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Why Jason Kidd Rejected Damian Lillard, Blazers Coaching Job

Why Jason Kidd Rejected Damian Lillard, Blazers Coaching Job

The Portland Trail Blazers were booted from the NBA playoffs in unfortunate fashion last week.

In the immediate aftermath, then-head coach Terry Stotts was shown the door.

From there, team star Damian Lillard made a very awkward, extremely public plea for Los Angeles Lakers assistant Jason Kidd to take over.

Kidd ultimately passed.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Kidd simply didn’t like how the whole thing went down.

“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. “Whoever they choose will have big shoes to fill from Terry [Stotts].”

That was on the record. Off the record, however, Kidd struck a different tone.

“Kidd was ultimately uncomfortable with the idea of pursuing the opening after Blazers star Damian Lillard publicly called for his hiring within hours of Stotts’ departure on Friday night,” Wojnarowski wrote.

“The public nature of Lillard’s endorsement — telling Yahoo Sports that ‘Jason Kidd is the guy I want’ — left Kidd feeling he would put both Lillard and Portland’s process in an awkward circumstance should he pursue the opening.”

Lillard has always been a very blunt person. Whether he’s revealing his biggest flaw, hinting at changes towards the roster, or speaking of his team’s title chances, the 30-year-old generally keeps it pretty real. As such, it should come as no surprise that he took the most straight-forward path possible to trying to get his preferred coach.

That said, the fact that it failed so blatantly isn’t great. And it will only lend credence to the idea that him getting traded might be inevitable.

Currently, four teams are said to be in the running for Lillard’s services. If Portland truly puts him on the trade block, that total will likely increase.

Strap in, Blazers fans. It promises to be an exciting next few months.

Related: Should the Portland Trail Blazers Rebuild?

Anthony Amador

A recent graduate from the University of Texas, Anthony Amador has been credentialed to cover the Houston Texans, Dallas Cowboys, San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks and high school games all over the Lone Star State. Currently, his primary beats are the NBA, MLB, NFL and UFC.

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