As confirmed by SNY’s Ian Begley on Monday, Lakers assistant coach Jason Kidd will receive an interview for the Knicks head coach position. Last week he reported that there was a “strong internal consideration” for interviewing Kidd for the job.
Not only does Kidd have coaching experience, but there may be a specific reason – a player to be exact – that the Knicks might consider using him.
Giannis Antetokounmpo will play in the final year of his $ 100 million four-year pact with the Bucks next season, making him the most intriguing free agent to reach the market in 2021. He confessed his desire to stay in Milwaukee, but only if they prove to remain one of the best teams in the East, so they can compete for the Larry O’Brien Trophy every year.
But other league teams that can offer him supermax may be of interest to the ultra dynamic guard when allowed to test the market. That’s where Kidd comes in.
As reported for the first time by Newsday’s Steve Popper, Kidd could help a team land Antetokounmpo in free agency, given his time that he coached the Buck during the All-Star’s development years.
Kidd has been the head coach of the Bucks since 2014-18, and when he started, Antetokounmpo was about to begin his beginner year. In 2016, however, Antetokounmpo’s development under Kidd led to 22.9 points per game and 52.1 percent shooting from the field. “The Greek Freak” spoke highly of Kidd during his time in Milwaukee.
So Kidd, who also played his last NBA season in New York in 2012-13 and has a good relationship with owner James Dolan, could it be that bridge between Antetokounmpo and the Knicks? It’s a long shot, of course, but it does take Kidd’s case into account. Not only would Antetokounmpo’s landing immediately benefit the Knicks, but other free agents may be inclined to join him at Madison Square Garden.
The Knicks want to return to glory, which means hiring a coach who can not only help develop key pieces like RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson, but also one who can help generate wins quickly. During his coaching years, Kidd had a 44-38 record, and reached the playoffs three times – once with the Brooklyn Nets in his first year as head coach in 2013-14, and twice with the Bucks in 2014 -15 and seasons 2016-17.
There are many other candidates for the new team president Leon Rose to interview including Tom Thibodeau (the reported favorite), Mike Woodson, Kenny Atkinson, Mike Brown and others.