On Tuesday, Sports Illustrated published a fun feature of Milwaukee Bucks point forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, written by the estimable Lee Jenkins. The piece includes all kind of amusing anecdotes about the Greek Freak’s transition to NBA stardom—he trains with random strangers at the gym, used to insist on splitting every bill and needed to be taught which hip-hop lyrics he couldn’t say in public—but there’s one tidbit that’s particularly hilarious.
The Bucks hired Jason Kidd as their coach in 2014, after Antetokounmpo had just finished his rookie season. Antetokounmpo, having grown up in a low-income immigrant family in Greece, hadn’t watched Kidd’s incredible NBA career and didn’t know much about his new coach. Via SI:
The first time Kidd benched him, Antetokounmpo was irate. “I was like, ‘Let’s see what this guy did in his career, anyway,’ ” Antetokounmpo recounts, and called up Kidd’s bio on his phone. “I saw Rookie of the Year, NBA championship, USA Olympic gold medal, second in assists, fifth in made threes, blah, blah, blah. I was like, ‘Jesus freaking Christ, how can I compete with that? I better zip it.’ ”
It’s a good think Antetokounmpo wasn’t coached by Avery Johnson or Jacque Vaughn or he might have never learned how to play point guard.
Anyway, Kidd’s Wikipedia page was apparently enough to make the Greek Freak listen to him, because the Greek Freak has become an absolute stud. This was Monday night against Oklahoma City:
The Bucks are an ascendant team, with Antetokounmpo as the centerpiece and Kidd calling the shots. That’s the power of Google.