Jason Kidd gets his second full circle opportunity with the Mavs – this time as a head coach
For Jason Kidd, it’s a complete moment. For Nico Harrison, this is a new challenge after 19 years of career at Nike.
On Friday, Kidd agreed to the terms of the contract to become the 10th coach in the 41-year history of the Mavericks. Harrison agreed to the terms to manage the franchise’s basketball operations.
Their hiring won’t be officially announced until early next week, but sources have confirmed their contractual arrangements and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban expressed his enthusiasm in a direct message to The news.
“I’m so excited !!! Both are amazing and have the experience, knowledge, passion and love of the game to lead us to a very bright future.
This is basically a package deal, with a source telling The news that the Mavericks had been in talks with Harrison shortly after the forced resignation of the president of the basketball operation, Donnie Nelson, on June 13. The source said Harrison was close to Kidd and co-signed his pursuit by the Mavericks.
Harrison is believed to hold the GM title, but it is unclear whether he or the Mavericks’ vice president of basketball operations of the past three seasons, Michael Finley, will hold the higher title. Cuban declined to say, except that Finley and Harrison will be working side by side.
Harrison had been Nike’s vice president of North American basketball operations since 2015, but long before that he had built strong relationships with stars like Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and the current star of Portland, Damian Lillard.
Harrison has been approached by many NBA teams in recent years, but had resisted openings so far. It is the Mavericks’ hope that the relationships and eye for talent he has forged as a Nike scout will help land the best players after years of free agent puffs.
For Kidd, this is a complete opportunity. In fact, it is a second completed circle, this time wider.
On Friday, it was four days before the 27-year-old since the Mavericks had made Kidd the second pick in the 1994 Draft. He was traded in 1996, returned in 2008, and helped Dallas win their only NBA championship in 2011. C ‘ was his first full circle. This is his second.
The difference is that now, at 48, he’s coming back not as a player whose odd vision and common sense earned him a 2018 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame entry, but as a coach with a 183-190 record after checkered terms in Brooklyn and Milwaukee.
In fact, that’s the full Kidd package Dallas wanted, and that’s why special adviser and former Mavericks teammate Dirk Nowitzki lobbied to hire Kidd.
Kidd is seen as a potentially ideal coach for 22-year-old superstar playmaker Luka Doncic, who in three seasons topped Kidd’s former franchise record of 21 triple-doubles, with 36 – although Doncic has some work to do with it. do to exceed Kidd’s 107. career triple-double, fourth in NBA history.
Kidd and Doncic spent considerable time together during the NBA All-Star Weekend in Chicago in February 2020, with Kidd as an assistant coach and Doncic joining Kidd as the only Mavericks to be voted All-Star starters by fans. . They are also the only Mavericks to win the NBA Rookie of the Year award, Kidd in 1995 and Doncic in 2019.
“It’s pretty cool,” Kidd said then. “I guess history could repeat itself in the sense that the Mavericks have a special player. He understands the game at a very high level. I am a big fan.”
It remains to be seen how the player-coach relationship will evolve. Under Rick Carlisle, the past three seasons, Doncic has at times reacted with disbelief to coaches’ decisions, and Kidd admitted he was demanding too much of the Brooklyn and Milwaukee players.
Still, Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo offered to lobby on Kidd’s behalf when he learned he was about to be fired, and Kidd is highly regarded by NBA players, as one tweet attests. Friday from the Lakers star and 2008 Olympic teammate LeBron James:
“Damn I hate losing JKidd man but damn I’m happy for him at the same time!” Good luck Kidd!
Lillard of Portland lobbied for Kidd to coach the Blazers after Terry Stotts was sacked last month, but Kidd withdrew his name before the search began.
Kidd has always been a great performer: Naismith Hall of Famer; NBA Champion; Ten-time NBA All-Star; Olympic gold medalist in 2000 and 2008; second in NBA history for assists and steals.
But he’s also stubborn, which he readily admitted in a 2008 interview with The news, shortly after being traded to Dallas from New Jersey, when asked about his abrupt and at times messy departures from Dallas, Phoenix and New Jersey.
“They all come to an accident,” he said. “Well, not that much of a crash. I had a good time everywhere, but business jumped.
“As a player, I have a voice. Sometimes I have to ask my boss, ‘Which way are we going? “
In this 2008 interview, Kidd also touched on a 2001 incident that precipitated his departure from Phoenix. While playing for the Suns in January of that year, he was arrested and pleaded guilty to domestic violence for assaulting his first wife, Joumana.
As part of his plea, Kidd was ordered to follow anger management advice for six months.
“I thought it was God’s will,” Kidd said The news. “It’s something that I kissed.”
When asked what he had learned from counseling, he replied, “Coexist with another person. “
There was no fan outcry when Kidd returned to the Mavericks that season. He was a fan favorite as an All-Star in 2010 and a hero in ’11 when he helped lead Dallas through a playoff challenge from Portland, the two-time defending Lakers, Oklahoma City and Miami champion. .
Now, however, he’s coming back with a more prominent headline, a position of authority, in a Mavericks franchise that in recent years has grabbed the headlines of the bad genre.
Last season, the franchise quietly fired director of player personnel Tony Ronzone after sources said new information came to light following a sexual assault allegation against Ronzone that was released on last summer in Sports Illustrated.
It was the second SI report to rock the franchise in 29 months. The first story detailed sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct in the workplace as part of the franchise’s business operations.
The report sparked a seven-month investigation, multiple sackings of team leaders, a rebuke from the NBA over the lack of institutional control and the league demanding Cuban donate $ 10 million to women’s groups.
Although it’s been two decades since his domestic violence charge, Kidd will no doubt be asked about it when he and Harrison are featured in North Texas in their new roles next week – because of the Kidd franchise membership. , but also because of the responsibility he undertakes.
The Mavericks haven’t won a playoff since that NBA title in ’11, led by Nowitzki, Kidd and others, including JJ Barea and Jason Terry, who are candidates to join the Kidd coaching staff. .
The circle is indeed complete.
Jason Kidd’s record as a head coach
Note location: Jason Kidd as head coach of the Dallas Mavericks. #MFFL
– SportsDay Mavs (@dmn_mavericks) June 25, 2021
Note hiring: Longtime Nike executive Nico Harrison as Mavs general manager. #MFFL
– SportsDay Mavs (@dmn_mavericks) June 25, 2021
– Source: Mavs to hire Jason Kidd as CEO, Nico Harrison as CEO
– What do Jason Kidd and Nico Harrison’s hires mean for the Mavs? They went old for the new NBA
– Flashback: How a reunion with Mavs revitalized Kidd, after a tumultuous end with the Nets
– A detailed timeline of Kidd, from selection # 2 by Mavs to hiring as head coach
– 5 ways Mavs’ decision to hire coach Jason Kidd and general manager Nico Harrison could impact Luka Doncic
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