Jason Kidd has not read the book, has no plans to read the book and is on good terms with Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The new Dallas Mavericks head coach made himself available to the media Friday morning along with new Mavs GM Nico Harrison, new acquisitions to the team, plus Tim Hardaway Jr.
The top of my list was to know if Kidd was aware of the passages in the new biography about the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo.
“Giannis: The Improbable Rise of an NBA MVP” has moved up The New York Times bestseller list, and it includes some portions that are none too flattering toward Kidd.
“Did Giannis write it?” Kidd said when I asked him if he had read it.
Not sure if he was asking rhetorically, I answered it was written by Mirin Fader.
“I’m waiting for Giannis for when he writes it,” Kidd said. “I’m aware of [the book], but if it’s not from Giannis I won’t pay attention to it.”
Kidd was the head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks from 2014 through the middle of the 2017-’18 season. Giannis was drafted by the Bucks in 2013, and Kidd was his second NBA head coach.
In the book, one ex-Bucks player calls Kidd’s coaching style, “psychological warfare.”
According to the book, Kidd changed his mind and held a practice on Dec. 25. It was a three-hour practice that was mostly conditioning and included extensive time in the pool even though most of the players did not know how to swim.
There are other stories, too, including one where Kidd reportedly called out Giannis in front of the team only to be proven wrong. Kidd still kept Giannis on the bench.
And one tale of Kidd’s passion for ... water parks.
Whatever the specifics, Kidd isn’t sweating any of it.
It should be noted that after the Bucks won the NBA title, Giannis made a point of praising Kidd for pushing him when he was a younger player.
“That book, or whatever everybody wants to make a big deal about ...,” Kidd said. “I mean, he didn’t write the book.
“We helped build [the Bucks]. Different companies, right? We did that. And here, this is a company that has a superstar. He has similarities to Giannis. They can dominate a game. It will be a fun.”
The Bucks were 139-152 under Kidd.
Kidd said there are a few people quoted in the book who called him shortly after it was released, saying what they told the book’s author “didn’t come across the right way.”
“There are no feelings about it because it was not Giannis’ book. The cool thing is my relationship with Giannis goes beyond basketball,” Kidd said. “I talked to him a couple of hours after his son was born. Cool little name, ‘Maverick.’
“See, you guys didn’t know that. That’s how close we are.”