The Los Angeles Lakers’ disasterous season, which will result in Lebron James missing the playoffs for the first time in over a decade, is expected to lead to major changes in the offseason, most likely including the firing of current head coach Luke Walton.
As to Walton’s replacement, rumors have centered on everyone from Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers, who agreed to an extension with the Clippers last week, to former Nets and Bucks coach Jason Kidd. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Twitter earlier this week that Kidd was likely “among the serious candidates” for the Los Angeles job, to the point where Kidd may hold off on accepting the coaching job at his alma mater, the University of California.
Now, another report says the Lakers might not be interested in Kidd after all.
“I’ve been told there’s no way they’re really considering Jason Kidd. He’s not on their list,” ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith said on television Monday.
Smith is a television host who is not a full-time reporter, and he pointed out himself that he’s not covering the league as closely as someone like Wojnarowski, whom he described as a friend and colleague. But Smith made it sound as though he heard the Kidd news directly from the Lakers.
“But in this particular story, the Lakers are saying, no, we’re not interested in Jason Kidd,” he said. “And they want to make sure that that’s clear. I don’t know why, but they wanted to make sure that that was clear.”
The 46-year-old Kidd, who played 19 seasons in the NBA, was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018. He was named coach of the Brooklyn Nets in 2013, immediately after his retirement as a player, and coached the team for just one season. In a rare move, Kidd was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks in 2014. After an up-and-down tenure, Kidd was fired in early 2018.
The Lakers currently have a 32-41 record, per ESPN, including a 2-8 record in their last 10 games, and the team has been eliminated from playoff contention. In James’ first year in Los Angeles, the team has suffered from injuries, the inability to add a second veteran star, and a lack of development among their young players. The team was also hurt by its high-profile pursuit of New Orleans’ Anthony Davis, in which most of its youngest players were mentioned in frequent trade rumors, although no trade ultimately took place.