The USA Basketball National Team has unveiled the 20 finalists to comprise the 12-man team in the 2012 Olympics, and one name is recklessly off the list. That name is Jason Kidd.
At 38, Kidd is clearly past his prime, but he is still an excellent point guard with a valuable skill set and invaluable leadership. He would bring a lot to the table as a role player on this roster, and it is a shame that he has been left off the list.
More on Kidd in a second, but first, here are the players with a chance to make the roster.
The 20 Finalists
LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland Trail Blazers)
Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks)
Chauncey Billups (Los Angeles Clippers)
Chris Bosh (Miami Heat)
Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers)
Tyson Chandler (New York Knicks)
Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Rudy Gay (Memphis Grizzlies)
Eric Gordon (New Orleans Hornets)
Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers)
Dwight Howard (Orlando Magic)
Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers)
LeBron James (Miami Heat)
Kevin Love(Minnesota Timberwolves)
Lamar Odom (Dallas Mavericks)
Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers)
Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls)
Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat)
Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Deron Williams (New Jersey Nets)
The Case for Jason Kidd
With all the talent and scoring potential on this roster the most valuable thing a point guard can bring is passing and defense. Kidd can still bring these to the table.
Defensively, Kidd is in no position to man up on quicker point guards, but he is an excellent defender in the team concept and zones often utilized in the Olympic setting, and he can still go man-to-man with bigger point guards.
Kidd is still capable of drilling the outside shot. In fact, he just keeps getting better in this regard. This season he is hitting just over 37 percent from three-point land.
While these skills would be a help, they are not the real reason that Kidd needs to be on this roster. That belongs to his ability as a floor general.
Kidd is an unselfish and demanding point guard. This team will have a tendency to turn to a stagnant one-on-one attack. Kidd would immediately help when that attack grows stagnant.
He would ensure that this team would get into the offense, and essentially be a coach on the floor. In this regard, no other player is equipped with the skill and the clout to pull this off.
He wouldn't be needed for big minutes, but in certain situations he would be invaluable as he can bring intangibles to the floor that no other point guard can.
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