Jason Kidd's tenure with the Milwaukee Bucks was of meteoric nature — a big, flashy, resplendent acquisition to lead a team of young players with great potential, but soon after a dry, stale, burned-down rock without much appeal to it.
The former assist king took this young team under his wing, but his old-school ways from his days in the '90s and 2000s had grown tired in the ears of his team, reverberating now as just noise, not words of advice, as he once intended them to come across.
According to Bleacher Report's Howard Beck, team officials weren't happy with Kidd's wishy-washy relationship with his young players — some days blaming their inexperience and others praising their ceiling-less potential — keeping this wishy-washy attitude until his last few days at the helm.
“It was constantly, ‘Hey, it was the players' fault—they're not doing this, they're not doing that, they're too young,'” a Bucks source said.
Besides that, Kidd had a tendency to fall in and out of love with players, reportedly demanding a trade for Michael Carter-Williams one day, and putting that to rest the next.
“Team officials had also grown concerned that Kidd's demanding, old-school style had worn thin. Players were tuning Kidd out — or already had last season, according to one source with close ties to the team.
Kidd was “putting in massive hours,” a Bucks source says, “and he expected the players” to do the same. “Jason was driving the team a bit hard. And that would have been fine if there was really good results.”
Kidd to this day does not see the error of his ways, noting he wouldn't do anything differently.
“When you are learning how to win, it's going to hurt,” he said. “I told the players that. I showed them the piece of metal that's in my hip” [from a 2015 hip surgery]. “You're going to give a piece of your body to this game if you want to be good… The money, the fame, whatever comes with it is great. But it does hurt to win.”
Kidd cited the likes of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, along with the injuries and surgeries they endured through their careers to become champions.
“So, ‘driving them hard?' I think, working,” Kidd added. “There's nothing wrong with work. If you want to be great, you have to work. If you want to be good, you have to work. If you want to just be average, or below average, then you don't have to work.”