Notching a 139-152 record through that four-year span, Kidd wasn’t exactly known as a great NBA coach — but his flaws as a leader apparently ran deeper than wins and losses.
A disturbing story from Giannis Antetokounmpo’s new biography, Giannis: The Improbable Rise of an NBA MVP, paints the recently-hired Mavs coach in a less than endearing light.
After a disappointing loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Dec. 23, Kidd forced his team to show up for practice the next morning on Christmas Eve — telling them to cancel flights home to see their families. The hard-nosed coach then ran his players into the ground with an “ugly” and borderline torturous practice session.
Kidd berated his players — especially big man Larry Sanders — calling him “pathetic” and a “piece of [expletive].” He was run until his “body broke down.” Sanders left practice that day and drove himself to the hospital, staying there over night.
That December 23 game was the last game Sanders ever played for the Bucks. He would return to play five games for the Cleveland Cavaliers the next season, but that was the end of his NBA career.
The NBA world took to Twitter to react to this disturbing retelling from biography author Mirin Fader.
Said practice became genuinely dangerous for Larry Sanders. pic.twitter.com/zueQQ2Ie82
— Dr. Elliot Kupferberg's Water Bottle (@FakeTJHawke) August 9, 2021
I like Luka. I do not like Jason Kidd. Want the best for Luka…but tough to root for the Mavs.
— Richelle Carey (@RichelleCarey) August 11, 2021
So glad the Blazers did not hire Jason Kidd now… https://t.co/ysGFlxKBS6
— Mason Waite (@masonwaite10) August 11, 2021
This Jason Kidd thing is really sad and awful. Hopefully, he's changed. I feel bad for Larry Sanders and that Bucks team.
— p5zitro (@aceeeortizzz) August 11, 2021
why does jason kidd have a job in the nba?
— ryan pfeiffer (@ryfii) August 11, 2021
Jason Kidd: "See you at practice tomorrow."
Zaza Pachulia: "But Coach, it's Christmas Eve!"
Jason Kidd: pic.twitter.com/KzWusmfiji
— Roy Burton (@TheBSLine) August 11, 2021
Luka signed that big-ass contract before he knew about Jason Kidd… pic.twitter.com/qmDSZc3ghG
— Kilted Menace (@Kilted_menace) August 11, 2021
It’s almost as if Jason Kidd has a history of abuse from a position of power. I wonder if it’s been documented anywhere outside of basketball. https://t.co/O3360ceIC5
— David Dennis Jr. (@DavidDTSS) August 11, 2021
wow if only there had been any signs that jason kidd was an abusive ass
— Lindsay Gibbs (@linzsports) August 11, 2021
Off the court, Kidd was arrested and plead guilty to spousal abuse after hitting his now ex-wife Joumana Kidd back in 2001.
Understandably so, some Mavericks fans are concerned about how Kidd’s aggressive coaching style will translate to their franchise — especially with 22-year-old NBA superstar Luka Doncic on the roster.