New Dallas Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd is in the process of trying to get part of the old gang together again to be part of his coaching staff.
Named as coach on June 28, Kidd is in talks with Tyson Chandler, JJ Barea and Jason Terry to gauge their interest in becoming either his assistant coaches, development coaches or perhaps as a scout. All four were teammates on the Mavs’ squad that won the 2011 NBA title.
“We’ve talked to JJ, so we will work to see if that’s feasible this season.” Kidd said. “But we do have a plan for past Mavs who do want to get into coaching.”
“We are inviting them to summer league and to training camp to see if they really want to coach,” Kidd said. “There’s one thing to say ‘I want to coach,’ but then do you really want to coach? It’s not easy.
“There’s a lot of work, there’s long hours that are put in. That’s something that we want to set up as a program this summer in summer league is to invite Tyson Candler (and) JJ to summer league to participate to see if they really want to do it.”
Chandler was the 7-foot center and linchpin for the Mavs who covered up whatever defensive mistakes were made on the perimeter during the 2010-11 season by blanketing defenders with his unique ability to protect the rim at all cost.
Barea was the feisty diminutive guard who scratched and clawed his way to a solid 14-year career in the NBA, and is currently playing in Spain.
The Mavs’ fortunes in the 2011 NBA Finals dramatically changed when Barea was inserting into the starting lineup with the Miami Heat leading the best-of-seven series, 2-1. With Barea creating havoc, the Mavs promptly won the next three games and the championship series in six games.
Meanwhile, Terry just completed his first season as an assistant coach at his alma mater – the University of Arizona. In addition, Terry also played for Kidd when the latter coached the Brooklyn Nets during the 2013-14 season, and also played for Kidd during the 2016-18 seasons when he coached the Milwaukee Bucks.
“Right now JET is with the University of Arizona, and so I’m understanding the process,” Kidd said. “I told him let’s go through the process. There’s kind of maybe a pecking order.”
Mavs owner Mark Cuban said he’s had conversations with Barea about a job with the Mavs’ organization, but they were not related to coaching. Cuban said if Barea becomes part of Kidd’s staff, that’s up to Kidd and general manager Nico Harrison to make that come to fruition.
“I told JJ he’s got a job any time he wants one,” Cuban said. “What that job is, he’s got to convince these guys whether it’s coach, whether it’s scouting or whether it’s just being out in community relations like we have Rolando (Blackman) and some of our other great Mavericks.”
Last year coach Rick Carlisle’s assistant coaches were Jamahl Mosley, Darrell Armstrong, Mike Weinar and Jenny Boucek. While Carlisle has moved on to become the head coach of the Indiana Pacers and hired Weinar and Boucek as two of his assistants, this past Monday the Orlando Magic named Mosley as their head coach.
In addition to his assistant coaches, Kidd is a stickler for having his staff help develop players. Kidd became the Bucks’ coach during the second NBA season of both Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton.
The NBA’s Most Valuable Player in 2019 and 2020, Antetokounmpo’s first two of five All-Star appearances came when Kidd was the Bucks’ coach. Middleton, meanwhile, was an All-Star in 2019 and 2020.
Also, the Bucks are currently in the NBA Finals and are tied with the Phoenix Suns, 2-2, in their best-of-seven series.
“We feel like if we get the right guys on the coaching staff that have developed before, we’ve done it at a very high level,” Kidd said. “There’s a team playing right now that we were a part of with two players there in Khris Middleton and Giannis that we helped develop.
“We might not have given them all the keys or all the answers to the test, but we were there at the beginning. So, we feel that with a little hard work and some fun that we can get a Josh Green to the next level, and so that’s why we’re here. We’re here to help develop. (But) we haven’t finalized the staff yet.”