Damian Lillard makes clear who he wants as Trail Blazers coach
from Larry Brown Sports with Grey Papke and from YardBarker.com/www.yardbarker.com
It has been indicated that Damian Lillard will play a big role in determining the next Portland Trail Blazers coach. To that end, the star guard has made clear who he wants on the bench next season.
Lillard told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports that he wants the Blazers to hire Lakers assistant Jason Kidd as head coach.
“Jason Kidd is the guy I want,” Lillard said.
Kidd makes a lot of sense from Lillard’s perspective. The two are both natives of Oakland and have a strong long-term relationship. Kidd is also rising on the list of head coach candidates league wide, as he has impressed during his tenure with the Lakers with his ideas and communication with players.
Haynes also reports that Lillard is “fixated” on competing for championships, and intends to take a more vocal role within the organization going forward. He also personally believes Kidd can help elevate both his game and the team to another level.
The next Portland coach will be replacing Terry Stotts, who parted ways with the organization following the team’s first round playoff exit last Thursday.
Jason Kidd withdraws name from consideration for Trail Blazers’ head-coaching job
from Erin Walsh, with YardBarker.com/www.yardbarker.com
Los Angeles Lakers assistant Jason Kidd has removed his name from consideration for the Portland Trail Blazers’ head-coaching job, he told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski Sunday morning.
“Portland’s a first-class organization and will have great candidates for its head-coaching job, but I’ve decided not to be one of them,” Kidd said. “Whoever they choose will have big shoes to fill from Terry [Stotts].”
Wojnarowski says Kidd was uncomfortable with the idea of pursuing the position after Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard publicly called for his hiring in an interview with Yahoo Sports just hours after Stotts was fired. Lillard’s public endorsement left Kidd feeling he would put Lillard and Portland in an awkward position should he pursue the opening.
Lillard also said in his interview with Yahoo Sports that he would prefer Los Angeles Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups to be the franchise’s next head coach.
According to Wojnarowski, Billups, former New York Knicks and Houston Rockets head coach Jeff Van Gundy, Brooklyn Nets assistant Mike D’Antoni and Michigan coach Juwan Howard are expected to be among Portland’s list of candidates.
Kidd began coaching after a Hall of Fame career in the NBA. He compiled a 183-190 record with the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks before joining the Lakers as an assistant in 2019.
The 48-year-old is also expected to be considered for the Boston Celtics’ vacant head-coaching position.