Add Jason Kidd to the list of New York Knicks head coaching candidates.
New York’s interest in the Hall-of-Fame player was first reported by Ian Begley of SNY. And perhaps their interest is tied to something bigger.
According to Newsday, some teams interested in adding Kidd to their bench think he could provide a link to superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo who is set to become a free agent in 2021.
Kidd coached the “Greek Freak” for nearly four seasons in Milwaukee, before being fired during the 2017-18 season. The former NBA point guard helped Giannis develop from a 19-year-old kid with raw talent into one of the game’s best players.
“I was 19 when he came and he said he was going to put the ball in my hands,” Antetokounmpo said after Kidd was fired (H/T Bleacher Report). “The first time I wasn’t ready. I told him, ‘Coach, I’m not ready to create and make plays for the team.’ He said, ‘OK, we’re going to take our time.’ The next year, he put the ball in my hands and I was ready.”
Jason Kidd was part of the best New York Knicks team under James Dolan.
Knicks fans remember Kidd fondly for his last season playing in the NBA which coincided with the lone season the Knicks were legitimate contenders during the ownership of James Dolan. Kidd provided lethal three-point shooting and veteran leadership to the squad that won 54 games and advanced to the second round of the playoffs in 2012-13.
Since retiring from the NBA, Kidd has coached the Brooklyn Nets (2013-2014) and Milwaukee Bucks (2014-2018). He holds a 183-190 career head coaching record. After losing his job in Milwaukee, he was soon hired as an assistant with the Lakers.
Kidd is the 11th name to receive an interview for the Knicks head coaching position, per public knowledge. He joins a long list of assistants from across the league, including Chris Fleming (Bulls), Pat Delany (Magic), Will Hardy (Spurs), Mike Brown (Warriors), Jamahl Mosley (Mavericks), and Ime Udoka (76ers).
Tom Thibodeau has long been considered the front-runner for the job, while Kenny Atkinson is also considered a strong candidate. The Knicks will interview former bench chief Mike Woodson, and they will give current interim coach Mike Miller consideration.
Phone calls have already started the interview process, per Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic. The team is expected to make a final decision in the coming weeks.