Jason Kidd was always a next-level thinker on the basketball court.
That should give him a lot in common with the point guard he’s now entrusted with coaching.
The Mavericks are banking on Kidd, who has officially signed to become the 10th head coach in the franchise’s 42-year history. That includes nine different men (Dick Motta had two separate stints).
“Dallas has meant so much to me as a player and I want to thank Mark Cuban for the opportunity to return as a head coach,” Kidd said. “I am excited to get to work with this young, hungry and incredibly talented team and to continue to build a winning legacy for the Mavericks organization.”
Kidd, drafted by the Mavericks with the second overall pick in 1994, traded away three years later, re-acquired in 2008 and point guard on the 2011 championship team, signed a multiyear contract.
Kidd will inherit a team that has made the playoffs the last two seasons, losing in the first round both times, and features one of the best young players in the game: Luka Dončić.
Kidd replaces Rick Carlisle, who had been at the Mavericks’ helm for 13 seasons before resigning earlier this month. Carlisle had given his endorsement of Kidd for the Mavericks’ opening when news broke that he would be the new coach for the Indiana Pacers.
Kidd has had two previous head coaching jobs – Brooklyn in 2013-14 and Milwaukee for the following 3 ½ seasons. He was fired by the Bucks midway through the 2017-18 season and has been an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Lakers the past two seasons.
The 48-year-old had a hall of fame playing career (inducted in 2018). He played all or part of eight seasons with the Mavericks, playing (and starting) a total of 500 games for them.
His playing career started in Dallas, went to Phoenix, then New Jersey, where he reached the NBA finals twice, back to Dallas and finally with one season in New York.
Kidd mostly is remembered as a player for his ability to produce triple-doubles. He had 107 triple-doubles in his 19-year career, although Dončić has surpassed him as the triple-double king in Mavericks’ history. Luka has 36, Kidd had 23 as a Mav.
But like Dončić, it was Kidd’s savvy playmaking that set him apart as a player. During one particularly close game in Atlanta, Kidd was racing downcourt near the sideline close to the benches. Hawks’ coach Mike Woodson had stepped onto the playing floor while yelling instructions – not uncommon for coaches.
Kidd saw it and veered his path slightly to run into Woodson, who was called for a technical foul as the Mavericks went on to win the game.
Maneuvers like that earned Kidd his reputation as one of the NBA’s best leaders on the court.
His career coaching record is 143-150. His best year as a coach came in 2014 when he led the Nets to the second round of the playoffs after going 44-38 during the regular season.
It has been widely reported that former Maverick guard J.J. Barea is getting strong consideration to join Kidd’s staff. He also has strong affiliations with numerous other veteran assistants around the league, including former Mavs’ assistant Joe Prunty.
Thank you @Lakers @JeanieBuss for the last two years and the opportunity to grow as a coach. Our championship season was unforgettable. Thrilled to return to the @dallasmavs organization and begin another chapter @mcuban! #MFFL pic.twitter.com/HN1FacKTzY
— Jason Kidd (@RealJasonKidd) June 28, 2021