Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd has come back to the place where it all started for him professionally. Kidd, who was drafted by the Mavericks and ultimately won a championship with the team in 2011, was hired by Dallas after former head coach Rick Carlisle resigned back in June.
One guy who is excited to play for Kidd is Mavericks star Luka Doncic. The two-time All-Star thinks he can learn a lot from Kidd, who is a Hall of Famer and one of the best passers in NBA history.
“It’s terrific for me to learn from a guy that was a champion here as a player, playing the same position as me,” Doncic said at Mavericks’ Media Day on Monday. “He was one of the best passers in the NBA, and I’m really excited.”
Kidd is excited to coach Doncic as well, and he compared him to the great artist Picasso. However, Doncic, who averaged 27.7 points and 8.6 assists per contest, was ball dominant at times last season and must do a better job of getting others involved, which Kidd wants to help him do.
“I don’t know if anybody told Picasso that he has to use all the paints, but I just want to remind him that he can rely on his teammates,” Kidd said. “His teammates are going to be there to help him. I’m very excited to have this opportunity to work with a young Picasso whose paintings have been incredible up to this point and are only going to get better.”
Kidd was also an amazing leader and led the Nets to back-to-back Finals appearances, and Doncic, who signed a five-year, $207 million contract in the offseason, is hoping to improve in the area of leadership.
“Obviously, I learned from the playoffs and from the Olympics on how to be a leader,’ he said. “One thing I learned is I have to be more a vocal leader for the team.”
The Mavericks are hoping that the Kidd-Doncic pairing will pay dividends this season and beyond. Doncic has a world of ability, and at 22, it will only get better, and with Kidd’s help, hopefully for Dallas, that means the Mavericks can win a championship soon.