Saturday afternoon, news broke that the Lakers would bring in former Indiana and Orlando coach Frank Vogel to lead the locker room. After going through several candidates, they finally struck an agreement with Vogel for a three-year deal. It also came with one caveat: Jason Kidd.
Evidently, Vogel was willing to bring on Kidd to his coaching staff as an assistant, something Tyronn Lue and Monty Williams were apparently unwilling to do. But this development has many wondering: why force Kidd on the staff instead of just making him the lead guy?
ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne shed some light on the thinking process behind the decision:
Ramona on why Jason Kidd wasn’t just named head coach: “I think his issues with Domestic Violence were a major red flag…he’s still on the staff but its different when he’s the head guy”
— UnwrittenRules (@UnwrittenRul3s) May 12, 2019
Kidd has a long history of domestic violence. In January 2001, Kidd was arrested for hitting his now ex-wife Joumana. In 2007, Joumana filed a lawsuit against Kidd that featured allegations of further spousal abuse. And then there is the incident in 2012 when he crashed his Cadillac Escalade into a utility pole on Long Island before pleading guilty to driving under the influence.
It is a bad look for Kidd, to say the least. For the Lakers to still bring him on as an assistant coach in spite of all that means he would probably be the head coach if not for his dark past.
It is a risky, head-scratching move for the franchise, but it isn’t all that surprising. In fact, in the midst of their worst era, this hire may have been amongst the less questionable things they have done recently.