Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Jason Kidd withdrew his name from consideration for the Portland Trail Blazers head coach vacancy, he told ESPN Sunday morning.
“Portland is a first-class organization and they will have great candidates for their head coaching role, but I have decided not to be one of them,” Kidd told ESPN. “Whoever they choose will have great shoes to fill for Terry (Stotts),” he added.
Kidd finally became uncomfortable with the idea after Blazers star Damian Lillard publicly asked for his hire 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 that it would put both the Lillard and Portland process in an awkward circumstance if he sought the square.
The Blazers have yet to ask permission to speak, or communicate directly with, any potential candidates, but that is expected to change once the first round of the playoffs ends on Sunday, sources said.
Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups, former New York Knicks and Houston Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy, Brooklyn Nets assistant Mike D’Antoni, and Michigan coach Juwan Howard are among candidates the Blazers are expected to consider, the sources added.
Kidd has been Frank Vogel’s primary assistant with the Lakers for two seasons, including their 2020 NBA championship. Kidd previously served as the Nets’ head coach, leading them to the Eastern Conference semifinals in 2014. , and the Milwaukee Bucks, where he made the playoffs twice in his three-plus years there (2015 to 2018).
As a player, Kidd is considered one of the best point guards of all time. His 19-year career earned him induction into the Hall of Fame in 2018.