Gary Payton won’t be mentoring Giannis Antetokounmpo after all


Jason Kidd is the new head coach of the Bucks, and has plans to turn one of the team’s longest players in Giannis Antetokounmpo into a point guard — something he seems capable of doing, given the way he handles the ball and can get up and down the floor with ease.

So, when a report surfaced quoting Gary Payton as saying he would be acting as a “special advisor” in Milwaukee this season, with his role being that of a mentor to young Giannis, the pairing seemed to make plenty of sense.

But Kidd put a damper on all of that in a recent interview with James Herbert of

Is it true you’re going to have Gary Payton mentoring Giannis?

No, I’m not having anyone mentor anyone. For me, it’s looking at guys that I’ve played against or played with that can maybe help come in for a day or two to talk about what it takes to be successful. And so Gary at some point might come in and talk, but we’re not going to hire him.

The prospect of Antetokounmpo learning how to play the one from two of the best players in recent memory ever to do it in Kidd and Payton was beyond intriguing; it was downright exciting.

It’s a bit of a let down from a fan perspective to hear that it won’t be taking place, but Antetokounmpo’s growth as a player should provide enough highlights next season to help us get over it fairly quickly.