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Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard has named Los Angeles Lakers assistant Jason Kidd as the preferred choice to replace Terry Stots as the team’s head coach.
“Jason Kidd is the man I want,” Lillard told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.
The Stoats and Blazers agreed to split on Friday, a day after Portland was eliminated in the first round of the 2021
Jason Quick and Shams Charania of The Athletic said they believed the Blazers would “eventually decide” between Kidd and Los Angeles Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups, two former All-Star defenders.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski listed Jeff Van Gundi, Mike D’Antoni and Juan Howard among the other candidates for the vacancy.
The Hundreds led Portland to a record 402-318 in the regular season and eight playoff appearances in nine seasons. Mark 22-40 after the season, combined with the team’s inability to build a trip to the Western Conference finals in 2019, probably led to his departure. The Blazers have been eliminated in the first round in four of the last five seasons.
“I love Terry,” Lillard told The Athletic. “And I will miss him as my coach.”
The Blazers could not afford to waste any more time while the core of Lillard, 30, and CJ McCollum, 29, were in place and playing at a high level. A coaching change and maybe an addition to the tents in the off-season could help deepen the playoffs next year.
Kidd was a 10-time All-Star and won the championship with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011 during his playing career. He previously served as head coach for the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks, setting a record of 183-190 with three playoff appearances in five years between those two stops.
Haynes noted that Lillard and Kidd have a “great relationship,” and sources told Yahoo Sports that the face of the Portland franchise “sincerely respects Kidd’s basketball flair and knowledge of the game and believes he can help lead the game and the team.” your next level. “
The 48-year-old Kidd has been a member of the Lakers’ coaching staff since 2019 and helped the team win the 2020 NBA Championship.
Sources in Los Angeles told Haynes that Kidd “was a phenomenal presence in the organization from his innovative ideas to his communication skills and ability to unite troops.”
Lillard’s support makes him an immediate favorite to take on Blazers staff.