Giannis Antetokounmpo Had No Idea About Jason Kidd’s Career Whatsoever
Jason Kidd has not been a world-changer as an NBA head coach so far, but he did take the Milwaukee Bucks to the playoffs in the 2014-15 season, and they are currently in sixth place in the Eastern Conference.
Needless to say, whether you love him as a head coach or not, there's no reason that Kidd's players shouldn't take him seriously. This goes especially for anyone who plays guard.
After all, the Bucks head coach was one of the greatest point guards of his era.
That's why it's more than a little shocking that Bucks star point guard Giannis Antetokounmpo had absolutely no idea when Kidd came to town during his sophomore season that he was being coached by a future Hall of Famer. In fact, according to a detailed Sports Illustrated profile by Lee Jenkins, the lanky two-way player from Greece assumed that Kidd was actually kind of a bum in the NBA.
The first time Kidd benched him, Antetokounmpo was irate. "I was like, ‘Let’s see what this guy did in his career, anyway,’ ” Antetokounmpo recounts, and called up Kidd’s bio on his phone. “I saw Rookie of the Year, NBA championship, USA Olympic gold medal, second in assists, fifth in made threes, blah, blah, blah. I was like, ‘Jesus freaking Christ, how can I compete with that? I better zip it.'"
Now to be fair, it appears that Antetokounmpo was humbled immediately; and the profile delves into the much deeper relationship he and Kidd have developed over the past couple of years. Plus, the 22-year-old was raised by a poor family in Athens, a world away from the hyper-popular NBA culture of the late 90's and early 2000's when Kidd in his prime. So he deserves a little bit of slack on that front.
Even still, the fact that he has absolutely no idea about Kidd's two-decade NBA career is pretty egregious.
Kidd's profile pages teem with awards and accolades going all the back to 1992, when he was named the best high school basketball player in the state of California for the second year in a row, and continuing on through to 2011 when he finally won an NBA Championship in his third Finals appearance.
He is also a 10-time NBA All-Star, five-time NBA assists leader and won two gold medals as a member of the 2000 and 2008 Olympic basketball teams. He was also one of the best defenders at his position in the NBA as well.
As if all that doesn't get the point across, Jason Kidd's Hall of Fame probability score of 0.9997 on Pro Basketball Reference ranks him just below Allen Iverson and Elgin Baylor, and just above Sam Jones and George Mikan.
Honestly, props to Giannis for even telling this story. His admirable admission of ignorance should act as valuable advice to future young basketball starts out there.
That advice being: if you even have the slightest inkling that your head coach might not have been a total bum as a player, Google him immediately.
You can read the entire Sports Illustrated piece here.
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