Home / Sport / Could Jason Kidd really attract Giannis Antetokounmpo to the Knicks? A look back at the story between the two

Could Jason Kidd really attract Giannis Antetokounmpo to the Knicks? A look back at the story between the two

With their season officially over, the New York Knicks have embarked on their latest coaching quest, a process that has become quite familiar in the past two decades. Since Jeff Van Gundy resigned in 2001, they have had 12 different trainers and are about to make it 13.

Interim manager Mike Miller has earned a full-time look at work with his job since taking over from David Fizdale, while several assistant coaches – Mike Brown (Warriors), Ime Udoka (76ers), Pat Delany (Magic) and Chris Fleming (Bulls) – they should all be interviewed. They also interviewed Tom Thibodeau, who at one point was considered one of the first favorites.

A name, however, stood out among the candidates reported by the Knicks: Jason Kidd. The Hall of Famer has spent the last season of his playing career with the Knicks, and is now on the Los Angeles Lakers̵

7; bench as an assistant. He has largely disappointed as a coach in his two previous experiences with the Brooklyn Nets (44-38) and Milwaukee Bucks (139-152), but the Knicks are not interested in his results as much as in the relationships he has built along the way.

In particular, the Knicks reportedly believe that Kidd could help them attract Giannis Antetokounmpo to Madison Square Garden in the summer of 2021. I’m not the first team to think this way – there is news that the Lakers had the same idea – and it’s no secret that Giannis looked up at Kidd.

All of this may be irrelevant if Giannis decides to sign again in Milwaukee, an attractive option considering both financial incentives and the ability to compete for a title. But, assuming it hit the unrestricted free agency in 2021, would Kidd’s presence really be enough to make him sway to sign with New York?

In January 2018, with the Bucks trampling the water and heading for another 500 season, the team fired Kidd. Giannis was clearly on the rise to stardom, but the team was stagnant and his defense was a disaster. When he was released, Kidd also knew that his time had run out.

The idea that Kidd could influence Giannis’ free agency decision stems directly from comments and reports following his dismissal. Giannis has been “devastated”, according to a Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes report.

Giannis offered to make some calls to convince the team to reverse the decision, Kidd said in an interview with ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.

“He called me and said, ‘Coach, it’s not fair what they’re going to do, but [they] I will let you go, “Kidd told ESPN.

Kidd said he replied, “I had a feeling it would take place.”

To which Antetokounmpo replied: “‘What can I do? I will call the owners, I will call my agent.”

Kidd said he said, “There’s nothing you can do. All you can do is tell the truth. Here.”

In his first public comments on the layoff, Giannis was effusive with his praise.

“It’s a big part of my championship success,” said Giannis. “I am loyal to the people I work with. I love him as a person. I care for him as a person.”

“I was only 18. I didn’t even know how the NBA worked. [Kidd’s firing] it hurts a little more because he’s been here for 3 1/2 years. He trusted me. He put the ball in my hands. It pushed me to be great. “

This looks good enough for Kidd, but if we are considering evidence that Giannis would leave the Bucks to reunite with Kidd, we should take into account that ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Milwaukee was not worried about this.

“Giannis has good relations with Kidd,” said Wojnarowski on “SportsCenter” at the time. “He’s a respectful kid. He’ll be respectful of whoever the coach is. But the organization hasn’t seen anything there that would have hurt them in the long run with Giannis. He wants to win. They feel like they have a team that can do better.” .

In other words, winning matters most. But this does not mean that there is no connection between them. Kidd was the one who put the ball in Giannis’ hands, allowed him to play guard the point and helped develop the management of the ball, the pass and the vision that made him such a dynamic and dominant player. Kidd was there during Giannis’ training seasons, while the Greek Freak matured as a player and as a person. Even now, Giannis has played more games for Kidd than any other coach.

Despite all the good things Kidd did, there were many downsides. He has banned Giannis from taking 3 seconds, a warrant that has crushed the trust of his young star and now looks even more foolish than he did at the time. Through Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

After Antetokounmpo fired 34.7% of 118 beginner three-point attempts, Kidd told him to stop shooting from the outside. This put Antetokounmpo to the test.

“I think it was my second year that told me not to throw the ball,” said Antetokounmpo. “Then my third year, at the end of the year, he told me to shoot the ball a little. In my fourth year, he allowed me to throw the ball and in my fifth year he said to me: ‘You have green light , do what you want, “but I wasn’t comfortable enough. It’s difficult. When you’re not shooting the ball, it’s difficult to go back [to shooting]”.

Then there was Kidd’s hard-nosed style. Although Giannis admitted that he liked it at the time, he now has enough experience to know that it is not the way to long-term success.

“I was used to [former Bucks coach] Jason Kidd, “Giannis told Yahoo Sports earlier this season. He was destroying us, but I was happy with it. I think I was the only one to hug him. I didn’t come out of nowhere and worked hard every day. This is what used to be.

“Having Jason Kidd was fun. Obviously, we didn’t break through from the first round, but it’s different. For example, if this is the center, Jason Kidd was right here and Mike Bud[enholzer] it’s very over there [in coaching philosophy]. They are totally different. Mike Bud wants you to rest, he wants you to be with your family, but the day we train, he wants you to be there and he wants you to give everything. “

Also, Kidd never built a team or system that maximized Giannis’ abilities, he had the Bucks playing a stupid and outdated defense and couldn’t get them out of the first round. With his combination of skill and determination, Giannis would have become an MVP candidate anyway, but it’s hard to imagine turning Milwaukee into a perennial contender if he got stuck with Kidd. At both ends, Budenholzer’s Bucks maximized his talent by playing a radically different style.

Also relevant: Giannis reported that he did not love the Knicks because of the way they treated his brother Thanasis and his quotes about not wanting to play in a big market.

As much as Giannis respects and admires Kidd, he’s definitely smart enough to recognize how much better his basketball life with Budenholzer has been. This season, Giannis will likely win his second MVP and first prize for the defender of the year, and Milwaukee has been the best team in the league, at least in the regular season.

Why would he want to go back to the way things were?

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