I remember years ago I could never see what the fuss was over Jason Kidd? I would look through the box scores during his rookie year in Dallas and wonder why all the credit was being given to him and not Jimmy Jackson or Jamal Mashburn. I would see pedestrian totals and would scream, overrated!
I was outraged when he was named Co-Rookie of the Year with Grant Hill and felt a bit justified in my belief when he was traded to the Phoenix Suns. It wasn’t that I didn’t think he was a good player, but the Magic Johnson comparisons were a bit hard to take early on.
Well all that changed on July 18, 2001 when the Phoenix Suns traded Kidd to the N.J. Nets for Stephen Marbury, and literally for almost the next decade, turned the Knicks into 2nd class citizens. Something that was unimaginable before his arrival!
Kidd’s arrival instantly transformed the Nets into a title contender while simultaneously turning the Knicks into somewhat of an afterthought. During his time as a Net all he did was beat the Knicks and not only beat them but embarrass them. During his tenure as a Net, Kidd had an overall regular season record of about 22-9 against the Knicks, in addition to a 2004 1st rd sweep. After watching Kidd dismantle the Knicks for seven seasons, I never again questioned his greatness.
His versatility, leadership and will to win were legendary and could not be defined by stats. Most importantly after watching him more closely, he had a unique ability to make everyone around him better. Kenyon Martin, a very intimidating player, but also limited offensively, was able to earn a max deal from the Nuggets because of how effective he played with Kidd as his point guard. Let’s not forget Kerry Kittles or Richard Jefferson, two players that also benefited financially from playing with J-Kidd. Ironically, those players like many others, never reached the same heights basketball wise minus Kidd.
So after 19 seasons, the last one served as a key member of the Atlantic division winning New York Knickerbockers, Jason Kidd, 40, arguably the best passing and rebounding PG in NBA history, calls it a career. He leaves the game as a true champion and a laundry list of accomplishments which includes:
- 10x NBA All-Star
- 5x 1st Team All-NBA
- 4x All-Defense 1st Team
- 5x All-Defense 2nd Team
- 5x NBA Assist leader
- 2x Olympic Gold Medalist
- Overall averages of 12.6ppg, 6.3rpg, 8.7apg
- 2nd All-Time in total assist
- 3rd All-Time in 3-pointers made