Jason Kidd clearly rubbed some people the wrong way in Milwaukee, but Giannis Antetokounmpo wasn’t among them.
The Bucks shocked the NBA world Monday by firing Kidd as their head coach in a move that reportedly “devastated” Antetokounmpo. In fact, the superstar guard/forward was so distraught he called Kidd at the last minute and offered to lobby ownership to keep him, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.
Antetokounmpo was intent on calling the owners directly, but Kidd insisted there was nothing he could do.
Antetokounmpo, who didn’t play Monday night in Milwaukee’s win over the Phoenix Suns, did end up placing a call to ownership, according to team co-owner Wes Edens.
“We have a great relationship with Giannis,” Edens said, via the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “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.”
Not all of Kidd’s players felt the same way about him, though; according to ESPN’s Ryen Russillo, the head coach wasn’t even on speaking terms with forward Jabari Parker.
The Bucks enter Tuesday seventh in the Eastern Conference at 24-22.