-- Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo talked publicly Wednesday for the first time since coach Jason Kidd's firing, saying he wished what they'd discussed had remained private.
Antetokounmpo acknowledged calling Kidd on Monday about 15 minutes before the Bucks officially notified him of his firing.?
Asked about what he said, Antetokounmpo declined to elaborate.
"It's kind of uncomfortable, especially for a guy like me that is -- as I said, one of my characteristics is that I'm being loyal to the people around me," Antetokounmpo told reporters. "That's one of my characteristics, but it's kind of uncomfortable knowing before it happened."
"He was a big part of my success," Antetokounmpo said of Kidd. "He trusted me, he put the ball in my hands, he motivated me on a daily basis, he pushed me to be great and not to be mediocre. ...
"I was 19 when he came and he said he was going to put the ball in my hands. The first time I wasn't ready. I told him, 'Coach, I'm not ready to create and make plays for the team.' He said, 'OK, we're going to take our time.' The next year, he put the ball in my hands and I was ready. ...
"But coming from a guy like Jason Kidd is big. He's going to end up -- whatever, if he got fired or not -- he's going to end up in the Hall of Fame. Having Jason Kidd as our coach was big."
Under Kidd, Milwaukee had a regular-season record of 139-152, though the Bucks are considered a team on the rise, with a group of young stars including Antetokounmpo.
"That's in the hands of the front office," Antetokounmpo said when asked whether he thought Kidd deserved to be fired. "Whatever they think or they can do to make this team better and make this team a championship-level team -- it can happen. If it's me being traded or the coach being fired or whatever move they think is the right move to make this a championship-level team, I think is the right move for it to happen."