The Milwaukee Bucks fired Jason Kidd this afternoon, parting ways with the head coach they’d hired away from the Brooklyn Nets in the summer of 2014. Whether or not the decision to axe Kidd after 3 1/2 seasons surprised you — to plenty of Bucks fans frustrated by the team’s underachieving 23-22 start and tactically questionable defensive strategy, it was a long time coming — it evidently stunned the franchise’s signature superstar. According to Kidd, anyway.
On his way out the door, Kidd told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne that All-Star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo reached out to him a scant 15 minutes before he’d officially been given the gate and “offered to help save [Kidd’s] job.”
“We have a great relationship with Giannis,” Bucks co-owner Wes Edens told Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Monday night. “Giannis called me this afternoon. I have a good relationship with him. He’s obviously, in addition to being an incredibly talented basketball player, he’s a very fine young man. He feels a lot of loyalty to Coach Kidd, and that’s a wonderful trait. That’s a great emotion for him to have. But Giannis wants to win as badly as anybody, including me, and I want to win pretty badly.”