Jason Kidd
Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

Jason Kidd Will Be A Disaster As The Head Coach Of The Mavericks

Jason Kidd will officially become the new head coach of the Dallas Mavericks, as announced by Shams on Twitter today. This should come as no surprise, as the Hall of Famer was bound to take another head coaching job at some point after being an assistant on the Lakers for the past two seasons. This will be Kidd’s third crack at a head coaching gig, but he will be inheriting a team in shambles desperate for talent, lest Luka Dončić express his desire to leave Dallas. With the Dončić situation front and center, Kidd was not a smart hire by Mark Cuban and the Mavericks organization.

Some Necessary Background

To understand why Kidd is not a good fit for Dallas, one must first understand why his previous coaching endeavors should have disqualified him from the job.

Kidd was hired by the Brooklyn Nets to be the team’s head coach following his retirement. The team was not bad, as it had several stars who were admittedly past their prime but still effective players in Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Deron Williams, and Joe Johnson. Additionally, Brook Lopez, Jason Terry, and Shaun Livingston were all on the roster as well, but Kidd struggled to balance all of the personalities on his team and it underperformed as a result. The Nets finished above .500 but were 14th in offensive rating and an awful 20th in defensive rating. They lost in the Eastern Semifinals to the Heat in 5 games, and Brooklyn shipped Kidd off to the Bucks for two second-round picks.

As the coach of the Bucks from 2014-2018, he oversaw the development of Giannis Antetokounmpo into a superstar and a period of mediocrity in terms of the team’s success. He helped improve their record to 41-41 following a franchise-worst 15 wins in 2013-2014, but the team never capitalized on this leap, winning just 33 games the next year and 42 the year after. Kidd was fired midseason in 2018 after going 23-22. The Bucks then hired Mike Budenholzer in the offseason and finished 2018-2019 with 60 wins, the most in the East.

Why This Will Not Work

This situation could be disastrous because Kidd has not proven himself as a coach in situations like these. The only experience he has as a head coach has been where he takes over a functional organization with a talented roster and tries to elevate that team to where it should be, and he was not too successful in those environments either. The reality of this Dallas Mavericks organization is that they are in a major transitional period right now. Their front office has been gutted, and although they have one of the best young talents in the NBA in Dončić, they also have a horrendously valued contract in Kristaps Porzingis.

What they needed right now was a guy that could come in and completely change the culture in Dallas, but Kidd just does not fit that mold. Cuban may have made this decision with the thought of pleasing Dončić as his only consideration, but the only thing that will make Dončić happy is winning, and with Jason Kidd’s track record, they may not have a better chance at winning than they did before.

Cuban also just hired a new President of Basketball Operations, Nico Harrison. Harrison is a former executive with Nike and does not have any experience in the NBA. Pairing an inexperienced front office executive with a head coach like Kidd could completely backfire.

Jason Kidd or not, the most important task at hand for Dallas right now is acquiring more talent. If they are not able to put the necessary pieces around Dončić, he may simply walk out the door.

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