The Los Angeles Lakers appeared set to hire Tyronn Lue as their next head coach, but according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, things have hit a snag:
Negotiations between the Los Angeles Lakers and Ty Lue have reached an impasse without a deal to make him the franchise’s next head coach, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 8, 2019
Wojnarowski says the Lakers and Lue have not been able to agree on an assistant coaching staff or his contract, with an interesting name entering the mix as a possible assistant:
Discussions have included talks on contract and assistant coaching staff, sources said. Among Lakers hopes on a Lue staff: Jason Kidd. He made a strong impression with management in his head coaching interview and had a productive history w/ Bucks developing young talent. https://t.co/uQxTjqWAm7— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 8, 2019
Shams Charania of The Athletic provided further details on Kidd’s assistant coaching candidacy, including that it isn’t totally clear he’d even want such a job:
The Los Angeles Lakers and head coaching candidate Ty Lue are working to find common ground on the makeup of a potential assistant coaching staff, league sources tell The Athletic.
The sides have discussed names for Lue’s staff, with one suggestion being former Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd, league sources said. Kidd’s appetite for this type of assistant coaching role — a role with an emphasis on helping to develop their talented young core of players — is unclear, according to sources. There has been no set agreement on a deal for Lue to become the next head coach of the Lakers as of yet.
So, to briefly recap, the Lakers and their main option as head coach have seen their contract negotiations break down over their desire for him to hire an assistant coach he doesn’t want, who may not even want to be an assistant coach anyway. This is fine. Just another totally normal day in Lakerland.
To address this news with a level of seriousness it probably doesn’t deserve, it’s pretty easy to see why Lue wouldn’t want Kidd on his bench, even if Kidd was interested. For evidence on why, let’s take a look back at Kidd’s coaching career.
First, he tried to stage a front office coup in Brooklyn after just a year as head coach of the team in the first season following his playing career. Then he committed a major breach of coaching decorum when he went and spoke with Milwaukee Bucks ownership about their coaching job, a job that wasn’t open, and was filled by Larry Drew at the time. The Bucks fired Drew and hired Kidd, a move that was not seen kindly by coaches around the league.
Compare that to how Lue handled even rumors that the Lakers might like him while Luke Walton was still employed — by calling Walton personally and assuring him he would not talk to the team about a job that was currently filled.
Kidd was later fired by the Bucks, and apparently impressed the Lakers enough in his interview with Kurt Rambis and general manager Rob Pelinka that they want to try and put him on Lue’s staff. That’s all well and good, but beyond the whole thing of Kidd pissing of the NBA’s coaching fraternity with how he got the job in Milwaukee, and it probably being hard to trust a coach with a predilection for coup attempts, there is also the fact that Larry Drew ended up on Tyronn Lue’s bench in Cleveland. It’s not hard to connect a few dots and think that Lue may not exactly think highly of the way Kidd has conducted himself, or trust him.
It’s not clear where this leaves the Lakers, but stay tuned, because apparently even when this team does the predictable thing, it needs to throw in a few plot twists out of habit.