It’s been less than a month since the Milwaukee Bucks were crowned 2021 NBA champions. Giannis and the team had their parade and enjoyed the limelight for about a week until most of the spotlight went out to Ben Simmons and the Los Angeles Lakers. Bucks Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo is set to take center stage in NBA news with the impending release of Mirin Faber’s Giannis: The Improbably Rise of an NBA MVP.
Giannis and the Milwaukee Bucks’ rise to the top of the NBA certainly wasn’t easy, as the Bucks were at one point a fifteen-game winning team, and the franchise’s future looked bleak. Milwaukee then hired NBA Hall of Famer Jason Kidd for his first head coaching job, and the Bucks went from a bottom dweller to a forty-one game win in the first. Kidd’s season at the helm. The 180-degree turnaround led by Kidd is what lit the fire in these young Bucks to pursue greatness, but apparently it all came at a high price.
“His (Kidd) coaching style was described as ‘psychological warfare’ by a former Bucks player.”
Jorge Sedano, via the jump
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You might think that description is overblown, but multiple reports on the subject past and present suggest that Kidd went to extreme lengths to build a culture in Milwaukee. Besides the severe damage Kidd’s approach did to former Bucks center Larry Sanders, the Hall of Famer once asked Zaza Pachulia and Jared Dudley to decide whether or not the players deserved a break at Christmas. Dudley and Pachulia explained that Christmas is about being with their families, saying they deserved the holiday and that time had already been spent with their families. Dissatisfied with the response, Kidd called for practice over Christmas, unaware that the players were planning to return home to be with their families and were forcing them to practice the next day.
Kidd’s tactics produced results, but such extreme measures naturally took a toll on some players, and after a few seasons it was apparent that Kidd had reached his ceiling with the team. Giannis tried to save his job and get Kidd back in Milwaukee despite his unusual methods, which I’m sure his teammates weren’t too thrilled about initially. The Bucks are now the defending champions and have become one of the best teams in the league after parting ways with Kidd. With Kidd joining a team looking to challenge for a championship in Dallas, many are wondering if Jason is now the right coach to take a playoff team over the hump after his controversial but marginally successful rebuilding job in Milwaukee.
“The question is whether or not Jason Kidd learned from his time in Milwaukee.”
Doris Burke, via the jump
Doris is absolutely right, because the Mavericks aren’t a team that’s in the dumps ready to listen to anyone who can help them improve. Dallas led the Los Angeles Clippers to seven games in last season’s playoffs; they have a guy in Luka Doncic who knows how to win and doesn’t want to take crap from anyone unless it’s necessary to win. Kidd’s questionable tactics haven’t made Milwaukee a league force, a title Dallas aspires to achieve. However, Kidd won a championship on the team of 2020 NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers while earning the respect of LeBron James. As Kidd returns to a head coaching role, it remains to be seen which Kidd will lead Dallas; the demeaning exercise Sargeant in Milwaukee or the coach of the esteemed player LeBron James grew to love in Los Angeles.