Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Jason Kidd says he will not take over the head coaching position for the Portland Trail Blazers in the wake of Terry Stotts’ departure. Blazers star guard Damian Lillard has said he wanted the team to bring in Kidd for the role.
“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, Sunday. “Whoever they choose will have big shoes to fill from Terry [Stotts].”
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Kidd, a Hall of Fame point guard, has experience serving as the head coach of the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks in his time since retiring as a player. He joined the Lakers in 2019 and won the 2020 NBA Championship with the organization.
“Jason Kidd is the guy I want,” Lillard told Yahoo Sports on Friday night.
With Kidd out of the picture, ESPN reports that the team will pursue Jeff Van Gundy, Chauncey Billups, Mike D’Antoni, and Juwan Howard. They have yet to officially request permission to speak to any candidates.
Under Stotts, the Blazers maintained a 402-318 record through his nine seasons as head coach.
“I have the utmost respect for Terry and what he has accomplished these past nine seasons,” president of basketball operations Neil Olshey said in a statement. “This was a difficult decision on both a personal and professional level but it’s in the best interest of the franchise to move in another direction.”