‘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
Jul 14, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) looks to pass as Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) defends during the first quarter in game four of the 2021 NBA Finals at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


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.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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.”

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…”

Jul 8, 2021; Devin Booker moves the ball against Giannis Antetokounmpo during game two of the 2021 NBA Finals at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
DIVE DEEPER

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

15 days ago

When the Freak received his punishments

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

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.”

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

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

Trending Stories

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Sourabh Singh

1439 articles

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT