Updated March 19, 2021 - 7:58 pm
Hall of Famer Jason Kidd has emerged as a candidate of interest for UNLV as it looks to fill its basketball coaching vacancy.
The Rebels are intrigued by Kidd as a potential replacement for T.J. Otzelberger, according to people with knowledge of the situation. Kidd is an assistant coach with the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers, but there’s a belief that he would be interested in the job.
Otzelberger took the head coaching job at Iowa State this week after two seasons with UNLV.
Kidd, inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018, was interested in the job in 2019 when Otzelberger was hired from South Dakota State to replace Marvin Menzies. Kidd didn’t have a college degree at that time but does now, according to two people familiar with the hiring process.
UNLV requires coaches to have at least a bachelor’s degree.
Kidd, who turns 48 on Tuesday, was recruited by then-Rebels coach Jerry Tarkanian during his storied career at St. Joseph Notre Dame High School in Alameda, California, but chose Cal before playing 19 seasons in the NBA. The point guard earned 10 All-Star selections, five nods to the All-NBA first team and nine all-defensive honors.
He retired with career averages of 12.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 8.7 assists and started for the 2010-11 NBA champion Dallas Mavericks. He’s second behind John Stockton in career assists (12,091) and fourth in triple-doubles (107), trailing Oscar Robertson, Russell Westbrook and Magic Johnson.
Kidd also excelled with USA Basketball, which has long held training sessions at UNLV. He won Olympic gold medals in 2000 and 2008, and was named the organization’s male athlete of the year in 2007.
Kidd concluded his playing career in 2013 and promptly began his coaching career, first as the head coach of the Brooklyn Nets in 2013-14. He was also the head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks from 2014 to 2018 and played a crucial role in the development of reigning two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.
He has been an assistant with the Lakers since 2019.