DALLAS - The Dallas Mavericks made an unpopular decision from some outsiders' perspective by hiring Jason Kidd to become the team's next head coach.
Between the various off-the-court behavioral controversies that former Milwaukee Bucks coach Kidd has been involved in during his playing career, there have been some so-called "horror stories" from those who played under him during his previous head coaching stints.
In a recently published book titled "Giannis: The Improbable Rise of an MVP" by NBA writer Mirin Fader, some of the controversial excerpts about now-Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd have made their rounds on social media. And while it is worth noting that some Bucks players have said positive things about Kidd (including Giannis Antetokounmpo himself) ... the stories paint a rough picture of Kidd's time in Milwaukee.
After the Bucks lost 108-101 to the Charlotte Hornets on Dec. 23, 2014, Kidd was furious after the team lost what was a 'winnable' game.
Kidd put former Bucks backup center Zaza Pachulia on the spot in front of the whole locker room asking if the game was 'winnable' and asking if the team deserved the next two days off, which included Christmas Day. Pachulia tried to reason with Kidd, so Kidd then put former Bucks forward Jared Dudley on the spot.
As the book alleges: After Kidd did not like the answers from both Pachulia and Dudley, he told the team that practice will start at 9 a.m. the next morning. The players already had travel plans to visit family and friends for what were supposed to be days off.
"I don't care," Kidd said. "You guys get paid to do a job, so you're doing your job tomorrow. Things change."
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Kidd allegedly took the situation a step further than just having a regular practice. He made the players run "like a college team" and even went off on former Bucks big man Larry Sanders -- calling him a "piece of shit" and a "terrible player."
"I don't think I've done that since I left J-Kidd," former Bucks guard Brandon Knight said. "It was not normal."
The practice lasted for three-hours and it mostly was highly-taxing conditioning drills but Kidd did not allow the players to be done just yet. The players were then tasked with getting in work in the weight room and in the pool, even despite some of the team's players not knowing how to swim.
Kidd continued to go after Sanders with his comments -- calling him "pathetic." To make matters worse, Sanders explained how Kidd's stunt broke him down physically and mentally, even resulting in him suffering from "full-body convulsions."
"Everybody was so tired that nobody was thinking about Christmas," Pachulia said. "We didn't have energy left to open gifts."
Every coach has his critics, of course. Assuming the validity of these tales, it is hoped that when Jason Kidd says he's learned a great deal in recent years, these too qualify as "learning experiences.''