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Dallas Mavericks: Jason Kidd is the right man for the job

By Nick McErlean
Dallas Mavericks Jason Kidd Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Dallas Mavericks Jason Kidd Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

The Dallas Mavericks have agreed to hire Jason Kidd as their next head coach, according to Tim MacMahon. They also inked Nico Harrison, a former Nike executive, to be the team’s lead executive after Donnie Nelson mutually parted ways with the franchise following a 24-year reign earlier this month.

Harrison’s hire was met with high praise around the league because the Mavericks were able to lure him away from Nike after multiple other organizations failed in their attempts. When it came to the news of Jason Kidd, who reportedly agreed to a four-year deal, the feelings have been mixed.

One obvious area of concern has been Kidd’s track record as a head coach. Between his two stints with the Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets, he has amassed a career regular-season record of 183-190 and a playoff mark of 9-15. In four career post-season series, Kidd has only been victorious once. Not exactly eye-popping numbers.

More. How it could be different for Jason Kidd in Dallas

There has also been harsh criticism from fans of Kidd for his past and off-the-court issues. In 2013, while head coach of the Brooklyn Nets, he was arrested for misdemeanor drunken driving, and in 2014, it was reported that he had clashed heavily with Nets ownership about his role within the franchise, leading to his trade from Brooklyn to Milwaukee.

Dallas Mavericks: What does Jason Kidd bring to the team?

As far as the off the court concerns, Kidd has shown no reasons or signs that should lead anyone to believe it will be an issue moving forward. When it comes to the Hall of Famer, there is way more to be excited about than not as we usher in this new era of Dallas Mavericks basketball.

Since 2019, Kidd has served as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Lakers, including their 2020 championship run in the bubble. Kidd now has a rare insight into what it takes to build and be a championship team from both a player and coach’s perspective. Few other candidates can offer that.

Another exciting aspect of the Kidd hiring is the similarities as a player he shares with superstar Luka Doncic. Both are considered top-tier guards when it comes to rebounding and assists. Kidd was never the scorer Luka is, but he did not need to be the way Luka has over his first three seasons.

Two criticisms of Luka’s game have been his inconsistent ability to elevate his teammates amid his need to dominate the ball and his lack of ability on the defensive end.

If anyone can provide value to the 22-year-old’s continued development in those two facets of the game, it’s Kidd. He was a four-time All-Defensive first-team selection with nine honors overall, which is levels above where Luka is at this point in his young career. If Kidd does his job, he should be able to help Doncic tap into that area of his game in no time.

Kidd’s experience should not only be beneficial to Doncic, but to other young players such as Jalen Brunson, Dorian Finney-Smith, and yes, even Kristaps Porzingis should the Mavs decide to not trade him. Kidd coached a young Giannis Antetokounmpo in Milwaukee. Even though many are not fond of those years when dissecting Kidd’s coaching abilities, he did have a lot to do with the development and discipline of the Greek Freak that fans see today.

Porzingis is no Giannis, but under Kidd’s tutelage, there is hope that the 48-year-old can help resurrect the chemistry between Luka and KP. It is also worth noting that Giannis enjoyed Kidd’s hard work and fast-paced coaching style. It is unknown how it will sit with the Unicorn.

The concerns are warranted. Dallas Mavericks fans are on pins and needles as their franchise’s future hangs in the balance and enters its most critical offseason in over a decade. Relax. Breathe. Under the leadership of Mark Cuban, Nico Harrison, Michael Finley, Dirk Nowitzki and now Jason Kidd, the franchise is in extremely good hands and headed for sustained success beyond the first round of the playoffs.

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