Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Jason Kidd has been in the news consistently since the end of L.A.’s season, as he is one of the most sought-after head coaching candidates in the NBA. He was Damian Lillard’s top choice to become the head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers, but Kidd removed his name from consideration shortly after those rumors surfaced.
His stepping away from the Trail Blazers negotiations does not mean he will stay with the Lakers, as there are plenty of other teams with open head coaching positions. One of those teams is the rebuilding Orlando Magic. The Magic put on one of the all-time great fire sales at the 2021 trade deadline, shipping away Nikola Vucevic, Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier.
Now, they’ve reportedly requested — and the Lakers have accepted — an interview with Kidd, according to Melissa Rohlin of Fox Sports:
Scoop: The Orlando Magic have requested to interview Jason Kidd for their vacant head coaching gig and the Lakers granted permission, sources told FOX Sports. Kidd, an assistant coach for the Lakers, will interview with the Magic this week.
— Melissa Rohlin (@melissarohlin) June 14, 2021
It is certainly surprising to see Kidd willingly interview for the Magic job when he had what could be seen as a much more desirable option in the Trail Blazers. However, there are several things that could make sense of this.
First, the Magic’s general manager — John Hammond — was the GM of the Milwaukee Bucks during Kidd’s coaching tenure there. That connection could be what’s drawing both sides to a potential reunion. Also, coaching a team deep in the midst of a rebuild means less pressure and expectations. A job with the Trail Blazers could be over quickly if he does not immediately contend for a championship.
If Kidd does leave the Lakers for the Magic, it would open up L.A.’s lead assistant spot. Because Kidd still occupies that role, there have been little to no rumors surrounding who the Lakers may want as their replacement. However, there will certainly be candidates ready to accept a role of that caliber.
Kidd discusses lessons learned from Frank Vogel
After Kidd struggled to find his footing as a head coach, he’s had valuable time with the Lakers to learn under one of the best defensive minds in the game. Kidd spoke about what he’s learned from Frank Vogel, focusing specifically on communication.
Kidd appreciated Vogel’s ability to listen, provide constructive feedback, and not get defensive when his ideas are challenged.
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