Lakers Rumors: Jason Kidd Withdraws Name from Blazers HC Consideration

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent IIJune 6, 2021

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 30: Assistant Coach Jason Kidd of the Los Angeles Lakers talks with LeBron James #23 during the game against the Phoenix Suns during Round 1, Game 4 of the 2021 NBA Playoffs on May 30, 2021 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)
Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

When the Portland Trail Blazers start interviewing candidates to take over for Terry Stotts as head coach, Los Angeles Lakers assistant Jason Kidd will not be among them.

"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's Adrian Wojnarowski. "Whoever they choose will have big shoes to fill from Terry [Stotts]."

Stotts, the second-winningest coach in Trail Blazers history, mutually agreed to part ways with the team on Friday after they were eliminated in the first round of the postseason for the fourth time in five years. 

The same day, Lillard endorsed Kidd for the opening. Per Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Lillard "intends to have significant input" on the coaching search. 

But on ESPN's NBA Countdown, Wojnarowski added that Kidd "doesn't want to put Damian Lillard in an awkward situation" (h/t Danny Marang of NBC Sports Northwest). 

Kidd, who has worked with the Lakers under Frank Vogel for the past two seasons, was the head coach of the Brooklyn Nets (2013-14) and the Milwaukee Bucks (2014-18). 

He led the Nets to the Eastern Conference semifinals and reached the playoffs twice with the Bucks. As a player, the Hall of Fame point guard earned six All-NBA nods through his 19 years in the league.  

The team hasn't started the search yet, but there are already numerous candidates expected to get a call when it begins after the first round of the playoffs concludes on Sunday, per Wojnarowski.

Among them are former New York Knicks and Houston Rockets head coach Jeff Van Gundy, a pair of assistants in Chauncey Billups (Los Angeles Clippers) and Mike D'Antoni (Brooklyn Nets) and Michigan head coach Juwan Howard.