Milwaukee Bucks head coach and former All-Star point guard Jason Kidd thinks Denver Nuggets rookie Emmanuel Mudiay will be even better than he was in his NBA career, reports The Denver Post’s Christopher Dempsey.
Kidd, second all-time on the NBA’s assist leaderboard as a player, spoke to reporters before Wednesday’s Bucks-Nuggets game in Denver and had high praise for the 19-year-old emerging star.
“At 19 years old, he’s very talented,” Kidd said. “He’s running the team, he’s not afraid to take a big shot. Some people have said that he can’t shoot, but he finds a way to put the ball in the basket. I think he enjoys to play the game, and I think for me, watching the tape on him is exciting. To see a 19-year-old being able to run a team with his poise, and then also his skills. He has skills at the age of 19.”
Mudiay went on to post 16 points, 11 assists and only one turnover in Denver’s 103–102 win. He’s averaging 13.1 points, 6.3 assists and 4.1 rebounds with 3.2 turnovers through his first eight NBA games. Kidd was asked to compare the No. 7 overall pick to himself as a rookie back in 1994 – and his answer bodes well for Mudiay.
“He’ll be better,” Kidd said. “He’s better already. Being able to run an NBA team at 19 is not easy. You look at some of the greats—Magic (Johnson) was able to do it. And you’re looking at this kid Mudiay, who has the opportunity to do something special. So, I would encourage him to be better than me, and I think he will be at the end of the day.”
- Jeremy Woo