The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly liked Jason Kidd enough to try and force Tyronn Lue to hire him as an assistant coach, and they apparently still feel the same way. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, L.A. is now evidently leaning towards Frank Vogel after a strong interview on Thursday, but they still want Kidd to be a part of his staff.
As the Lakers head coaching search has become focused on Frank Vogel, Jason Kidd remains a strong candidate to play a prominent role as an assistant coach, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 11, 2019
In Wojnarowski’s full report with Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN, the two writers revealed that Vogel is now a “frontrunner” for the job, and that the Lakers are already doing background on the two coaches and like what they’ve heard so far:
Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka has spent the past few days gathering information from those who have worked with both Vogel and Kidd about how they believe those two could complement each other on a Lakers coaching staff, league sources said.
But while we already know why the team would like Vogel, why might the Lakers want Kidd? Well, according to multiple reports now, they like his player development plan for their young players, and he apparently is a big believer in Lonzo Ball’s potential.
And for what it’s worth, Zach Lowe of ESPN talked on his podcast about how core Milwaukee Bucks players — unprompted — credit Kidd for some of their development:
“For all the flack Jason Kidd took in Milwaukee, and I think a lot of it was deserved, his schemes were bad at the end and a lot of teams had figured them out, relationships had gotten frayed. (Still), the young players, who are now not the young players anymore, the core guys on the team, even if they had misgivings about Jason at the end, all of them say -- unprompted, you don’t ask them -- ‘the guy really taught us about winning, and how hard we would have to play, and that if we win, everybody is going to get rewarded.’
“It’s not a smokescreen, they have no reason to protect him anymore. He’s not there. They will tell you unprompted, ‘you know, look, there are some things that went sideways, this and that, but the mentality he instilled in us about what mattered, how hard you had to play and what winning would mean to each of us as individuals.’ That made an impact on them, for better or worse. Better, I think.”
Regardless of what any of us think of Kidd, it would seem as though whether it’s under Vogel or someone else, this organization is fairly set in having Kidd on staff. We’ll see what position he ultimately ends up in as this coaching search continues to shake out.