The Los Angeles Lakers have apparently identified yet another candidate for their vacant position of head coach. According to Dave McMenamin of ESPN, Jason Kidd met with Lakers officials Tuesday afternoon.
This is the darkest timeline:
Kidd’s interview was with general manager Rob Pelinka, as well as team executive Kurt Rambis and was conducted at the team’s practice facility in El Segundo, California. The interview with the Hall of Fame point guard lasted for several hours, sources told ESPN.
Kidd has been positioning himself for this job for about as long as we can remember. Here’s what he had to say on ESPN’s “The Jump” back when Luke Walton was still employed:
”Not just in the NBA, but the world,” Kidd said, referring to the Lakers as one of the best places to work. “And so if you ever have the opportunity to wear the purple and gold, you can’t turn that down. As a coach, as a player, because they’re all about championships, and so they have a process. They have a young team. And then LeBron [James] comes and kind of sped up things. And so he wants to win now. But I think, again, it takes time.”
”When you talk about the best player in the world, you always are going to say yes because as a coach or as a teammate, he’s always going to make you better because you’re going to work,” Kidd said. “As a coach, X and O’s, you got to be on point. And as a teammate, you’re going to work extremely hard because you know he’s going to need you to make that shot or come up with a defensive play.
Rambis being involved here is noteworthy as this marks the first time he has been definitively linked to the Lakers’ decision-making inner circle. He has been ambiguously mentioned, but if he has a seat in the room, this might signal things to come regarding his official role with the team, although it’s worth mentioning he was apparently not involved in the Williams interview last week.
To that point, Rambis was not part of Monty Williams initial interview last week. That was a Pelinka/Williams one-on-one.— Bill Oram (@billoram) April 23, 2019
It had been reported previously that the Lakers might broaden their candidate pool as part of the process of finding a new head coach, as well as interviewing those they’ve already met with another time. This appears to be the next step in that process.
When that was initially reported, the hope was that they would bring in candidates from differing backgrounds and show some kind of creativity. Interviewing Kidd (and Rambis being at all involved) is just further proof that the Lakes haven’t learned anything in the wake of Magic Johnson’s hugely embarrassing departure.
Hell, previous reports went so far as to say Kidd and Mark Jackson wouldn’t even be considered, so who knows what’s going on at this point, although it would seem at the very least the Lakers’ thinking has changed.
But look. Maybe we don’t need to overreact. Maybe this is just due diligence. Maybe it’s a favor to Kidd’s agent just to keep his name out there for other openings this summer. Maybe the Lakers just want to make their eventual hire seem better by comparison. It technically doesn’t hurt anything just to interview Kidd.
What would be concerning, however, is if this winds up being the extent to which the candidate pool is broadened. If Pelinka really wants to start flipping the narrative that the Lakers are antiquated and utilize insulated thinking, he’ll have to do better than this.
Especially when he, you know, actually hires someone.