DALLAS - Learning from failure is a necessity for one to achieve success as an NBA head coach. For Jason Kidd, who has a losing regular-season record in his coaching career, he is no exception as he takes over for the Dallas Mavericks.
“As a player, making that transition to becoming a head coach, you tend to think you know everything,'' Kidd said at Thursday's introductory press conference at the AAC. "Well that’s not true. And so, just understanding there are smarter people around me, to take that advice.”
Is Kidd "smarter'' than he was as a young head coach with the Nets and the Bucks?
With the Bucks, Kidd deployed an overly aggressive defense that would put the unit in compromising positions. Milwaukee managed to take a few steps forward after he was fired as and turned to more neutral approaches.
Kidd benefited from the opportunity to learn from one of the top defensive minds in the NBA, Frank Vogel, during his stint as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Lakers.
“When I got the job under Frank, it was an incredible thing because I didn’t know that I was going to be dealing with — not just a great coach — but a great human being,” Kidd said. “So, what I got to learn for the last two years is something that I didn’t know when I started in Brooklyn."
It helps to have Antony Davis and LeBron James, but regardless, the Lakers posted elite results on defense with the strategies they deployed being pivotal in the execution.
Kidd intends to take what he learned from Vogel's defensive prowess and attempt to apply some of it during his tenure with the Mavericks. Paying attention to the details will is key to winning a championship, as Kidd put it.
“I’ve just been very blessed on this journey to meet great people and have these great opportunities. I will take what I’ve learned from Frank and apply it here because I think when you look at Frank’s defense it’s been number one in the last two years, so here in Dallas we’re going to play a little defense, because we know that we can score the ball.
"We’re going to pay attention to the small things which will lead us down the road of winning that trophy.”
The personnel that Kidd has to work with is far from ideal, especially when comparing to the Lakers. There is a severe gap in impact when going from Anthony Davis to Kristaps Porzingis as a defender, in general, but especially as a rim protector.
It will be intriguing to see what Jason Kidd looks to deploy from a strategic standpoint to elevate this underwhelming Mavericks defense. If he proves to be successful in doing so, a deep playoff run appears very likely.