The Dallas Mavericks hired Jason Kidd to the team’s head coach after Rick Carlisle resigned. It will not be Kidd’s first stop. The Hall of Fame point guard was previously the head coach in Brooklyn and Milwaukee with mixed results.
Giannis Antetokoumpo often credits his former coach for helping him become a superstar. In his recently published biography titled “Giannis: The Improbable Rise of an MVP” by Mirin Fader, they briefly dive into his relationship with Kidd and some of the ruthless coaching methods the Hall of Famer used while in Milwaukee.
With Kidd recently being appointed the head coach of the Mavs, some of the stories in this book deserve more attention from Dallas supporters.
New Dallas Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd was tough on players
The most disturbing example came after a loss against the Hornets in late 2014. Kidd was fuming after the Bucks squandered what was described as a “winnable game” on their home floor. After disliking team veterans Zaza Pachulia and Jared Dudley’s answers for what the team deserved for the performance, he concluded that he would hold practice at 9:00 a.m. the following day. Players were understandably upset as Christmas was in two days, and most of them had set up flights to see their families for the holidays.
That practice was described as hell as Kidd forced guys to run for nearly three hours. Kidd was verbally abusive to players, and it even got so bad that Bucks center Larry Sanders had to go to the hospital. Among other things, it strained Kidd’s relationship with players.
It is not all wrong with Kidd. He had a great relationship with Giannis, and Jared Dudley pointed out that Kidd “laid the foundation” for the Bucks championship.
The Hall of Famer developed players and was a part of the eventual success of guys like Giannis and Khris Middleton.
How Jason Kidd’s coaching style will impact the Dallas Mavericks veterans
The Mavs do not have an old roster, and most of the veterans are only about 30 years old. Keep in mind, the guys younger than 30 have played in playoff games and are seasoned enough to be called veterans. These important role players will not respond to someone who treats players as Kidd has in his previous stops. More tenured players do not want to be dealt with like they are in high school, and being a martinet-type enforcer is an excellent way to lose them.
One of the biggest reasons Jason Kidd got hired is that he seems like he’s a good fit for Luka. Kidd possessed many of the same on-court skills as Luka. They are both bigger guards who have advanced court vision and can rebound. Kidd will spend more time personally with Luka, and that’s no problem.
If Kidd brings that same over-the-top disciplinarian attitude while directing his attention to Luka, that could rub players the wrong way. Kidd will make Luka a better basketball player, but making one guy better isn’t what fans want in Dallas.
A big pro for the Kidd hiring is he offers something that Rick Carlisle didn’t. Jason Kidd brings a fiery attitude that is needed. With that being said, there is a fine line between fiery passion and a harsh drill sergeant trying to over impose his power. Kidd has 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.