Dallas Mavericks: Jason Kidd is focusing on the right things

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /

If you’re anything like me you probably reacted to the news of Jason Kidd replacing Rick Carlisle as head coach of the Dallas Mavericks with a little “WTF-ness”.

Regardless of what you think of Rick Carlisle, he was a master strategist and widely considered a top-5 NBA mind. Jason Kidd…not so much.

Jason Kidd wasn’t hired by the Dallas Mavericks for his coaching acumen, but rather his ability to forge relationships

But I was initially missing the whole point of the Jason Kidd hire. Kidd was brought in for his interpersonal skills. Players liked him. Unlike Carlisle. To be fair, Carlisle wasn’t a hated fixture here in Dallas but the guy rubbed people the wrong way. He was an alpha dog and demanded everyone accept that. This has led to corrosive relationships in the past with the likes of Nerlens Noel and Rajon Rondo, just to name a couple.

It also applied to the current roster. Carlisle and Kristaps Porzingis never seemed to get along and it was clearly trending in the wrong direction. By playoff time, KP was basically just a spot up decoy on the Mavs offense. Inexcusable to anyone who wanted maximum production from that Mavs squad.

In comes Jason Kidd. What are some of the first things he does but travel to Slovenia to hang out with Luka Doncic and be there for the signing of his new deal. Before going home Kidd stops over in Latvia to check on the once-maligned Porzingis. They hung out professionally and personally there.

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Efforts like this is one thing. Carlisle did things like this as well during his time in Dallas, but it didn’t always translate into solid relationships. Kidd is here to build the bond and from that, on-court coaching is almost secondary.

The Dallas Mavericks are talented enough to be a playoff team again next year on ability alone. Jason Kidd doesn’t need to groom as much as he has to support, encourage, and put players in position to succeed. At least that’s what we hope.

With a happy roster will come maximum output and on-court success. It also brings outside free agents and one day hopefully – a super team in some regard. That’s been the goal of this franchise since Mark Cuban broke up the band back after that 2011 Championship season, after all.

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Personality and coolness alone isn’t going to get the job done. Jason Kidd obviously needs to be a competent coach in both strategy and adjustments or the ceiling is capped for the Mavs. But let’s get one thing clear – he’s hear to build relationships and make Dallas a more attractive and welcoming environment.

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  • Published on 08/26/2021 at 11:01 AM
  • Last updated at 08/25/2021 at 21:00 PM