Jason Kidd Canceled Christmas, Insulted Players & Worked Larry Sanders To The Point Of Convulsions During His Time In Milwaukee 

Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Kidd Canceled Christmas, Insulted Players & Worked Larry Sanders To The Point Of Convulsions During His Time In Milwaukee 


In January of 2018, the Milwaukee Bucks surprisingly fired head coach Jason Kidd.

Overall, Kidd did have a losing record in Milwaukee, and the front office thought the team’s progress was not going quickly enough. Given their post-Kidd performances, they turned out to be right.

Now, more than three years later, the Milwaukee Bucks are the reigning NBA Champions and Jason Kidd is back in a head coaching position – this time with the Dallas Mavericks, whom he won his sole championship with as a player.

But since Kidd is back to head-coaching a team, the following is pretty relevant. In a new biography of Giannis Antetokounmpo numerous claims regarding Jason Kidd are reported. Some of the stories presented are absolutely awful. 


“But the Bucks were struggling, dropping a game to Charlotte on December 23, right before Christmas. Players returned to the locker room dejected, silent. Everyone was ready for the next two days off with their families.

“Zaza,” Kidd said, turning to Pachulia but addressing the group, “do you think this was a winnable game?”

“Yes it was a winnable game,” Pachulia said.

“And do you think we deserve the next two days off?”

Pachulia couldn’t believe Kidd had put him in that situation, threatening to ruin Christmas. Pachulia tried to strike a diplomatic tone: “You know what, Coach–I understand the frustration. We’re all frustrated because this was a game we were supposed to win. We didn’t give enough effort. But at the same time, this is a holiday. Christmas is important to our families. It’s not about us; it’s about our families. Guys have made plans.”

Kidd then turned to Dudley. “What do you think? Should we take these next two days off?”

Dudley, too, gave a diplomatic answer.

But Kidd wasn’t satisfied. “See you guys tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” players said. “What do you mean?”

“We’re going to have practice tomorrow.”

“We booked flights to different places!”

“I don’t care. You guys get paid to do a job, so you’re doing your job tomorrow. Things change.”

Practice the next morning was ugly . Kidd went at Sanders. Called him a “piece of shit,” a “terrible player.” The team ran and ran and ran and ran, like a college team would. “I don’t think I’ve done that since I left J-Kidd,” Knight says. “It was not normal.”

Players had to finish a fast-break drill in twenty-two seconds, but twenty-seven was the team’s best record. They did it over and over until they made it. Some were bent over, panting, cramping. Practice lasted three hours, and then Kidd made players lift weights and do pool exercises. Half the team didn’t know how to swim, but Kidd made everyone run in the pool”

“Everybody was so tired that nobody was thinking about Christmas,” Pachulia says. “We didn’t have energy left to open gifts.”

Kidd continued to berate Sanders, though, calling him “pathetic.” Sanders couldn’t handle it. Where he was in his life, his career, this practice, all his mistakes, all his frustrations, he felt his entire body turn to jelly as he cramped up from head to toe. “I had a full-body convulsion,” Sanders says. “My body broke down. Physically I couldn’t take it, and mentally I really couldn’t take it.”

Sanders asked to be excused to the bathroom. “Oh, don’t worry,” Kidd said as Sanders walked away. “We’ll wait, then run some more.” Sanders left the facility and took himself to the hospital, spending the night there. Few knew what happened in the aftermath, and he didn’t have the energy then to talk about it.

“I don’t think he’s a bad person,” Sanders says about Kidd, “but mentally, he kind, like, brain fucked me a little. It was a lot of, I love you, kiss you on the cheek, now it’s all about money, who cares about your mental health, your body breaking down.”

“I’m happy. I’m in a much better place now,” he says. “I’m sorry it had to go out the way it did.”



The game in question before Christmas actually turned out to be Larry Sanders’ last game for the Milwaukee Bucks. To say Jason Kidd was the sole trigger is likely unfair, but he certainly played his role in Sanders not being able to get his career back on track ever again.

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