New Lakers head coach Frank Vogel says he won’t feel threatened by the presence of former Nets and Bucks head coach Jason Kidd on his staff, he told ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk and other reporters on Monday.
Vogel called Kidd an “incredible asset” during his introductory press conference. The Lakers brass suggested to Vogel that he should bring in Kidd, who also interviewed for the job, as his lead assistant. Vogel and Kidd had a long discussion that made the former Pacers and Magic coach comfortable with Kidd joining his staff.
“I am very good at blocking out noise,” Vogel said. “I have been around this business a long time. I really don’t give that (the possibility of Kidd eventually taking over) a second thought. You can say that about every coach in the league about their assistant coaches. It happens from time to time. I believe if you treat people with the right respect and do the job at the highest level, build an environment of positivity and collaboration, you can’t worry about that stuff. You can’t worry about looking over your shoulder.”
Vogel was essentially the Lakers’ third choice to replace Luke Walton, who was let go immediately after the season. They were keenly interested in Monty Williams, who took the Suns job, and failed to complete negotiations on a contract with former Cavs coach Tyronn Lue.
Vogel admitted he didn’t have much of a relationship with Kidd before their long talk.
“I had a great, lengthy interview process with Jason where we talked about every topic you can imagine, and came away thinking he’s going to be an incredible asset to our program,” Vogel said.