HOFer Payton plans to mentor Bucks’ Antetokounmpo

From NBA.com staff reports

Ears perked earlier this summer when new Milwaukee Bucks coach Jason Kidd discussed his plans to play the 6-foot-11 Giannis Antetokounmpo at point guard. While unconventional, Antetokounmpo has the ball skills and vision to make it work and the guidance of Kidd is sure to help.

Now “The Greek Freak” has more guidance coming as Hall of Fame point guard Gary Payton announced his plans to work with Kidd and mentor Antetokounmpo during the Milwaukee Bucks’ training camp and preseason. He discussed his vision for Antetokounmpo at a press event in Greece this week.

Here’s Payton’s full quote:

“Jason [Kidd] let me see [Giannis Antetokounmpo] personally. I talked to him after some of the [Summer League] games. Jason put him at the point guard in the Summer League and he did very well at the point guard. I’m going to go down there for the preseason and training camp and work with him a little bit on his point guard skills. Being 6’10″ or 6’11″, he has great skills to play basketball [at] the point. I think he’s going to be very successful if he gets point guard skills. He’s very talented. He’s a young kid. He’s raw, so he needs to work on a lot of things.

Last year, when he was in Milwaukee, he was hurt a little bit and he didn’t get to play as much. (With) a coach coming in like Jason, who is a point guard, who wants to use him like that, I think he’s going to be very good, but he just needs a little guidance. They’re a very young basketball team; they don’t have veterans that can teach him things, so he needs someone like Jason and myself to come along and teach him the skills. I think he has raw talent. He has to work on it, though. I’m not going to say he’s going to be a splash right away. But I think he’s going to be good if he works at it and does the things he has to do and I think he knows that.”

Antetokounmpo, with his reported 7-foot-4 wingspan and confirmed giant hands, would be one of the largest point guards in recent memory and incredibly difficult for opposing guards to defend. There’s a reason more players his size don’t play point guard, though, and he could be wasted at the position.

No matter the outcome, this experiment is sure to be exciting … especially if he continues to cover the length of the court in just two dribbles:

(h/t Bucksketball)


  1. DRE says:

    He is going to be an incredible talent at the point. He already has a great feel for the game. Run Knight at the two since he is a scoring one, two gaurd and parker at the three. Mayo is great off the bench in a six man role. There are going to be fun to watch.

  2. OKC says:

    Is Kidd serious? Giannis never showed me any knack for offense, let alone playing PG @_@. With plenty of minutes he still only averaged 6ppg and that was all slashing off the ball…. and now they think he should play PG? Don’t get me wrong I like Giannis and think he has awesome potential playing the 2 and/or 3, but I’m not buying this court vision and ball skills Kidd says he supposedly has. Kidd is just trying to find a way to get Giannis starter minutes with Parker taking all the minutes at 3. This will be ugly and probably won’t last long. I much preferred Kidd the player to Kidd the coach lol.

    • Trix says:

      You do know Giannis grew up playing point guard right. He just happened to grow 7 inches in one year. He still got the ball skills to play point. It’s an experiment sure. But it works out it will be amazing and help bucks so much

  3. LeggoHeat says:

    Aww I thought the glove was gonna mentor Cole like he said :/

  4. harriethehawk says:

    A 7 feet 4 guard? What?? Can you imagine him guarding, let’s say Nate Robinson? Gotta see it to believe it, should be interesting.

    • Mister Wheelus says:

      He is not 7 feet 4! His wing span is! Don’t get it twisted. Read articles with more caution before responding.You don’t want to send the wroing message. Some people take what they read and run with it. Honest mistake on your part i’m sure. Happy reading…

  5. Nick says:

    Well, if he’s got point guard basketball IQ aptitude and physical ability, he should do well learning from some of the best PGs in the game. Looking at his frame, Kidd is probably afraid he would be too beaten up playing forward or center!

    • lonnie says:

      he would get beat with the bigs but he is young like 20 or so. they hay Mayo and Knight in which I would have at my starting guard spots an develop him more at the SG position when he was drafted he was compared to Kevin Durant but he is not as athletic an have Parker lose about 15 pounds play him at SF cause he is not ready to guard NBA PF’s yet. I believe that Kidd is smart to develop him at PG but I wouldn’t start him cause will take the ball out of the scores hands in Knight, Mayo, Parker, Henson, Sanders…would be my starting five