Lakers’ Jason Kidd reveals Damian Lillard’s public request turned him off for Blazers job
But now the Lakers coach has outright refused the post, explaining how he was put in an ‘uncomfortable’ situation. This comes via a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski:
“Portland’s a first-class organization and will have great candidates for its head coaching job, but I’ve decided not to be one of them,” Kidd told ESPN. “Whoever they choose will have big shoes to fill from Terry (Stotts).”
“Kidd was ultimately uncomfortable with the idea of pursuing the opening after Blazers star Damian Lillard publicly called for his hiring within hours of Stotts’ departure on Friday night. The public nature of Lillard’s endorsement — telling Yahoo Sports that “Jason Kidd is the guy I want” — left Kidd feeling he would put both Lillard and Portland’s process in an awkward circumstance should he pursue the opening.
Quite a shocking turn of events. Jason Kidd’s Lakers were ousted from the first round, just as Damian Lillard’s Blazers were. Had Los Angeles still been in the postseason, a statement of that nature might have just been to stay focused on the task at hand. But with the offseason in full swing for the Hall-of-Famer, it looks like his decision on the matter is firm.
The situation raises a lot of questions. Did Damian Lillard not talk to Kidd about the possibility of coaching the Blazers? Surely had they been in communication right after the Lakers and Blazers’ eliminations, or even before that, they could have figured out the best way to get Kidd the job.
But it’s also possible that Lillard just voiced out his opinion in the moment, assuming that Kidd would be interested in another shot at a head coaching gig. For now, Lillard and the Blazers must look elsewhere.