The Dallas Mavericks, fresh off a parting of ways with Rick Carlisle and Donnie Nelson, have found his replacements in NBA Hall of Famer Jason Kidd and former Nike Executive Nico Harrison.
Kidd who just finished a two-season stint as an assistant under Frank Vogel and the Los Angeles Lakers was a preferred choice as a predecessor to Carlisle, who along with Kidd helped lead the Mavericks to the 2011 NBA title.
In fact, Kidd has come full-circle, after being drafted by the Mavericks out of Cal-Berkeley and then helping them win a title. Now he returns as head coach.
Kidd’s hire raises the number of Black NBA coaches to 10 out of 30 teams. Not sure if we’ve ever had double digit Black- American coaches before. So we could say diversity at the coaching ranks is improving.
“My hope is that Jason Kidd will be the next coach of the Mavs because he and Luka Doncic have so much in common as players,” Carlisle stated to ESPN after leaving the position he held for 13 years. “ I think that it would be a great situation for Luka, and I think it would be an amazing opportunity for Jason. I’m the only person on the planet who’s coaches both of those guys and knows about all the special qualities they each possess as basketball players. To me, I believe it would be a great marriage, but again it’s just my opinion.”
Sources said that Kidd has begun the early stages of assembling a coaching staff. pic.twitter.com/BKPffvWI9H
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 25, 2021
During his illustrious 19-year-long career as a player, Kidd played for the Mavericks twice as already stated. Drafted No.2 overall by the Mavs in the 1994 NBA Draft.
Though he’d already shown potential to be a legendary point guard in his first three years, I find it hard-pressed to say Kidd spent his best years with the Mavs. Those New Jersey Nets years top any of that. He went to the Finals and had a chance at a chip.
Upon his return in 2008, both he and the team were old. However aging made great VINO (In my Kobe Bryant voice) in 2011, when Kidd and Dirk Nowitzki who were 38 and 33 years old respectively that year, led the Mavericks to their first and only NBA championship in franchise history.
As far as Kidd’s coaching career, well it wasn’t long, but he did lead the Brooklyn Nets from (2013-14) and the Milwaukee Bucks from (2014-2018). Those teams lacked talent and he wasn’t very successful. And let’s also just say he was loved by Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo who was really taken aback by him being let go in 2018.
Kidd’s strength is his ability to nurture and elevate young players on his teams with his progressive thinking and unique mental approach.
For example, he put Giannis at point guard in Milwaukee and it has helped Greek Freak in his overall floor game, as the hardest thing to do is develop big men.
They take longer to mature and develop, so he decided to get the best out of Antetokounmpo, and today we can see that he had a positive effect on the two-time NBA MVP and one-time Defensive Player of the Year.
Greek Freak’s dribbling, court vision, and passing skills have all improved immensely over his career and that’s a credit to Kidd thinking outside the box to get the most out of an Uber talented but extremely raw 6’11 athletic specimen. He also pushed him to hit the weight room fervently and we see the results to this day.
Now with the Mavs, Kidd has the young ace in Luka Doncic, who is already one of the league’s best playmakers. Under Kidd, he can learn how to be a better orchestrator.
Doncic’s game style so far in his career has been using his individual offense. Kidd, even in his prime did not share Doncic’s scoring capabilities and prowess, but he had more than enough ways of passing the ball to the right player at the right time in the correct way.
He made everyone better and made the game easier for his teammates. Now let’s see how he adds to Luka’s already impressive skillset, but I’m more interested to see how he helps the “Slovenian Sensation” mature.
In Nick Harrison, the Mavericks are getting a former Nike Executive with ties to many NBA players. During his 20 years with the American sport manufacturing giant he established relationships and connections with tons of athletes across all sports, with Doncic being one of them.
According to multiple media outlets, his relationship with Doncic is “strong” which should be helpful for his role within the organization.
The Mark Cuban-led Dallas Mavericks organization is in need of nothing but positivity and clean sledding after a rough couple of years on the court and in the public eye.