Jason Kidd leaving Lakers? Damian Lillard wants him in Portland
Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard, who hinted after getting eliminated from the playoffs that big changes were in order, made an open pitch to hire Lakers assistant Jason Kidd as the next Trail Blazers head coach.
Kidd was one of the first people cited in reports to be a candidate for the Boston Celtics’ head coaching vacancy when Brad Stevens was moved into the front office.
It appears Portland will be a destination for another job interview.
“Jason Kidd is the guy I want,” Lillard told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.
Longtime coach Terry Stotts and the Trail Blazers mutually agreed to part ways Friday, a day after Portland was eliminated from the playoffs by the Denver Nuggets in a first-round playoff series.
Reports quickly surfaced of the usual suspects as candidates: Mike D’Antoni, Jeff Van Gundy and Kidd as well as Clippers assistant coach Chauncey Billups. Others included Michigan coach Juwan Howard and former Portland assistant David Vanderpool.
The Lakers’ season comes crashing down amid a flurry of injuries and problems in a first-round playoff loss to the Phoenix Suns. Here’s a look at why.
In the Lakers’ exit interviews Friday, coach Frank Vogel gave Kidd a thumbs-up as a candidate for any coaching position.
“I can’t say enough about Jason Kidd, and his impact on this year’s team,” Vogel said. "… He’s one of those guys that, there’s guys who study the game hours upon hours upon hours that don’t have the natural basketball instinct that Jason Kidd has.”
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