New York Knicks Predictions: Playing in the East Will Rejuvenate Jason Kidd

Marc WeinreichCorrespondent IJuly 16, 2012

DALLAS, TX - MARCH 06:  Jason Kidd #2 of the Dallas Mavericks dribbles the ball against Jeremy Lin #17 of the New York Knicks at American Airlines Center on March 6, 2012 in Dallas, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Jason Kidd hasn't had a serious run-in with the law since 2001, when he was accused of—and later confessed to—beating his wife.

Less than a week after signing with the Knicks this offseason, he was arrested and given a misdemeanor for driving while intoxicated in The Hamptons.

The Knicks, and New York, bring out the worst in players. It's rare that you see a player sign with the Knicks and then go on to have the best stretch of his career. 

But with New York doing who-knows-what with Jeremy Lin, Kidd will no doubt play some of the best basketball that we've seen from him in years.

He's back on the East for the first time since 2008, when he played for the Nets, and he should figure to become a leader for a team desperate for stability at the point.

Kidd knows this is it for him. He turns 40 next season and just signed a three-year deal with the Knicks. It's safe to say that New York will most likely be his last stop.

Like any Hall of Famer, Kidd will want to show why he's able to defy age. Coming to New York at the twilight of his career, he knows that this is his best stage to show why he's still capable of playing at a high level despite career-low averages of 6.2 points and 5.5 assists per game last season for the Dallas Mavericks.

Will he crumble under the pressure like so many others who have come before him to put on a Knicks jersey? Probably not. He's too old to let the media get to his head.

But with his latest DWI incident less than a week after signing with the Knicks, he's definitely testing the power of the press. Let's hope he can erase that memory with a strong start to the season.

This will be Kidd's fourth NBA team since being selected second overall by the Dallas Mavericks in 1994. He's been a top-tier point guard in Dallas, Phoenix and New Jersey, and there's no reason to think that, despite his old age, he'll be any different with the Knicks.

Sure, there's that pressure to play in New York that makes so many players crumble, but Kidd is past those shenanigans. He's a proven winner, having won an NBA Championship with the Dallas Mavericks and a gold medal with the U.S. Olympic team in 2008, alongside his new Knicks teammate Carmelo Anthony.

One of the hallmarks of a Hall of Fame career is the way a player makes others around him shine. Kidd has made a career out of getting others big paydays. He did it with Dallas, Phoenix and New Jersey, who each had very similar styles of play.

The Knicks, with Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith and the young Iman Shumpert, can get up and down the court in that same style. If Amar'e Stoudemire can return to a level that's close to All-Star resemblance, look for Kidd to have the same impact that Steve Nash had on Stoudemire when those two ran the pick-and-roll beautifully in Phoenix.

For all of their shortcomings, the Knicks have enough athleticism to excel under the leadership of Kidd. Despite a few roster changes this season, perhaps most notably losing Lin, the Knicks will still have their core guys back, something they couldn't say in past seasons.

It seems like this team is always  getting a makeover, so despite a few departures and acquisitions, the Knicks will be have their main guys back.

If this plan with Kidd is a failure, don't blame the Hall of Fame point guard. Look at it as just another example of the Knicks being one of the most dysfunctional franchises in sports.