Jason Kidd passes on Blazers job despite Damian Lillard pleas

Damian Lillard made it immediately clear he wanted him, but Jason Kidd has withdrawn his name from consideration for the Portland Trail Blazers head coaching job.

After the Portland Trail Blazers and coach Terry Stotts parted ways, guard Damian Lillard made it clear who his No. 1 choice to be next coach was. But according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Jason Kidd has withdrawn his name from consideration for the job.

“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 just finished his second season as an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Lakers. But he’s of course been a head coach before, with the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks, and with every head coaching opening that has come thus far (Boston Celtics, Trail Blazers, Orlando Magic) his name has surfaced.

Why did Jason Kidd turn down Portland so quickly?

As mentioned, Kidd already seems to have some options if he wants to entertain being a head coach again. So he can be selective with that in mind, and in particular if the Celtics want him he could see a lot to like there. Orlando is less likely, as they are acknowledging a rebuild after parting with coach Steve Clifford. Kidd probably wants to go somewhere that’s ready to win.

Outside of Lillard’s immediate and direct endorsement as the guy he wanted to replace Stotts, Kidd shares a hometown tie with the Trail Blazers’ star guard. Wojnarowski added that Kidd was uncomfortable with the idea of pursuing the job after Lillard was so open with his wish, and left him feeling it would put Lillard and Portland’s process in an awkward position if he pursued the job.

The Trail Blazers have plenty of other options as they get set to start their coaching search. Lillard’s initial No. 2 choice, Los Angeles Clippers assistant coach Chauncey Billups, now becomes the No.1 name to watch.

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