The Dallas Mavericks hired Jason Kidd in the summer of 2021, and nobody expected the team to have so much success in year one. The Hall of Fame point guard led the Mavs to the Western Conference Finals as he helped Jalen Brunson blossom into a full-time starter and the team's second-leading scorer.
This is Kidd’s third stint as an NBA head coach. He had varying degrees of success in his first two stops but most viewed going from Rick Carlisle to Kidd as a massive downgrade. It turned out, Kidd improved the Mavericks' defense and chemistry enough to help them win their first playoff series since 2011.
The entire roster bought into Kidd’s philosophy, and their togetherness was a key part of their postseason run. Jalen Brunson hopped on The Long Shot podcast with Miami Heat wing Duncan Robinson that dropped on June 16 where he talked about what makes the Hall of Fame point guard special as a head coach.
Jalen Brunson on what makes Dallas Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd special
Robinson asked Brunson what was different with Kidd in charge of the Mavericks, and the soon-to-be free point guard had this to say.
"One thing that I saw from him was he wanted us to do it on our own. He was like, ‘alright I’m going to give you guys this, this, and this, go do it. We would play these little scrimmages in practice, and something happens. Coaches call timeout, and he is like figure it out. Get out of the run. It happened during games too."
JB went on to discuss how forcing the players to figure it out on their own improved their communication and chemistry. He followed by saying this.
"I think the biggest thing I took from him personally was, with all the conversations we had, he was trying to make me better."
He went on to tell a story about how coach Kidd told him he made a pass too soon, despite Dorian Finney-Smith hitting the game-winner off the assist against the Kings with 3.3 seconds to go on March 5. The Hall of Fame point guard never missed a chance to make his team and his players better, and Brunson raved about that quality. Robinson followed by praising the approach Kidd used and how it made the Mavericks more successful.
Brunson also discussed the team’s playoff run, his summer plans, and touched on his upcoming free agency. Fans can hear the full interview below.
The Dallas Mavericks want to bring Jalen Brunson back on a long-term deal this summer, and there is mutual interest between the two sides. Will they get a deal done? Duncan Robinson seemed confident throughout the interview that Brunson would be back in Dallas next season.
MFFLs will not rest easy until Jalen Brunson has signed his new contract. The Knicks and others are still expected to make a strong push to sign the unrestricted free agent. Can they lure him away from Dallas? Stay tuned for all the latest.