When Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo entered the league in 2013, he was just a 6.8-point-per-game scorer. But when Dallas Mavericks head coach and former Bucks head coach Jason Kidd took over in 2014, Giannis went from being a role player to a star.
By Kidd’s third year in Milwaukee, Giannis was averaging 22.9 points per game and was named an All-Star. During an appearance on the “48 Minutes” show, Giannis used just one word to describe Kidd – “genius.”
Antetokounmpo has had the opportunity to play under the tutelage of former NBA Coach of the Year Mike Budenholzer. Under Budenholzer, the Bucks’ star enjoyed much success, winning back-to-back regular season MVP awards, a championship, and an NBA Finals MVP in 2021. But one could argue that Kidd had just as much to do with Giannis’ success.
Giannis Stirs Pot on Bucks Future
In most cases, Giannis’ comments on Kidd would be much to do about nothing. But the timing is ironic because he is preparing to encounter a major crossroads in his career. The Bucks’ star will have a player option ahead of the 2026 season, where he can opt out and become a free agent.
In August, Dalton Trigg of Sports Illustrated said he believed that talks between the two-time MVP and the Mavericks could “heat up” soon.
Giannis has blossomed into a superstar in Milwaukee and has previously expressed his loyalty to the only city he has known in his NBA career. But as he still has yet to sign a contract extension, the Bucks star says he is weighing his options concerning his future with the franchise.
“As long as we play and I approach the game every single day the right way, and we all sacrifice for a common goal, I could see myself being with the Milwaukee Bucks for the rest of my career,” Antetokounmpo added.
“But the moment I feel like people aren’t as committed as I am to get that golden thing (trophy) in the back, I am not. It’s more than the money, it’s more than the lobsters, it’s more than the chartered flights. For me, it’s all about that [championship]. And I want that. If the Milwaukee Bucks are on the same page for the rest of my career, great. If not, I have to win. I think the people of the city understand it.”
NBA Comes Down Hard on Load Management
Understandably, today’s game is played at a much faster pace, and players need more time to recover so that they can avoid getting injured. But there have been games where teams have sat all their stars. In some cases, the games have been on the road, where fans will not get another opportunity to see their favorite players play until next season.
Per NBA insider Shams Charania, ahead of the start of the 2024 season, the NBA announced that teams will no longer be allowed to rest more than one star in a game.
“NBA Board of Governors has approved a new policy that a team is unable to rest two-star players in the same game moving forward,” Charania tweeted on September 13. “A star is defined as someone who has made All-Star or All-NBA team in the past three seasons.”
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