Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo might have the perfect coach. Antetokounmpo, a do-it-all, 6-foot-11 wunderkind, became the Bucks' full-time point guard last season at the age of 21. As he learns how to run the team and carry the burden of being a franchise player, who better to learn from than Jason Kidd?
Antetokounmpo, however, didn't fully appreciate what Kidd had accomplished as a player until getting benched in April 2015. Upset with the decision, Antetokounmpo looked up Kidd's stats on his phone and then decided that perhaps his coach did know best, via Sports Illustrated's Lee Jenkins:
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.' "
You might read that and yell at whatever device you're using right now. How could anyone not know about Jason Kidd? This is one of the best point guards ever! He'll be in the Hall of Fame soon! Fair points, but Antetokounmpo is just a few years removed from selling purses, watches, sunglasses and toys on the streets of Athens, about as far away from the NBA as possible. Here's another quote from Jenkins' SI profile:
"A lot of players will tell you, 'When I was a kid, I watched Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, LeBron, Magic, and I wanted to be just like them,' " Antetokounmpo says. "For me it wasn't like that at all."
Antetokounmpo has now had a pep talk from Bryant and been compared to the rest of the guys he mentioned, so it doesn't really matter that he didn't grow up modeling his game after the greats. Same goes for this Kidd thing -- maybe he was shocked to find out just how good his coach was, but the two of them can laugh about it as the Bucks keep getting better and Antetokounmpo continues to earn accolades of his own.