Lakers Rumors: UNLV Eyeing Jason Kidd For Head Coach Vacancy
Jason Kidd, Lakers
Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers’ triumph in the 2020-21 campaign put a spotlight on head coach Frank Vogel and members of his coaching staff, who led the franchise to its first NBA title in 10 years after just one season together.

Several months ago, rumors claimed the Brooklyn Nets seriously considered Phil Handy as the ideal candidate to assist first-year coach Steve Nash on the sidelines. Meanwhile, other reports frequently linked Jason Kidd to the numerous head coach vacancies that opened up last offseason.

And as March Madness tipped off earlier this week to herald the upcoming end of this year’s college basketball season, Kidd’s future made the headlines again. Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Sam Gordon reports UNLV has shown interest in luring the Lakers assistant coach to Nevada:

Hall of Famer Jason Kidd has emerged as a candidate of interest for UNLV as it looks to fill its basketball coaching vacancy.

The Rebels are intrigued by Kidd as a potential replacement for T.J. Otzelberger, according to people with knowledge of the situation. Kidd is an assistant coach with the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers, but there’s a belief that he would be interested in the job.

Kidd has held two head coaching jobs in the past, in Brooklyn and Milwaukee, achieving mixed results in part due to off-the-floor issues. Last year, it was reported that his image improved after a good spell with the Lakers, although he failed to secure any of the head coaching posts in New York, Philadelphia, and New Orleans.

It remains to be seen whether Kidd would be interested in leaving the NBA for a lead coaching job at the college level. Interestingly, Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens has been strongly linked with replacing the fired Archie Miller at Indiana University recently, but he categorically denied considering the position earlier this week.

Vogel optimistic about how Lakers can get by without James

As far as this season goes for the Lakers, they are currently dealing with their toughest stretch as they are without both of their stars in LeBron James and Anthony Davis due to injury.

Although the Lakers lost their first game without James against the Phoenix Suns, Vogel was left optimistic because of the effort his team gave.

“I’m optimistic. I think our guys really fought tonight. We didn’t shoot the ball that well, but I thought we competed at a very high level and it’s going to take a little time as we adjust to figure out where the shots are coming from or what our new identity is going to look like. But we’re going to play within our system,” Vogel said.

“I’m just proud of how our guys competed on the second night of a back-to-back in a tough circumstance.”

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