Jason Kidd appeared to be one of the top candidates to get the coaching job in Portland after the Trail Blazers parted ways with Terry Stotts. After nine years of relationship, the team and the coach decided to call it quits following a 4-2 elimination in the first round of the 2021 NBA playoffs.
Damian Lillard publicly said he'd like Kidd as his new head coach, but those words were counterproductive for him and his team. As a result, the Los Angeles Lakers assistant withdrew himself from the list of candidates to take over at Moda Center, explaining he doesn't want to put Dame and the franchise in a bad position.
"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]."
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. 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.
Now that Kidd's name is off the table, the Blazers will try to pursue different candidates. They're reportedly interested in Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups, former New York Knicks and Houston Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy, Brooklyn Nets assistant Mike D'Antoni and Michigan coach Juwan Howard to take over in Portland.
This will be a very entertaining offseason for them, and their fans are hoping to see some significant changes before Damian Lillard gets tired of this situation.