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Giannis Antetokounmpo says he thought he was going through puberty when benched by Jason Kidd

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo has made quite a name for himself in the NBA and looks like he is going to be a perennial MVP candidate for years to come.

However, it wasn’t always this easy for Antetokounmpo.

Back in 2015 while being coached by Jason Kidd, Giannis was benched in a late-season game against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, a decision that did not sit well with The Greek Freak, per Eric Nehm of The Athletic:

“The game before, Coach Jason benched me. I was upset,” said Antetokounmpo. “He benched me. We played the game and then we flew out the same night or the next morning, I don’t remember. Went to New York. Went to see my brother. I was pissed. I was hot. I shaved my head. That’s the lowest (my hair) has ever been. I was going through puberty.”

That was Antetokounmpo’s second year in the NBA. He wasn’t the superstar he is now, but he was still a very solid player, averaging 12.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game, so his frustration was understandable.

That year was also Kidd’s first year as Bucks coach. He coached Milwaukee all the way through the midway point of the 2017-18 campaign, when he was fired after a disappointing 23-22 start.

Let’s clarify something here, though: it doesn’t seem like Giannis is still upset with Kidd over the benching. He was just frustrated at the time and used that moment to serve as a springboard for him to mature as a player.