I recall the 2003 All-Star Game.
J-Kidd wide open for the "three ball" from the left corner. Clang.
Big Ben snatches the offensive board, dishes it back out to Kidd. For "Three"!!! Clang.
Brad Miller grabs the rock, passes it back out to Kidd. Third time's the charm? No. Clang.
But, wait! Miller corrals the ball again, and finds Kidd in the corner... Bang! Finally.
That's how it's been his entire career. Can't sink the freakin' "J". So what makes him so great, anyway? Well, earlier this month, he only became the fourth player in NBA History to ever reach 10,000 career assists. Poor Canada.
First, there was Kobe's 81. And now, you Raptors fans had to sit back and watch Jason Kidd reach 10,000 dimes. Now Kidd trails only John Stockton (15,806), Mark Jackson (10,334), and Magic Johnson (10,141) on the all-time list...
What?!? He only trails Mark Jackson by 300? Yeah, that's right. Fully expect J-Kidd to acquire sole possession of the No. 2 assist spot before he retires.
Anyway, back to his shooting. Let's face it: Shooting a lifetime 40 percent from the field is pretty dismal to say the least. But Kidd's defense has been top-notch, heavens above every other point guard aside from Gary Payton.
Jason Kidd has been on the of the top on-ball defensive guards of his era, as evidenced by his four First NBA Defensive Team Selections, along with five Second Team nods. Despite his 6'4" frame, Kidd usually demanded to be put on the opposing team's best perimeter player.
During his magical run with the Nets to the NBA Finals, he frequently found himself locked onto the likes of Paul Pierce, Reggie Miller, and Richard Hamilton. Guess what? He did his job and made his presence felt.
Magic? Isaih? Cousy? Oscar? The greatest point guards in NBA History were even only particularly dominant on one end of the floor. This perception alone, along with Kidd's rep. as a strong two-way player, is more than enough to stamp him in among the Ten Greatest Point Guards ever to play in the NBA.
Now, let's take a look at the Nets team he was able to transform. His sidekick was Keith Van Horn. The guy was a very nice player, no doubt about it. His ability to rebound the ball and hit the outside shot was extremely vital to Jersey's title run.
However, let's take a look at the rest of the pack.
Kenyon Martin and Richard Jefferson—the frontcourt core—were only entering their first couple of seasons in the NBA, and were nowhere near the players they are today (RJ could not hit a jumper to save his life from over ten feet out).
Hell, you had three rookies on your roster for your first Finals Run: Jason Collins, Brandon Armstrong, and Richard Jefferson.You had an aging Kerry Kittles, Todd MacCulloch, and Lucious Harris to shore up the rest of your rotation. Doesn't really catch your eye, does it?
So where did the firepower come from exactly? On paper, the Nets were nothing but a bunch of mediocre veterans and inexperienced young players with no foundation for winning.
For crying out loud, the Nets had literally the same exact roster from the year before minus Stephon Marbury. It all goes back to Jason Kidd. Everywhere he goes, they win.
Don't even compare NJ's situation to PHX's either. Steve Nash took over a Suns Roster loaded with fresh, raw talent. Amar'e Stoudemire, Shawn Marion, Joe Johnson, Quentin Richardson.
Sure, these guys had career years when Steve Nash took over but they were already well-established players. You even had Leandro Barbosa off the bench. Whereas, New Jersey had a bunch of aging veterans and many, many first-year, second-year players, the Suns had a load of proven players who just needed the right man at the point to make things click, er, anybody but Stephon Marbury, that is.
It sometimes bothers me when I hear "Steve Nash is better than Jason Kidd."
No. No. And no.
Nash's defense doesn't even touch Kidd's and I will say that Jason Kidd's court vision is unparalleled even when compared to Nash. Steve Nash puts the better numbers because he simply has more opportunities.
He played with D'Antoni, and his system inflates every point guard's assist numbers (See Chris Duhon). If you put Jason Kidd in Nash's shoes, he puts up similar numbers for sure, if not better.
You didn't see any hype surrounding Steve Nash regarding the "Hall of Fame" when he was in Dallas. It wasn't until he arrived his Phoenix that his career suddenly took off.. Kidd has been consistent and the absolute best at his position everywhere he went.
You want to bash on him in Dallas right now, go right ahead. But the fact of the matter is, he's nearing the dawn of his career, yet he's still doing what he's been doing for 15 years now—WIN!
You put J-Kidd in his prime against Chris Paul and Deron Williams of today... HA! The latter two don't stand a chance. Back in the day, hand checking was actually real defense. Jason Kidd's never had the adequate supporting cast that he so desperately needs.
Has he ever played with a real big man? Not really. Kenyon Martin, Dirk Nowitzki, did he even have a big man in Phoenix?
The guy's done it all. All star games. All NBA First teams. Has his own shoes. Hey, he even has a rap that can be found on YouTube. All that's missing is the bling on his right ring finger. And unfortunately, it looks like he's not gonna get one.
Relish the player that Kidd used to be before he got old, and remember that he was the best point guard of his era, and that if you ever saw him in his prime, you'd see that he kicked everybody's #$%.
So the next time you watch the Mavs on ESPN, and Kidd misses a wide open "J", don't swear because he's wrecking your Fantasy Team but laugh, because that's J-Kidd for Ya!