With rumors swirling around the future of Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton and the team officially out of playoff contention for the sixth straight season, there have been suggestions that Basketball Hall of Famer Jason Kidd could be considered as Walton’s replacement as the Lakers’ coach for the 2019-20 season. However, there has also been some talk of Kidd returning to his alma mater, the University of California, and taking the place of Wyking Jones, whom the Golden Bears had recently fired.
Kidd has yet to commit to either one of these rumored opportunities, but he did open up about his plans to return to coaching on Monday’s edition of ESPN’s The Jump. As quoted by The Sporting News, the former NBA All-Star point guard described California as a “great institution” and admitted that it feels “nice to be wanted” by the team he had played for in college before embarking on his NBA career. He added that he now feels reenergized after more than one year away from coaching, following his departure from the Milwaukee Bucks in January 2018.
While Jason Kidd said that he’s planning to wait and see before choosing the coaching job that best suits him, he also commented about the rumors that he could be moving to the Lakers for the 2019-20 NBA season, after a campaign that has, so far, seen them compile a disappointing 32-41 record despite LeBron James’ acquisition last summer.
“If you ever have the opportunity to wear the purple and gold, you can’t turn that down, as a coach, as a player, because they’re all about championships,” Kidd remarked. “They have a process.”
Talking about James, who signed a four-year, $153.3 million contract with Los Angeles last summer, Kidd said that “you are always going to say yes” when it comes to the opportunity to play alongside or coach a player of his caliber, as LeBron is a player who will “always” make his teammates better by encouraging them to work hard.
“As a teammate, you’re going to work extremely hard because you know he’s going to need you to make that shot or come up with a defensive play. So, that would be a great honor to coach any elite basketball player.”
Although the rumor mill has pointed to Jason Kidd as one of the more serious candidates for the Lakers’ coaching job if Luke Walton does get sacked by the team, there has also been some speculation from ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith that the organization does not have any interest in the 46-year-old Hall of Famer, as previously reported by The Inquisitr. Smith said that he wasn’t sure why the Lakers do not want to hire Kidd, but added that per his sources, the team “wanted to make sure that was clear.”
As shown on his Basketball-Reference coach’s page, Kidd has a career regular season record of 183-190 with the Bucks and the Brooklyn Nets, with a 9-15 record over three playoff appearances.