for another power play in Los Angeles.
However, the Lakers surpassed all offseason expectations and Kidd has been nothing short of professional serving on Vogel’s coaching staff.
It was reported earlier in the 2019-20 NBA season that Kidd is one of the few people who can read and understood the game like LeBron James and that has likely helped the latter lead the league in assists.
James’ basketball IQ has been well-documented and Kidd discussed what exactly that means when he is on the floor, according to Melissa Rohlin of Sports Illustrated:
“I think it entails understanding time and score, understanding your opponent, understanding your teammates and understanding yourself,” Kidd said. “It’s kind of like a movie, but playing at fast forward. I think he plays the game that way in the sense of anticipating what’s next. And when you have a high basketball IQ, you understand what’s going to happen next before anybody else does.”
Kidd added that his encyclopedic knowledge will allow him to be effective well into the twilight of his career:
“It’s going to help him play until he’s 40,” Kidd said. “…His IQ is always going to help him because he’s going to be able to take less steps, right? Instead of running a six-mile race, he can run a five-mile race just because of his IQ.”
Most point guards who first enter the league struggle with the pace and how fast the game runs, but James has been excellent since his rookie season in diagnosing the floor and making the right reads. He has only gotten better with age as there is no defensive coverage he has not seen and he is a savant passing the ball, manipulating defenders and creating angles that were not there previously.
With the purple and gold still vying for the 2020 NBA Finals, they will need James to be at his absolute best as he monopolizes the offense to the team’s benefit. Hopefully, they come out of the hiatus still playing at an elite level.