Report: Lakers make Jason Kidd the NBA's highest-paid assistant, also add Lionel Hollins
There wasn’t enough internal support in the Los Angeles Lakers to hire Jason Kidd as the team’s head coach, but some people in the building hold the former Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets coach in high regard.
The Lakers intend to make Kidd, whose hiring was reported at the same time as head coach Frank Vogel, the highest paid assistant coach in the NBA, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
The team also added former Memphis Grizzlies and Brooklyn Nets head coach Lionel Hollins as an assistant, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Kidd’s exact salary was not reported, but it’s probably a significant chunk of change and could be in the ballpark of the record four-year, $6.5 million Tyronn Lue received when he initially joined the Cleveland Cavaliers as an assistant.
Did Jason Kidd deserve such a big contract?
The big payday is also not much of a surprise considering management reportedly felt that he made a strong impression in interviews for the head coaching job and had a strong talent development track record in Milwaukee, though that second point might be debatable.
The former star point guard was fired last season after a 23-22 start with the Bucks, capping off a 139-152 tenure in Milwaukee. Under Mike Budenholzer this season, the Bucks posted an NBA-best 60-22 record and reached the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 2001.
Kidd’s hiring and high salary also carry some intrigue given how his first head coaching job ended in Brooklyn, with a failed coup against the team’s general manager that resulted in Kidd beginning talks with the Bucks despite the team still having a head coach at the time.
If the Lakers were to be looking for a new head coach in the not-too-distant future for some reason, it’s easy to see the team giving Kidd a shot.
With that past and the perception that Vogel wasn’t the team’s first choice due to Lue walking away from the team in contract negotiations, you can see why plenty of jokes were made after Kidd’s hiring and Vogel, himself, had to say, “You can't worry about looking over your shoulder,” at his introductory press conference.
Lionel Hollins also joins the coaching staff
Of course, Kidd isn’t the only former Nets coach to come aboard in Los Angeles. Hollins was also added on Tuesday, giving the team 21 seasons of head coaching experience between Hollins, Kidd and Vogel.
Hollins saw decent access in Memphis, reaching the playoffs three times. His final season saw the Grizzlies post a franchise-best 56-26 record and reach the Western Conference finals, but the team opted to let him go after the season. Hollins found a job a year later with the Nets, but success was hard to come by on a team bereft of talent after the infamous Kevin Garnett-Paul Pierce trade.
The Lakers job is Hollins’ first since the Nets fired him in 2016.
And as if three former head coaches on the staff wasn’t enough, former Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek could also be a candidate for the staff, according to the New York Daily News’ Stefan Bondy.
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