Jason Kidd was a team first guy
In case you haven't heard, Jason Kidd has decided to retire after 19 long years in the NBA. After playing for four different teams, Kidd will be remembered as one of the best passing point guards to ever play the game. So how great was his career? Let's take a look.
*All statistics taken from basketball-reference.com unless otherwise noted.
J-Kidd was an instant impact player in the NBA right from the start. He was named co-rookie of the year in the 1994-95 season along with Grant Hill. That year he showed the potential to become one of the better all-around point guard's in the game and the capability of becoming a walking triple-double.
In that season he averaged 11.7 points, 7.7 assists and 5.4 rebounds a night. After his rookie season he became one of the best passing point guards in the game, averaging no fewer then nine assists a night for the next nine seasons, including leading the league in assists per game four times during that span.
However, to truly measure his numbers let's delve deeper.
First, he retired as the only NBA player in history to record 15,000 points, 10,000 assists and 7,000 rebounds. Yes, that includes the all-time greats such as Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Bill Russell, etc.
As mentioned before, Kidd had the uncanny ability to record a triple-double on any given night. In 19 seasons, Kidd recorded 107 triple-doubles. How does that compare to the best of all-time? It ranks him third, behind some guys named Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson, only the two best point guards to ever play the game.
Furthermore, nothing defined Kidd more than being one of the best passing point guards in the league. As such, he is second in all-time assists (12,091) behind only John Stockton, who has nearly 3,000 more than Kidd.
Kidd did have his faults, as his shot wasn't the best in the game. However, once his physical abilities started to deteriorate with age, he honed his three point shooting. For a player who never shot higher than 38 percent from three-point range in his career until the 2008-09 season, Kidd ranks third all-time behind sharpshooters Ray Allen and Reggie Miller in terms of three pointers made in a career.
While Kidd was also a 'stat-sheet-stuffer,' he was one of the best defensive point guards to play in his era as well. Kidd ranks second in steals on the all-time list (2,684) behind, once again, John Stockton, but ahead of Michael Jordan. He was also named to the All-NBA Defensive team nine times, four of which came as a member of the first team, with the other five garnering a second team honor.
Finally, along with being named to the All-Star team 10 times, he was also named to the All-NBA first team five teams, and the All-NBA second team once.
Kidd was almost in danger of joining the ranks as one of the best players to never win a championship. However, he finally won in 2011 with the Dallas Mavericks. Although he wasn't the best player on that team, he was an integral part for its success. This championship does not measure his full impact though.
Every year he went to a new team they improved. In his rookie season with the Dallas Mavericks (1994-95), he took a squad that was 13-69 the year before, and made them 23 games better. They finished that year with a 36-46 record.
Once he was traded to the Suns in the middle of the 1996-97 season, Phoenix finished 40-42. With Kidd on the team for a full year, they improved 16 games and finished with a 56-26 record.
With the Nets, the team's win total went from 26-56 to 52-30 the year after they acquired Kidd. They also made two NBA Finals appearances after never getting past the Eastern Conference Semifinals since joining the NBA back in 1976-77.
Every team he landed on resulted in a quick turnaround as he constantly made everyone around him better. As a New Jersey fan look at how much better players such as Kenyon Martin and Richard Jefferson were before and after playing with Jason Kidd.
Jason Kidd helped continue the trend of the pass first point guard and possibly can be one of the few remaining ones as the league has shifted to more athletic, score-first point guards such as Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, Kyrie Irving and Stephan Curry.
But why should I be the one making these claims. Let some NBA players such as Kevin Durant and Dirk Nowitzki say it for me.
Sad day. My boy jkidd is retiring. One of the best point guards ever and one of the fiercest competitors I have ever played with.— Dirk Nowitzki (@swish41) June 3, 2013
Congrats on a wonderful career JKidd..it was a honor playing against you after watching you dominate as a kid! Enjoy your retirement— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) June 3, 2013
I grew up watching @RealJasonKidd and since, he became the PG I wanted to be in the league. Remarkable career.. We'll miss you!!!— Greivis Vasquez (@greivisvasquez) June 3, 2013
So where do you think Jason Kidd ranks among the all-time greats? Leave your comments below.
You can also follow me @gbthegoalie12 on twitter