Report: Antetokounmpo volunteered to save Kidd's job
NBA.com Global on Jan 23, 2018 10:23 AM
FILE - In this Jan. 21, 2017, file photo, Milwaukee Bucks head coach Jason Kidd talks with forward Giannis Antetokounmpo during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)
NBA.com staff report
In a last-ditch effort, Giannis Antetokounmpo reportedly offered any and all of his power to help Jason Kidd keep his head coaching job with Milwaukee.
ESPN's Ramona Shelburne said that in an interview shortly after he was let go by the Bucks, Kidd admitted that the team's superstar player was willing to go to bat for him at the eleventh hour.
"What can I do?" Antetokounmpo asked. "I'll call the owners, I'll call my agent."
Judging by his reported reply, Kidd appeared resigned to his fate.
"There's nothing you can do," he said. "All you can do is tell the truth. That's it."
Kidd says Antetokounmpo replied, "'What can I do? I'll call the owners, I'll call my agent."— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) January 23, 2018
Kidd said he told him, "There's nothing you can do. All you can do is tell the truth. That's it."
The Bucks decided to part ways with Kidd on Monday after the team slipped to eighth in the Eastern Conference standings. They are just 4-7 since the calendar flipped to 2018 despite the MVP-caliber play of Antetokounmpo and midseason acquisition of point guard Eric Bledsoe.
The news leaked before Kidd was even aware Milwaukee had decided to move on in a different direction. That may have played a part in Antetokounmpo telling Kidd, "this isn't right, what they're about to do." The former player and fifth-year head coach, however, apparently felt something like this would happen sooner than later, telling his star player, "I had a feeling that was gonna take place."
Kidd, "He called me and said, 'Coach, this isn't right what they're about to do, but (they) are gonna let you go.' "— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) January 23, 2018
Kidd says he told Antetokounmpo that "I had a feeling that was gonna take place."