Milwaukee Bucks superstar and NBA champion Giannis Antetokounmpo is set to release a new biography titled “Giannis: The Improbable Rise of an MVP” and he talks about former head coach Jason Kidd, who wasn’t well-liked by players on the team.
Kidd, a 10-time All-Star, coached the two-time NBA MVP and the Bucks from 2014 to 2018. In the book, Kidd’s coaching style was described as “psychological warfare” by one former Bucks player.
Excerpts of the book surfaced on social media this week. One incident that occurred during his tenure with the Bucks consisted of Kidd allegedly scheduling a last-minute practice on Christmas Eve after the team lost to the Charlotte Hornets in what the former coach called a “winnable” game.
According to the book, Kidd asked the players in front of each other if they deserve to be off on Christmas Eve after the loss. The players voiced their opinions on the matter, but Kidd scheduled a 9 a.m. practice.
“I don’t care,” Kidd said according to the book. “You guys get paid to do a job, so you’re doing your job tomorrow. Things change.”
During the practice, Kidd supposedly made the players run “like a college team” and he called former Bucks player Larry Sanders a “piece of s–t” and a “terrible player.”
The book stated that the three-hour practice mostly consisted of conditioning drills. He also told the players to work out in the weight room and in the pool. Former center Zaza Pachulia said in the book that “everybody was so tired that nobody was thinking about Christmas” and they didn’t have any “energy left to open gifts.”
“I don’t think I’ve done that since I left J-Kidd,” former Bucks guard Brandon Knight told the book’s author, Mirin Fader. “It was not normal.”
When players were asked to comment on Kidd as their coach, many players and coaches responded by asking if they were on or off the record, according to the book.