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Former Dallas Mavericks head coach recommends Jason Kidd as his replacement

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Memphis Grizzlies
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

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Rick Carlisle shockingly resigned as the head coach of the Dallas Mavericks earlier in June after 13 seasons manning the bench, leaving the organization with a huge decision as it relates to finding a replacement.

Shortly after it was reported that Carlisle would become the next head coach of the Indiana Pacers, he took the media. One thing stood out in Carlisle’s words. He actually suggested who should replace him with the Dallas Mavericks.

“It’s hard to put an exact finger on it. It’s just a feeling that I had that it would be mutually beneficial,” the new Pacers coach said, via ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. “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.”

This normally isn’t something we see in professional sports. Sure longtime head coaches might suggest an assistant as a replacement. Sometimes, said assistant is groomed beforehand. That’s actually a possibility with Becky Hammon working under Gregg Popovich with the San Antonio Spurs.

But for a recently-resigned coach to point in the direction of an outside candidate while correlating this belief with how it would help his former teams’ star player is rather interesting.

Dallas Mavericks head coach search and Jason Kidd

Dallas Mavericks head coach search: Jason Kidd
Nov 19, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers coach Jason Kidd warms up players before the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

There has not been a whole lot of talk about who might replace Carlisle after an ugly first-round exit in the NBA Playoffs. A lot of that will be dependent on who Dallas brings in to be its next general manager after firing Donnie Nelson.

What we do know is that Kidd has a built-in relationship with the Mavericks’ organization. Six years before Cuban became the Mavericks’ owner, they selected Kidd with the No. 2 pick in the 1994 NBA Draft. While Kidd lasted only 2.5 seasons in his initial stint with the club, he returned later in his career with Cuban at the helm. Ultimately, the Hall of Fame point guard played five seasons with the Mavs later in his career — helping the team to the NBA title back in 2011.

Since retiring, Kidd has tried his hand in coaching with the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks. It’s been a mixed bag.

  • Jason Kidd coaching record: 183-190, nine playoff wins

Despite this, the current Los Angeles Lakers’ assistant has been bandied about for multiple jobs. He took his name out of the running to replace Terry Stotts with the Portland Trail Blazers. Kidd has also been linked to the Orlando Magic job.

Now, would a hiring of this ilk make sense for the Dallas Mavericks? It depends heavily on whether Dallas is looking to bring in someone with experience. Current assistant Jamahl Mosley is a top candidate to be promoted to head coach and has the support of Luka Doncic.

Right now, it might be about catering to Doncic after rumors suggested he’s upset with the direction of the organization and some within the front office. The Dallas Mavericks’ decision to fire the aforementioned Nelson after nearly a quarter-century adds another layer to this.

It’s not yet known how Doncic would feel about Dallas bringing Kidd in. But Carlisle is right about one thing. They are similar players with Luka boasting a ton more raw talent and scoring ability. Kidd could help him expand that even more given his experience as both a player and a coach.