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Report: Orlando Magic to interview Jason Kidd for head coach position

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The Hall of Fame point guard and Lakers assistant spent five seasons as a head coach 

Los Angeles Lakers v Portland Trail Blazers - Game Four Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Add another big name candidate to the Orlando Magic’s coaching search.

The Magic reportedly will interview Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Jason Kidd this week, according to Melissa Rohlin of FOX Sports.

Kidd made his coaching debut during the 2013-2014 season with the Brooklyn Nets, getting hired just weeks after his 19-year playing career came to an end. He guided the new-look Nets - who that offseason acquired Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett - to a 44-38 record and a first-round victory over the Toronto Raptors.

Kidd’s request for more control within the Nets organization following his first season was denied. That led to an abrupt end to his stint as coach of an organization he spent six-plus years playing for, leading the Nets to back-to-back NBA Finals in the early 2000s.

The Nets granted Kidd permission to speak to other teams and was soon dealt to the Milwaukee Bucks for a pair of second-round picks as the team parted ways with coach Larry Drew. The GM of the Bucks at the time was current Orlando Magic GM John Hammond, who reportedly had no knowledge of the Kidd hiring. Reports surfaced in 2015 that Kidd would become the Bucks’ head of basketball operations and Hammond would be reassigned, but both shot down the report. Hammond ultimately left the Bucks in May 2017 to take the Magic job.

Kidd spent three-plus seasons with the Bucks, going 139-152 and making it to the first round of the playoffs twice. He was fired in January 2018.

Kidd joined the staff of former Magic coach Frank Vogel in Los Angeles prior to the 2019-2020 season, winning a championship with the team. Kidd’s presence seemed to keep the pressure on Vogel as a potential coach-in-waiting just one seat down the bench. ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne said in 2019 that Kidd was brought on as an assistant coach rather than head coach because of his past domestic abuse issues, having pled guilty to spousal abuse in 2001.

Kidd certainly has a checkered past both in his personal life and his power grabs during his coaching career, and the Magic always openly express their value in high-character personnel. From a basketball standpoint, there’s no denying the impact a Hall of Fame point guard like Kidd could have on the Magic’s young core of ball handlers.

Kidd withdrew from the Portland Trail Blazers coaching search earlier this month following an endorsement from Damiam Lillard. Kidd reportedly was uncomfortable pursing the job after the Blazers star lobbied for him so soon after Terry Stotts’ firing.

Kidd becomes the second reported candidate to land an interview with the Magic, following San Antonio Spurs assistant Becky Hammon. Various reports have also linked the Magic to Stotts, Kenny Atkinson, Ime Udoka and Darvin Ham.