clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Report: Gary Payton to be "Special Advisor" to Giannis Antetokounmpo

New, comments

It is being reported that Jason Kidd has tabbed former Seattle Supersonic great, Gary Payton, to turn Giannis Antetokounmpo into a point guard.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Many people have discussed what position Giannis Antetokounmpo will play this season. The 19 year old Greek spent most of last season at small forward, but he also spent a lot of time at the 2-guard spot. He has grown from 6'9" to 6'11" this offseason. Now it appears that new head coach Jason Kidd has a radical idea that he's been toying with; playing Antetokounmpo at point guard.

The Bucks have Brandon Knight, Jerryd Bayless, Ramon Sessions, and Nate Wolters who all already play the point, but Kidd seems unwavered. He played Antetokounmpo at the point at various times during the Summer League. "We've seen it in practice, and so when you see a player's comfort level with the ball no matter what size, we want to see it in game action," Kidd said. "We slowly have started letting him have the ball and running the offense." Kidd seems to be continuing his commitment to the idea by (reportedly, perhaps unofficially) hiring Sonics legend Gary Payton as a "special advisor" to Antetokounmpo.

The report comes from Greek website nba.sport24.gr, where reporter Costas Koukousis said (translated by Google),

"Jason Kidd had a vision going to Milwaukee: to see Giannis Antetokounmpo run the Bucks from position "1". The new coach of the Bucks is not only determined to implement this idea, but this effort will have the help of a very good friend, who happens to be one of the top point guard in NBA history, as he has requested Gary Payton become the teacher of the Greek forward."

According to the report, Payton was in Athens this afternoon and announced his new role. He said he will begin working with Giannis during the preseason and has already met with Antetokounmpo, who he referred to as "unripe," but spoke highly of his potential and work ethic. It's unclear how much Payton will teach the notoriously humble Greek in the ways of trash talk.