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Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James reportedly holds assistant coach Jason Kidd’s basketball IQ in high esteem.
According to ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz, two sources have said that LeBron believes Kidd is the “only person alive who sees the game of basketball with his level of clarity.”
When Kidd was hired as an assistant after the hiring of Frank Vogel as the new head coach, there were some rumblings about whether Kidd might be the head coach-in-waiting. The combination has worked well to this point, however, as the Lakers own the best record in the Western Conference at 33-8.
While LeBron is a surefire future Hall of Famer, Kidd already received that honor in 2018 after a 19-year NBA playing career with the Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns, New Jersey Nets and New York Knicks.
Kidd was a 10-time All-Star, nine time All-Defensive Team selection and five-time assist champion who averaged 12.6 points, 8.7 assists, 6.3 rebounds and 1.9 steals over 1,391 career regular-season games.
He is also recognized as one of the greatest playmakers in NBA history, ranking second all-time in assists with 12,091 behind only Utah Jazz legend John Stockton.
Although Kidd is an all-time great player, that hasn’t yet translated into him being a great head coach. In one season as head coach of the Brooklyn Nets and four with the Milwaukee Bucks, Kidd went 183-190 with three playoff appearances and only one series win.
Kidd interviewed for the Lakers’ head coaching job, and while he was beaten out by Vogel, his addition to the staff was reportedly a measured move by Lakers management to build a coaching staff brimming with head coaching experience.
James is thriving with Kidd as one of his mentors, especially in terms of his playmaking. LeBron is averaging 10.9 assists per game, which leads the NBA and would be a career high for him in his 17th NBA season.
Kidd won an NBA championship late in his career as a member of the Mavericks, and now that James, Anthony Davis and Co. are putting his principles to work on the court, he has a great chance to add another championship to his resume as a coach.