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Damien Lillard, Star of Portland The Trailblazers have named Los Angeles Lakers assistant Jason Kidd as his preferred choice to replace Terry Stotts as the team’s head coach.
“Jason Kidd is the one I want,” Lillard told Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes.
The Stotts and Blazers agreed to part ways on Friday. A day after Portland was eliminated in the first round of the 2021NBA tournament by the Denver Nuggets.
Jason Quick and Shams Charania of The Athletic reportedly “believe” the Blazers will “ultimately decide” between Kidd and Los Angeles Clippers aide Chauncey Billups, two former All-Star defenders.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski has listed Jeff Van Gundy, Mike D’Antoni and Juwan Howard among the nominees.
Stotts led Portland to a 402-318 regular season record and eight playoff appearances in nine seasons in charge of 22-40 seasons, plus the team’s inability to reach the 2019 Western Conference finals. Should have caused him to leave. Blazers were knocked out in the first round in four of the past five seasons.
“I love Terry,” Lillard told The Athletic, “and I will miss him as my coach.”
Team Blazers can’t waste any more time. While the core of Lillard, 30, and CJ McCollum, 29, are well positioned and playing at a high level. A coaching change and the addition of one marquee during the offseason could help spark next year’s playoffs.
Kidd is a 10-time All-Star and won a championship with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011 during his playing career. He was previously head coach for Brooklyn. The Nets and Milwaukee Bucks set records of 183-190, playing three playoffs in the five years between those two points.
Haynes noted Lillard and Kidd had a “good relationship” and a source told Yahoo Sports the face of the Portland franchise. “Respects Kidd’s acumen and knowledge of the game of basketball and believes he can help take the game and his team to the next level.”
Kidd, 48, has been a member of the Lakers’ coaching staff since 2019 and helped the team win the 2020 NBA championship.
A source in L.A. told Haynes that Kidd “was a great organizational phenomenon. from initiative to communication skills and the ability to mobilize troops.”
Lillard’s endorsement makes him a favorite to take over from the Blazers.