With the 2018 NBA Finals in the books, and the Golden State Warriors holding a 3-1 lead in that series, they have suddenly found themselves questioned by the league’s most famous sideline personality on a recent appearance on ESPN. As if the Warriors weren’t already a major talking point, Jason Kidd, the recently retired former NBA head coach, was able to draw even more attention by his comments on the Warriors’ newest roster addition, Luka Doncic.
The Dallas Mavericks have a young, exciting future ahead of them—and they’re going to get that future started soon, as they’ve just hired Kidd as their next head coach.
One of the many reasons why the Bucks were so successful this season was their revamped front office. And while many fans are thrilled about Kidd signing a two-year contract extension, there are some who aren’t happy about the new coaching staff.
Competitors like proving their critics wrong, and Hall of Fame point player Jason Kidd wants to accomplish just that in his current position as head coach of the Dallas Mavericks. Kidd previously served as the coach of the Brooklyn Nets and the Milwaukee Bucks, but now, just over three years after being dismissed by Milwaukee, Kidd hopes to redeem himself by guiding NBA sensation Luka Doncic and the Mavs.
But he’ll only be effective if he can get his players to play to their abilities. As a result, Kidd has said that he would not teach Doncic in the same way that he instructed reigning NBA Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Jason Kidd has played for the Nets and the Bucks.
Kidd had a Hall of Fame career as a player, garnering ten All-Star selections and five times leading the NBA in assists per game. Kidd had a brief stint as the Nets’ coach in 2013-14 following his last season in 2012-13.
He guided them to a 44-38 record and a first-round victory in the Eastern Conference playoffs, but he left Brooklyn after that season and soon joined the Bucks.
Kidd then guided Milwaukee to the playoffs in two of his three full seasons with the team, although his total record was 139-152. The Bucks dismissed him 45 games into the season after the team’s poor start in 2017-18.
Kidd, on the other hand, helped Antetokounmpo get his start in Milwaukee. Antetokounmpo was in his second NBA season during Kidd’s first season as Bucks coach. In 2016-17, Antetokounmpo went from averaging 12.7 points per game to becoming an All-Star. Since then, he has won two NBA MVP titles and was named the NBA Finals MVP in 2021.
He will not coach NBA sensation Luka Doncic in the same way that he coached Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Luka Doncic, Jason Kidd, and Giannis Antetokounmpo (from left to right). Getty Images/Alex Goodlett; Getty Images/Maddie Meyer; Getty Images/Dylan Buell
Kidd was an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Lakers for the last two seasons, winning a championship with them in 2019-20. However, the Mavericks appointed him as their new head coach in June. During his playing career, Kidd spent parts of eight seasons with the Mavs, garnering numerous All-Star selections and winning a title in 2011. Coaching them, on the other hand, will be a far more difficult task.
The former point guard was recently featured on ESPN’s The Jump, when a footage of Antetokounmpo thanking him after the 2021 NBA Finals was shown. He did mention, however, that when Kidd was his head coach, he would tell him not to shoot.
Kidd said that’s not something he’ll tell Doncic on the Mavericks when discussing his new position. In each of the previous two seasons, Doncic scored over 27.5 points per game and increased his 3-point shooting from 31.6 percent in 2019-20 to 35 percent in 2020-21.
Kidd told ESPN’s Richard Jefferson, who he played with on the New Jersey Nets, that Luka is a different talent. “When you look at a 22-year-old and what he’s done so early in his career, it’s incredible. I’m not going to tell him not to shoot; he’s capable of doing so. My role is to make the game simpler for him, to help him understand the game inside the game, to help him get people moving, and to help him grow as a leader.”
“[I intend to] assist him in every area of the game to try to make it simple for him,” he added. That’s what we did in Milwaukee with Giannis, and I’m not going to tell him not to shoot like you (Richard Jefferson) and Giannis. But I wanted you guys to succeed because I recognized your abilities.”
In the future NBA seasons, how can Jason Kidd assist Luka Doncic?
Kidd was well aware of Antetokounmpo’s talents, one of which was not (and still isn’t) shooting. Antetokounmpo improved from 6.8 points per game before Kidd became his coach to 22.9 points per game in 2016-17.
Kidd was well aware that Giannis could dominate in the paint, and the eventual MVP accomplished just that.
Kidd, on the other hand, can assist Doncic in continuing to put his teammates up for success. Doncic is an excellent scorer and a much superior shooter than Antetokounmpo. In each of the past two seasons, he has averaged over 8.5 assists. Kidd led the NBA in assists five times and set up players like Vince Carter and Dirk Nowitzki; he understands how to get the most out of individuals and can transfer that knowledge on to Doncic, who has already shown himself in that area.
No, Kidd’s time in Milwaukee did not go well, but he was instrumental in the development of Antetokounmpo, who is now one of the greatest players in the game. Now he has a chance to redeem himself with Doncic, who is already a fantastic player.
Kidd has been put up for success by Dallas, and now it’s up to him to prove his critics wrong.
Basketball Reference provided the statistics.
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