Coaches are key to helping players develop in the NBA. We have seen many players thank their coaches for helping them during their career. However, there are also times when a bad coach will hurt the players.
The Dallas Mavericks hired former Maverick Jason Kidd to be their head coach this offseason. There have been former players who have also succeeded as coaches such as Tyronn Lue, and Jason Kidd himself is a former head coach. However, Jason Kidd’s methods have recently been questioned by many after excerpts from Giannis Antetokounmpo’s biography were published. One particular clip featured a story about Jason Kidd forcing his players into Christmas training after a loss to the Charlotte Hornets.
But the Bucks were in trouble, losing a game to Charlotte on December 23, just before Christmas. The players returned to the locker room discouraged, silent. Everyone was ready for the next two days off with their families.
“Zaza,” Kidd said, turning to Pachulia but addressing the group, “Do you think this was a winnable game?”
“Yeah, it was a winnable game,” Pachulia said.
“And do you think we deserve the next two days off?”
Pachulia couldn’t believe Kidd had put her in this situation, threatening to ruin Christmas. Pachulia tried to sound diplomatic: “You know what, Coach – I understand the frustration. We’re all frustrated because this is a game we were supposed to win. We didn’t try hard enough. But at the same time, it’s a holiday. Christmas is important to our families. It’s not about us, it’s about our families. The guys have made plans.
Kidd then turned to Dudley. ” What do you think ? Should we take these next two days off? »
Dudley, too, gave a diplomatic response.
But Kidd was not satisfied. “See you guys tomorrow at 9 a.m.”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” the players said. “What do you mean?”
“We will train tomorrow.”
“We’ve booked flights to different places!”
“I don’t care. You get paid to do a job, so you do your job tomorrow. Things change.”
During this practice, it appears that Jason Kidd singled out a former Milwaukee Bucks player, Larry Sanders during practice. The biography excerpt mentions that Sanders spent the night in the hospital after this practice.
Practice the next morning was lousy. Kidd went to Sanders. Called him a “piece of shit”, a “terrible player”. The team ran and ran and ran and ran, like a college team would. “I don’t think I’ve done that since I left J-Kidd,” Knight said. “It was not normal.” Players were required to complete a quick break drill in twenty-two seconds, but twenty-seven was the team’s best record. They did it over and over until they did. Some were bent over, panting, cramping. The practice lasted three hours, then Kidd had the players lift weights and do exercises in the pool. Half the team couldn’t swim, but Kidd got everyone running in the pool.
“Everyone was so tired that no one was thinking about Christmas,” says Pachulia. “We had no more energy to open the presents.”
Kidd, however, continued to berate Sanders, calling him “pathetic”. Sanders couldn’t take it. Where he was in his life, his career, this training, all his mistakes, all his frustrations, he felt his whole body turn to jelly as he was cramped from head to toe. “I had a full-body seizure,” Sanders said. “My body fell apart. Physically I couldn’t take it, and mentally I really couldn’t take it.”
Sanders asked to be excused to go to the bathroom. “Oh, don’t worry,” Kidd said as Sanders walked away. “We’ll wait and then run some more.” Sanders left the facility and went to the hospital, spending the night there. Few people knew what happened next, and he didn’t have the energy to talk about it then.
“I don’t think he’s a bad person,” Sanders says of Kidd, “but, mentally, he got me a little, like, brain fucked. I was a lot of I love you, I t kiss on the cheek, now it’s all about the money, who cares about your sanity, your body breaking down.”
“I’m happy. I’m in a much better place now,” he says. “I’m sorry it happened like this.”
NBA fans had a lot to say about Kidd’s coaching style, with many pointing to the outrageousness of his methods. There are certainly coaches who have succeeded and won championships using less extreme measures than Kidd.
There’s no doubt that Kidd’s coaching style has caused a lot of uproar within the NBA community. A player having to go to the hospital after a training session shows Kidd’s extreme approach, and the goal of coaching is certainly not to hurt your own players. Hopefully Jason Kidd takes a different approach during his time with the Dallas Mavericks.