The Dallas Mavericks hired Jason Kidd as the team’s head coach after Rick Carlisle resigned. This won’t be Kidd’s first stop. The Hall of Fame point guard previously served as a head coach in Brooklyn and Milwaukee with mixed results.
Giannis Antetokoumpo often credits his former coach with helping him become a superstar. In her recently released biography, “Giannis: The Improbable Rise of an MVP” by Mirin Fader, they briefly dive into her relationship with Kidd and some of the ruthless coaching methods used by the Hall of Famer in Milwaukee.
With Kidd recently named head coach of the Mavs, some of the stories in this book deserve more attention from Dallas fans.
The most disturbing example came after a loss to the Hornets in late 2014. Kidd was furious after the Bucks wasted what was described as a “winnable game” at home. After hating responses from team veterans Zaza Pachulia and Jared Dudley for what the team deserved for the performance, he concluded he would hold practice at 9:00 a.m. the following day. Players were understandably upset as Christmas was two days away, and most of them had arranged flights to see their families over the holidays.
This practice was described as hell as Kidd forced the guys to run for almost three hours. Kidd was verbally abusive towards the players, and it even got so bad that Bucks center Larry Sanders had to go to the hospital. Among other things, this strained Kidd’s relationship with the players.
Not everything is wrong with Kidd. He had a great relationship with Giannis and Jared Dudley pointed out that Kidd “laid the groundwork” for the Bucks championship.
The Hall of Famer developed players and was part of the eventual success of guys like Giannis and Khris Middleton.
The Mavs don’t have an old roster and most veterans are only around 30 years old. Keep in mind that guys under 30 have played in playoff games and are seasoned enough to be called veterans. These big players won’t respond to someone who treats players the way Kidd has done in his previous stops. More starting players don’t want to be treated like they were in high school, and being a swift-type enforcer is a great way to lose them.
One of the main reasons Jason Kidd was hired is that he seems to be a good fit for Luka. Kidd had many of the same skills on the pitch as Luka. They are both bigger guards who have advanced court vision and can rebound. Kidd will be spending more personal time with Luka, and that’s okay.
If Kidd brings that same over-the-top disciplinary attitude while turning his attention to Luka, it could rub the players the wrong way. Kidd will make Luka a better basketball player, but improving a guy isn’t what fans want in Dallas.
A big pro for hiring Kidd is that he offers something that Rick Carlisle didn’t. Jason Kidd brings a fiery attitude that is required. That being said, there is a fine line between fiery passion and a tough drill sergeant trying to impose his power. Kidd needs to find a way to get the most out of the supporting veterans because that’s what will decide his job with the Dallas Mavericks.