- Luke Walton is on the hot seat following two losing seasons with the Lakers
- Jason Kidd enjoyed a spectacular 19-year career as an NBA player, but has produced shaky results as a coach
- Mark Jackson was reportedly a leading candidate to take over coaching reins in Cleveland in 2016
The calls for head coach Luke Walton to be fired continued unabated following yet another loss by the Los Angeles Lakers.
After dropping a 117-113 decision to the Atlanta Hawks as six-point road favorites on Tuesday night, the Lakers now sit three games back of Sacramento in the hunt for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
And despite recent published reports indicating that Walton maintains the confidence of Lakers president Magic Johnson, Jason Kidd has emerged as the clear favorite to be the club’s bench boss for the opening game of next season, sporting short +125 odds on the NBA specials at Bovada.
Who Will Be the Head Coach of the Lakers for Game 1 of the 2019-20 Season?
|Who Will Be the Lakers Coach to Open the 2019-20 NBA Season?||Odds at Bovada (02/12/19)|
Walton Struggling Through 3rd Season as Lakers Head Coach
Walton has enjoyed limited success since taking over the reins as Lakers head coach following two seasons working under Steve Kerr as an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors. Under the 38-year-old, the Lakers finished out of the playoff picture in each of the past two seasons, leaving Walton poised as the favorite earlier this season to be the first NBA coach fired during the current campaign.
The Lakers showed promise early on this year, saving Walton’s job with a respectable 18-11 start. However, the club has struggled since losing LeBron James to an injury in late December, going 7-12 in 19 games without the four-time NBA MVP in the lineup, including seven defeats by double-digit margins.
— Tom Ziller (@teamziller) January 28, 2019
While King James looks to be back to full health after recording a triple-double in Tuesday’s loss to Atlanta, reports indicate that the 34-year-old superstar is less than happy with having Walton as his head coach.
And with Lakers president Magic Johnson holding no allegiance to a head coach he did not hire, Walton will likely need a speedy turnaround by his squad if he is to finish out the NBA campaign as bench boss.
Kidd Out of Work Since Being Fired By Bucks
Kidd, meanwhile, remains out of work since being fired by the Milwaukee Bucks in January 2018 after three-and-a-half seasons as the team’s bench boss. A 10-time All-Star and five-time assists leader during an illustrious 19-year career as an NBA player, Kidd has enjoyed considerably less success as an NBA coach.
— Lakers News (@lakers_news) February 1, 2019
After leading the Brooklyn Nets to a 44-38 record and the lone playoff series win as a head coach during the 2013-14 campaign, Kidd struggled to duplicate that success in Milwaukee, with the Bucks producing a winning record just once in his three full seasons with the club, while twice bowing out during the first round of the NBA playoffs.
Jason Kidd produced a winning record just once in his three full seasons with the Bucks.
However, Kidd has reportedly expressed his admiration for James and his accomplishments, and is considered to be a coaching option that would be acceptable to the superstar, who has a history of getting his way when it comes to getting the bench boss he wants.
• Coach loses all authority
• disjointed locker room
• roster instability
• media circus
• trade everybody mentality
• heighten bitchassness
• front office/ownership manipulation
— BRine (@BASSicallyB) February 3, 2019
Strong Relationships with LeBron, Magic Boost Mark Jackson’s Odds
Former Warriors head coach Mark Johnson closely trails Kidd at +200 on the odds to open next season as Lakers bench boss, just ahead of Walton, who is pegged as +333 wager to maintain his current job into next season.
Veteran coaches Frank Vogel, Kevin McHale, and Tom Thibodeau sit deadlocked at +800, well ahead of Lakers legend Phil Jackson, who is pegged as a +1500 bet to return to the club he led to five NBA championships, while Big Baller Brand founder and media personality LaVar Ball lags as a distant +50000 longshot to be calling the plays from the Lakers sideline next season.
— LakeShow (@LA__LakeShow) December 29, 2018
Jackson has been out of the NBA since parting ways with the Warriors following the 2013-14 season, and was reportedly on the short list of LeBron-approved candidates to take over the coaching reins in Cleveland following the firing of David Blatt in January 2016. And in addition to being a personal friend of Magic, Jackson is also represented by the same agency as LeBron, Klutch Sports.