The devil works hard, but the agent representing Jason Kidd works harder. The Lakers assistant was connected to yet another open head coaching job on Monday, this time with the Orlando Magic reportedly seeking permission from the Lakers to interview him.
According to Melissa Rohlin of Fox Sports, the Lakers approved the sit-down for Kidd:
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
Kidd has said publicly that he’s hoping to get another chance as a head coach after flaming out amidst both failed and successful coup attempts with the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks. Last summer, Kidd was linked to the New York Knicks — who ultimately hired Coach of the Year Tom Thibodeau but were reportedly impressed by Kidd having apparently learned to not attempt coups anymore — as well as getting interviews for a second chance with the Nets and for the New Orleans Pelicans job, in addition to being linked to the opening at UNLV.
This year, he has been connected to the Boston Celtics opening and that of the Portland Trail Blazers, the latter of whom had their star, Damian Lillard, essentially demand the Blazers hire Kidd before Kidd publicly asked not to be considered, citing that he didn’t want to make things awkward for the team. We should note that this withdrawal came after Blazers fans reacted extremely negatively to Kidd even being contemplated for the opening, in large part due to his dark personal history, which includes pleading guilty to spousal abuse in 2001 and a DUI charge in 2012. These are charges that will lead to legitimate questions for any organization that places Kidd in a leadership position, and may very well prevent him from getting another head coaching opportunity.
All that noted, it’s no surprise that the Lakers are granting the highest-paid assistant in the NBA permission to try and get the big chair elsewhere. General Rob Pelinka confirmed as much during his exit interview.
“I couldn’t praise more (Frank Vogel’s) staff. Just a great group of guys. Being able to sit sometimes in the strategy rooms and see the great basketball minds in there and see how they collaborate and break issues down and come up with a gameplan is something that’s really impressive,” Pelinka said. “There are some names in that room I think that are going to get attention for head coaching jobs around the league.
“You have a guy like Jason Kidd who has been just outstanding here as a lead assistant, just a 10 out of 10 I think, in all ways,” Pelinka continued. “Lionel Hollins, and Phil Handy, and I could go down the entire list, Mike Penberthy and all the coaches that we have, and what a great job they’ve done. Our philosophy here is that if there’s ways for Frank’s staff members to grow and become head coaches, that’s something we take great pride in. We want all the players that are Lakers at some point in their career to always feel like this is a platform to grow or to succeed while they’re here, whether (or not) they move on with other teams, and we feel the same about coaches.”
We’ll see if this is the opportunity Kidd gets to move on as the Magic, Celtics and other head coaching processes continue. But for now, there is only one thing we know for sure: If there is an open chair anywhere in the NBA, trust that Kidd is going to get connected to it at some point.