NBA

Hiring Jason Kidd Would Be a Massive Mistake for the New York Knicks

On the day the NBA resumed, the New York Knicks announced their new head coach, Tom Thibodeau. While we’re pretty sure some players aren’t too happy with the pick, Thibodeau is a far better choice than Jason Kidd, who was high on the possible hire list. “The Knicks need [Thibodeau’s] hard-driving style,” we reported in late July.

Sure, Kidd’s history as a former NBA point guard is fantastic. After all, he earned his way to the Hall of Fame. But, his coaching history has been less than stellar. He’s good at selling himself and his abilities, but his coaching doesn’t live up to the hype.

Jason Kidd’s time on the court

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Kidd was an All-American guard during his time at Cal Berkeley. In 1994, he was chosen first round, second pick overall in the NBA draft by the Dallas Mavericks. Kidd spent time playing with the Phoenix Suns and New Jersey Nets before returning to the Mavericks and ending his NBA career following a one-year stint with the Knicks.

The point guard’s credits are endless. In Kidd’s first year, he made the All-Rookie First Team and was Co-Rookie of the Year. He won a 2011 championship with the Mavericks; he made the NBA All-Star team 10 times, the All-NBA First Team five times, and he was named to the Second Team once. Kidd was also named four times to the NBA All-Defensive First Team and Second Team five times.

Kidd goes from player to coach in the same year

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He retired from play in June 2013. Kidd wasn’t out for long though. Within 10 days, he was hired as head coach for the Brooklyn Nets. That year, the Nets won a playoff series after going 44-38 for the season. Kidd received a $50,000 fine that season. While carrying a cup of water, he told a player to bump him. This resulted in spillage requiring a clean-up and earning an extra timeout toward the end of a game.

After one season it was on to the Milwaukee Bucks for three-and-a-half seasons. There he helped develop a young Giannis Antetokounmpo, but the team, overall, wasn’t up to snuff under his leadership. Kidd was fired mid-season in January 2018.

The following year, Kidd was hired as a Lakers assistant coach. He was considered as a possible coach for the Brooklyn Nets earlier this year, as was Thibodeau. However, it was Jacque Vaughn who landed that position. 

What’s next for Kidd?

It was his relationship with Antetokounmpo that made Kidd a real potential candidate for the Knicks job. The Knicks would love to court Antetokounmpo to New York and no doubt, Kidd would have loved the chance to bring him there. But in the end, Thibodeau’s longtime relationship with Knicks president, Leon Rose, won out.

Beyond that, Kidd has a not-so-great record a citizen. In 2001, reports SB Nation, he pled guilty to spousal abuse, paid a fine, and went through an anger management course. In 2007, his now ex-wife, Johanna, filed allegations of further spousal abuse against him. And, in 2012, he wrapped his Cadillac Escalade around a utility pole and pled guilty to driving while intoxicated.

For now, Kidd remains an assistant coach to the Laker’s head coach Frank Vogel. Fellow assistant coaches include Lionel Hollins, Phil Handy, Miles Simon, Mike Penberthy, and Quinton Crawford, according to NBA.com.

Kidd should be happy to have any coaching job, anywhere. But, it is pretty clear that he will apply for almost any top coaching job in the NBA, or perhaps even a college-level team. Prior to his hiring with the Lakers, he said in an ESPN interview that he “would love to get back to coaching at the college level or the NBA.” Well, he is doing that.