Last week, Rick Carlisle stepped down from his position as the head coach of the Dallas Mavericks after 13 years with the organization. The Mavericks have yet to hire a replacement for him, but according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN, Jason Kidd was discussed during a meeting between Mark Cuban, Dirk Nowitzki, Michael Finley and longtime Mavericks staffers.
Carlisle obviously wasn’t part of that meeting, but he also gave his endorsement of Kidd shortly after agreeing to a four-year deal to return to the Indiana Pacers, the team he coached from 2003-2007 (via MacMahon, in a separate report):
Carlisle on Thursday offered a strong endorsement of Kidd, whom Carlisle coached for four seasons in Dallas, highlighted by the Mavs’ championship run.
“My hope is that Jason Kidd will be the next coach of the Mavs because he and Luka have so many things in common as players,” Carlisle said. “I just think that it would be a great situation for Luka, and I think it would be an amazing situation for Jason. I’m the only person on the planet that’s coached both of those guys and that knows about all of their special qualities as basketball players. To me, that just would be a great marriage, but that’s just an opinion.”
Marc Stein of The New York Times also reported that Kidd is expected to be a “prime candidate” for the Mavericks’ head-coaching job on Thursday.
Carlisle's motives for the statement will certainly be questioned, but one source noted Kidd has many fans within the franchise after helping Dallas win its breakthrough title in 2011. He was always sure to be strongly considered for the club's first coaching vacancy since 2008.— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 24, 2021
The last time that Kidd received a public endorsement for a head-coaching job, he pulled his name from consideration. However, the circumstances are a bit different this time around. For one, Carlisle is no longer professionally associated with the Mavericks, nor is he the team’s star player like Damian Lillard is with the Portland Trail Blazers.
Kidd also has longstanding relationships with the Mavericks because he was drafted by them and spent two stints with them over the course of his 19-year career, the last of which ended with an NBA Finals win over LeBron James and the Miami Heat (alongside Nowitzki, who is helping with the team’s searches). The connections aren’t hard to make.
Does that mean that Kidd will get the job? No — there are a handful of qualified candidates that he will be competing against, potentially including names like Becky Hammon, Terry Stotts and Kenny Atkinson — but all of this noise makes it worth monitoring. We probably won’t hear a ton more until they hire a replacement GM, but it seems that Kidd will at the very least get heavy consideration here.