Jason Kidd says he’s interested in Phoenix Suns coaching job
Former Milwaukee Bucks coach and Suns point guard Jason Kidd said he was interested in the Suns coaching vacancy on 98.7 FM’s Arizona’s Sports Station’s Burns & Gambo Friday.
He sees it as a similar role to his past position in Milwaukee.
“Going into that situation, it’s about developing the young talent, helping them understand what it takes to win and putting them in a position to be successful,” he said.
When he became the Bucks head coach prior to the 2014 season, Milwaukee was coming off a 15-win season. The Bucks turned it around immediately with Kidd at the helm, going 41-41 and making the playoffs in his first season as head coach.
Kidd was credited with helping develop young players including Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Brandon Knight, who is now on the Suns.
“When I took that job in Milwaukee, we had those guys believe that they could win,” he said. “They were hungry. If you look around the league, Phoenix has a young team that’s hungry and competes in that same situation.”
The Suns have young, hungry talent as well. Devin Booker said that he’s “done with not making the playoffs“ and Josh Jackson made strides throughout his rookie season.
Guaranteed one of the top four picks in the NBA Draft this summer, the Suns could be poised for a leap. Kidd said he wants to put Booker in a position to help his teammates turn the Suns into a winning team and “find a way to play this time of year.”
“He’s going to wake up scoring 20-plus points per night,” Kidd said. “This is where you build your legacy.”
Kidd, however, has been criticized for his tough coaching philosophy. He had an old-school style that was demanding and there were various reports of Kidd’s unstable relationships with players, specifically the younger ones.
“I think it’s not so much old school, it’s just about work,” he said. “Getting better at your craft.”
Kidd said he isn’t afraid to tell it like it is.
“I’m going to tell you the truth,” he said. “Sometimes you’re not going to like to hear the truth, but it’s for the best for you and the team.”
Kidd also was involved in reported disagreements behind the scenes with the Brooklyn Nets, where he had his first head-coaching gig and feuded with assistant head coach Lawrence Frank.
When asked if he can get along with management, Kidd said it was all about one thing.
“I can work with anybody who wants to win,” he said. “Hopefully with the next team I’m with, if I get that opportunity, with the owner and with the management that we put a plan together and we follow it.”