Jason Kidd mysteriously left his 20-year-old rising star Giannis Antetokounmpo on the bench for the entirety of Bucks’ narrow loss to the Cavaliers back in April, and then didn’t offer any clarification as to why.
The world may never know exactly why Giannis picked up a DNP-CD, but it certainly motivated him the following game against the Knicks.
He scored 23 points with 9 rebounds and one angry dunk followed by an immortal stink face:
In his latest blog with EuroHoops, Antetokounmpo backed Kidd’s decision to not use him against the Cavs, and said the benching ultimately paid off, as Giannis came out with a renewed energy.
I know that it became an issue and the media was trying to find out what had happened. Maybe because I had played in many consecutive games in the starting line-up and suddenly in a game against the Cavs I never stepped on the court. But there wasn’t anything more to it than the fact that he didn’t use me. It was good for me, as it turned out.
Because, in the next game I was angry and I was anxious to play. In New York. The game turned out to be a good game for me and I made one of the best plays I’ve made this far in my career. That play came out because I was angry. That’s why right afterwards he made that stink face!