Jason Kidd credits Lakers assistant job for Dallas Mavs coaching success
Jason Kidd is having the most successful training season of his career. The Dallas Mavericks are 49-30 with three games remaining in the regular season, and a win over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night would give Kidd the first 50-win season of his coaching career.
Having the opportunity to coach an MVP candidate in Luka Doncic is a big reason for Kidd’s success in 2022. But the main aspects are the lessons and growth Kidd has experienced in his two years as an assistant. Frank Vogel with the Los Angeles Lakers. .
“You see things differently,” Kidd told reporters after practice on Tuesday. “It’s an opportunity to improve your craft. Learning from Frank was great. He’s always in a good mood and he competes to win. He communicates with everyone. I learned a lot in those two seasons.”
Vogel endorsed Kidd for Coach of the Year honors before the Mavericks’ 128-110 victory over the Lakers on March 29.
Vogel was impressed with the defensive improvements the Mavericks made under Kidd’s leadership. He noticed his former assistant had put in place some of the Lakers’ defensive plans that helped Los Angeles win its 17th title in franchise history in the 2020 campaign.
Last season, the Mavericks finished with the 21st ranked defense in the league. They gave up an average of 110.2 points while recording a defensive net rating of 112.3. Dallas produced a top-10 defense in 2022. The Mavericks held their opponents to 104.8 points per game with a net defensive rating of 109.2.
“I feel like there are a lot of advantages to being an assistant coach,” Vogel said. “You learn how other people do the job. Every time you work with a different coaching team, you can always take away a thing or two. It’s an opportunity to learn. And I think we both benefited from these two situations.
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“He’s done a phenomenal job at Dallas. As someone who preaches extra passing and defense, he’s been a big part of their success so far this season.”
Considering the Lakers failed to qualify for the Play-In tournament, it wouldn’t be a shock to anyone if Vogel ends up getting fired in the near future. If that happens, maybe Kidd could find a way to bring Vogel into his already stellar Mavs coaching staff for next season.
Mavs GM Nico Harrison went even further when it came to Kidd’s time as an assistant with the Lakers.
“The thing that people don’t really emphasize is the work he’s done with the Lakers,” Harrison said in an exclusive interview on the Mavs Step Back podcast. “The Lakers don’t win the  championship without what he did. The way he is able to communicate with the superstars, the way he is able to support the team [was vital].”
Joining the Lakers coaching staff was Kidd’s first time operating as an assistant. He immediately jumped into coaching after retiring as a player in 2013 when he took over as coach of the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets went 44-38 in his only season.
Kidd spent the next four seasons with the Bucks, where he led the team to two playoff appearances. Kidd currently holds a coaching record of 232-220 in six seasons.