When the Los Angeles Lakers hired Frank Vogel to be their head coach after talks with Tyronn Lue fell through, there was already significant chatter about how badly they had screwed things up.
And on top of that, the Lakers insisted that Jason Kidd be hired as Vogel’s lead assistant, leading to endless jokes and rumors about the former looking to overtake the latter and become the head coach himself.
However, through 41 games of the 2019-20 NBA season, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The Lakers are rolling at 33-8, Vogel looks to be a legitimate head coach that is loved by his players, and Kidd has stayed in his role by avoiding drama and conflict the whole time. This was the hope Lakers fans had after Vogel and Kidd spoke several times in the offseason about their great relationship, but it’s comforting to see it actually play out that way.
Kidd spoke about Vogel and those early jokes and rumors, saying that people often forget that he played this sport and was a great teammate, according to Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN:
“There’s always going to be chatter — it’s the Lakers,” Kidd says. “Sometimes people act like I never played a game and I’ve never been a teammate. I was a good teammate then, and I’m a good teammate now.”
With the rumors now out of the way, it’s easy to see why the Lakers wanted Kidd as apparently he is the only person that LeBron James believes has his level of clarity about the game of basketball:
One of those primary assistants would be Hall of Fame point guard Jason Kidd, whom two sources have independently said James regards as the only person alive who sees the game of basketball with his level of clarity.
While it’s possible the idea of Kidd wanting the head coaching job could loom over Vogel and the Lakers head for a little while, there’s no doubting that it’s been a success so far.
Kidd appears to be doing and saying all the right things as the Lakers lead assistant coach and there’s yet to be any drama about him overstepping. In fact, there’s been minimal drama of any kind surrounding this team.
Vogel brought to the Lakers a real sense of stability and peace and it seems that he’s been given the ultimate vote of respect and confidence for it. Meanwhile, Kidd continues to be a solid assistant coach while keeping James and the rest of the team happy.