Kidd, who spent one season as head coach in Brooklyn and four in Milwaukee before being fired, needs to immediately connect with Luka Dončić in order to be successful this time around.
Sources said that Kidd has begun the early stages of assembling a coaching staff. pic.twitter.com/BKPffvWI9H
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 25, 2021
In his introductory press conference in Dallas, Kidd praised Dončić.
“It’s a beautiful thing to watch,” Kidd said. “It’s poetry in motion.”
The 22-year-old Dončić catapulted the Mavericks back into title contention with his elite level of play.
So Kidd’s first task remains to mesh with his superstar in hopes of making a title run.
Dallas Building Around Dončić
Following a first-year campaign that saw him win the NBA’s Rookie of the Year award, Dončić has earned two consecutive All-Star berths and All-NBA First Team selections.
This led to the Mavericks inking Dončić to the largest guaranteed rookie extension in NBA history.
The Dallas Mavericks have extended the contract of two-time All-NBA First Team guard Luka Dončić.
— Mavs PR (@MavsPR) August 10, 2021
So there’s no doubt who the star is in Dallas.
Kidd’s initial run as head coach featured a star-laden roster in Brooklyn, but the Nets fell short in their efforts to beat the Miami Heat.
Kidd couldn’t connect with his stars, and was ultimately traded, as a coach, to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Now, Kidd handles a roster with a player in Dončić who’s an elite level talent on the short list of best players he’s coached.
During his first three seasons, Dončić became the youngest player to earn multiple All-NBA first-team selections.
So Kidd must allow Dončić the room to grow and continue to blossom.
Giving Dončić the space he needs, even in the face of adversity, will be Kidd’s greatest test.
Kidd’s Playing (And Coaching) Experience A Plus
Working in Kidd’s favor is his history as an elite player in the NBA.
While he never reached the heights of Dončić’s production, Kidd remained a Hall of Fame talent throughout his career.
Over a 19-year career, Kidd made 10 All-Star berths, nine All-Defense teams, six All-NBA teams, and led the league in assists five times.
He won his only NBA championship as a member of the Mavericks, when his 2011 squad upset James and the Heat.
He’s fourth all-time in triple-doubles (104).
Kidd’s skills as a passer and playmaker should provide him useful insight for a player of Dončić’s ilk.
He also sports experience coaching superstars beyond Antetokounmpo, considering his recent run as an assistant with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Kidd worked with James, someone Dončić plays similarly to.
It helps that Dallas also hired Igor Kokoškov, who’s very familiar with Dončić considering the pair’s European roots.
Kokoškov coached the Slovenian national team, with Dončić on it, to the EuroBasket Championship in 2017.