Lakers assistant Jason Kidd agrees to become head coach of Dallas Mavericks
Jason Kidd, a Lakers assistant coach the last two seasons, has agreed Friday to become head coach of the Dallas Mavericks, according to people who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
The deal comes eight days after Rick Carlisle resigned as coach in the wake of general manager Donnie Nelson’s departure. Carlisle agreed to become the coach of the Indiana Pacers on Thursday.
Kidd, a Hall of Fame point guard, will now be in charge of a club led by superstar point guard Luka Doncic.
The Mavericks have also found Nelson’s replacement in Nike executive Nico Harrison, who will carry the titles of GM and president of basketball operations, one person confirmed to the Associated Press. Harrison was on board with the Kidd hiring, the person said.
It’s already the third head coaching stop for the 48-year-old Kidd, who took Brooklyn to the second round in his debut in 2013-14 before leaving for Milwaukee. Kidd was fired during his fourth season with the Bucks after first-round exits two of his first three years. He was 139-152 with the Bucks after going 44-38 with the Nets.
Kidd had two stints as a player in Dallas, the second highlighted by the franchise’s only title when he directed the offense that ran through star Dirk Nowitzki. Kidd’s career started with the Mavericks as the No. 2 overall pick in the 1994 draft.
Former coach and NBA television analyst Jeff Van Gundy sat down to discuss the Western Conference finals between the L.A. Clippers and Phoenix Suns.
Kidd’s success in Dallas will depend on how he develops the team around Doncic, a two-time All-Star whose playmaking skills had Carlisle calling him one of the five best players in the world before the coach’s unexpected departure.
It could be considered Kidd’s second chance with a European superstar, although Giannis Antetokounmpo wasn’t yet a two-time MVP when Kidd was fired in Milwaukee. The “Greek Freak” did blossom into an All-Star under Kidd, whose hiring in 2014 under new ownership in Milwaukee cost the Bucks two second-round draft picks.
The first step for the Mavericks will be getting out of the first round of the playoffs, which they haven’t done since Kidd helped them beat LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat in the 2011 NBA Finals. Doncic’s first two postseasons ended in the first round against the Clippers.
Harrison has been in Nike’s basketball division for nearly 20 years, rising in the organization through relationships with stars such as the late Kobe Bryant. He’s also had interactions with Doncic through shoe contracts.
Harrison’s background is more in marketing and building relationships, and fits the model some clubs have used in putting former agents in key personnel roles, including the Lakers with Rob Pelinka, Bryant’s former agent who is now general manager and vice president of basketball operations.
Associated Press contributed to this report.
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