Share this article

‘Suspended Him’: Jared Dudley Reveals How Jason Kidd’s Punishment Got the Best Out of Giannis Antetokounmpo

Published 07/20/2021, 1:03 AM EDT

Follow Us

USA Today via Reuters

Giannis Antetokounmpo and Devin Booker, the two young debutants of the NBA Finals, are playing the best basketball of their life. However, the two are polar opposites when it comes to their style of play and also the physical attributes.

America’s Favorite Video Today

Now, there’s one player who has shared the court with both the stars, that too when they were both very young. It’s the Los Angeles Lakers’ Jared Dudley and hence his assessment can give a bird’s eye view into their transformation.


Article continues below this ad

Jared revealed how Giannis Antetokounmpo beat Devin Booker in one area

In a recent interview with Mavericks’ JJ Redick, Jared reminisced about his time with both the NBA Final flag bearers. He played alongside Giannis in 2014-15 when the Freak was 20-YO in his sophomore year. Then later, he joined the Suns in 2016 to take the court with a 20-YO Booker.

About Giannis, the lakers player expressed, “I had him so young, he was just like European players in America. He just wanted to learn, he didn’t care about living in Milwaukee, he was at the gym with his brothers at 11 pm at night throwing a football… He loved the culture.”


Get instantly notified of the hottest NBA stories via Google! Click on Follow Us and Tap the Blue Star.

Follow Us

He also popped fun over the cheek bone of Devin Booker and revealed the only area where he felt Giannis overpowered Book. The 36-YO added, “The difference between them two is, Giannis lived in the weight room. If you look at that picture of his body going from one to another, and with that if you see it, that’s what struggled of his jump shot. Because when I was with Giannis, Giannis would shoot like 36 from three, his free throw percentage was higher, obviously he was a young boy, now he has become a young man. That weight room, he is the physical specimen…”

via Imago

‘A Crazy Story’: Giannis Antetokounmpo Reveals Why He Didn’t Engage with LeBron James on the Courtside

When the Freak received his punishments


Article continues below this ad

Today, Giannis Antetokounmpo sees his well-deserved comparison with Shaquille O’Neal. The way the 26-YO dominates the paint and uses contact to his advantage is phenomenal. The 6’11” Greek God of Power does not shy away from drawing fouls even if free throws are not his strength.

Jared Dudley gave a huge credit for this to Milwaukee’s former coach Jason Kidd (2014-18) who helped Giannis grow. As the champion power forward added, “He became a man, hey listen I’m gonna be the new Shaq and the most dominant player. I didn’t know he’d be this good. I knew he’d be an All-Star caliber player, didn’t think he’d be an MVP so soon, didn’t think he had a chance to win a championship so soon. It’s a testament to his work ethic… I see his mindset. I credit Jason Kidd pushing the right buttons. He suspended him one time, he would bench him every time he shot a three.”


Article continues below this ad

Well, considering that Giannis is scoring threes at 17.9% in the playoffs 2021, coach Kidd saved him there. So what do you think, can the Freak continue to grow and win multiple championships? We would love to read your comments below.

Watch this story – Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Crazy Transformation Before Coming to the NBA

Providing feedback will help us make your experience better.

The Fan's Perspective

Enjoyed Your Read? Let us know how likely you are to recommend EssentiallySports to your friends!

Least Likely

Most Likely



Written by:

Sourabh Singh


One take at a time

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.
Show More>