Hall of Famer Jason Kidd, fired last season by the Milwaukee Bucks, said Monday he would like to get back to coaching “at any level.” Kidd’s name has come up as a potential replacement for Wyking Jones at his alma mater, California.
And league sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Sunday that Kidd will be among the candidates for the Los Angeles Lakers’ coaching job if Luke Walton is dismissed.
“I think Cal is a great institution. We’ll see what happens,” Kidd said Monday on The Jump. “Right now, it’s nice to be wanted. And it just tells me I’m doing the right thing. And I think the year off helps clean up some things, too, just to refocus and have that energy.”
Kidd said he would be patient in the process and said he thought Walton had done an “incredible job” considering the Lakers’ injuries and other distractions.
“We’ll wait until the season’s over to see what opportunities come about,” he said, “and, hopefully, there’s one that fits.” Kidd described the Lakers franchise as one of the best in the world.
“Not just in the NBA, but the world,” he said. “And so 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, and so they have a process. They have a young team. And then LeBron [James] comes and kind of sped up things. And so he wants to win now. But I think, again, it takes time.”
With the Bucks, Kidd coached Giannis Antetokounmpo, one of the leading candidates to be the league’s MVP this season. Kidd said getting the opportunity to coach James, “the best player in the world,” would make taking the Lakers job a no-brainer if it were offered.
“When you talk about the best player in the world, you always are going to say yes because as a coach or as a teammate, he’s always going to make you better because you’re going to work,” Kidd said. “As a coach, X and O’s, you got to be on point. And 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.
“And so, that would be a great honor to coach any elite basketball player, and I’ve got that opportunity in Giannis. And, hopefully, somewhere down the road, I can have another star.”
The Bucks traded two second-round draft picks to the Brooklyn Nets in July 2014 to acquire Kidd’s coaching rights. In one season with the Nets, he had compiled a 44-38 record and took the team to the playoffs. In 3½ seasons in Milwaukee, Kidd was 139-152 and took the team to the playoffs twice. He was fired Jan. 22, 2018, with the Bucks having struggled to a 23-22 record.
A 10-time NBA All-Star point guard and co-Rookie of the Year in 1995, Kidd led the league in assists for five seasons. He also was named to the NBA’s All-Defensive Team nine times. He won an NBA championship with the Mavericks in 2011 and was part of two gold-medal-winning U.S. teams in the Olympics. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018.