The Dallas Mavericks were at press time in negotiations with former player and coach Jason Kidd to become their new head coach, according to ESPN and various other national sources.
The Associated Press reported just after 1 p.m. Central time that the parties had reached an agreement for Kidd to become the franchise’s new head coach.
It was also reported by the Dallas Morning News that the franchise was in negotiations with former Nike executive Nico Harrison as a replacement to longtime Mavericks exec Donnie Nelson.
Kidd is currently an assistant with the Los Angeles Lakers. The 48-year-old helped the Mavericks win an NBA championship in 2011, and has been in the coaching ranks since his retirement, most notably the head coach in Milwaukee until he was dismissed in 2018.
If he becomes the new Mavericks head coach, it’ll be his third stint with the franchise. Kidd was drafted No. 2 overall by the Mavericks in 1994, traded in ’97, returned to Dallas in a trade with New Jersey in 2008, then left again in 2012.
Kidd would replace former coach Rick Carlisle – the same coach who also guided Kidd and the Mavericks to that NBA title. Carlisle was named head coach at the Indiana Pacers on Thursday, and in the press conference, Carlisle endorsed Kidd as his replacement in Dallas.
“My hope is that Jason Kidd will be the next coach of the Mavs because he and Luka have so many things in common as players,” Carlisle told ESPN. He added, “to me that just would be a great marriage, but that’s just an opinion.”
Kidd had been considered a front-runner for the Dallas head coaching job since Carlisle left the franchise last week, but a source to the Morning News said Kidd’s candidacy “quickly gained warp-speed momentum” after former Mavericks player and new special advisor Dirk Nowitzki strongly endorsed him for the job.
Also, ESPN and The New York Times reported Thursday night that the franchise have been in talks with Harrison to fill the vacancy left by Nelson’s forced resignation earlier this month.
Kidd’s second go-round with Dallas – where the then-38-year-old helped them win the championship over a Miami team stocked with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh – didn’t end so well.
Kidd played for the Mavericks the following season and had agreed to come back, but changed his mind and signed with the New York Knicks, upsetting Dallas owner Mark Cuban.
But according to the Morning News, the duo smoothed their differences soon after and once again became close friends.
Kidd recognized Cuban during his Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame induction speech in Springfield, Mass., on Sept. 7, 2018, as Cuban was a part of the crowd.
“Mark Cuban, thank you for giving me the opportunity to win a championship – one of the best owners in sports.”
Then, on December 12, 2018, months after Kidd was fired as Milwaukee’s coach, Kidd sat next to Cuban and watched the Mavericks and young point guard Luka Doncic beat the Hawks.
After that game, Kidd raved about the “great basketball I.Q.,” of Doncic, who would go on to join Kidd as the only Mavericks players to win the league’s rookie of the year honor.
Kidd also has another NBA title in tow: he won a 2020 NBA championship ring as assistant to the Lakers, as the NBA concluded the season in a “bubble” in Florida after the COVID-19 global pandemic.