Rumor: Executive talks LeBron and Giannis admiring Kidd

Cameron Fields

Two of the NBA's most transcendent players ever admiring one of the best point guards ever is no coincidence.

According to an article from Marc Berman of the New York Post, NBA stars LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo appreciate Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Jason Kidd. Kidd coached Antetokounmpo in Milwaukee from the 2014-15 season to when he was fired in January 2018. 

He is currently a candidate for the New York Knicks head coach job, and he interviewed for the position a second time last Thursday, per Berman. 

“LeBron loves Kidd,’’ one team executive told Berman. “But Giannis swears by him.’’

Both James' and Antetokounmpo's admiration for Kidd has been documented. ESPN's Kevin Arnovitz reported a story in January about Frank Vogel taking on the Lakers, and he wrote that James views Kidd "as the only person alive who sees the game of basketball with his level of clarity." 

When Kidd was fired in 2018, Antetokounmpo said Kidd was an important factor in his growth. Antetokounmpo scored 26.9 points per game, grabbed 10.0 rebounds a game and dished 4.8 assists during the 2017-18 season.

"He's a big part of my success in the league," Antetokounmpo said at the time, per Rich Rovito of AP. "I'm loyal to the people I work with. I love him as a person. I care about him as a person."

James and Antetokounmpo aren't the same player, and Kidd certainly wasn't nearly as physically dominant compared to James and Antetokounmpo. 

But the similarity lies in playmaking. Antetokounmpo isn't as skilled as James in that area, but at 6-foot-11 and 242 pounds, Antetokounmpo has an uncanny ability to glide up and down the floor. 

He can skirt past players with his dribble, and he can also occasionally find open teammates in the halfcourt. 

James is one of the smartest players ever, and so is Kidd. Kidd could see the game multiple steps ahead and knew where his teammates should be at all times. Both James and Kidd rank top 10 all time for assists, with James being eighth and Kidd slotted at No. 2.