Kidding like Jason: His Legacy
Glenn Robinson, who was the number one pick of the 1994 draft, was a mistake of the Milwaukee Bucks since they made that selection over Jason Kidd. At point during their first 4 seasons, Grant Hill looked like the number one pick until he succumbed to injuries, but hindsight is 20/20. After leaving time to do its’ trick, Kidd emerged as the true superstar of the bunch. After making mistakes, hindsight is a pain to examine. The last thing I heard about Robinson was the he had difficulty bending over to tie his shoes.
Dallas did not make a mistake in choosing The Kidd with their second pick. When I was a little kid, I noticed Jason on NBA’s Inside Stuff on NBC. They were doing profiles on fresh faces just like they did the year before when Shaquille O’Neal infamously shattered the backboard in a one-on-one match against host Ahmad Rashad. This time there was no basketball game played, but they were doing an interview on the campus of California, Berkeley. Mind you, I have never heard of this Kidd. When they aired the highlight footage they put together, I was awestruck. Then when he spoke about growing up in the Bay Area competing against Gary Payton, that’s when I knew that he’s official.
He used to come home crying at night because Payton would have Kidd’s game in his back pocket. Those types of tactics made him tougher so that no one in the NBA can get in to his head. If he did not have Payton during those young days, Kidd would not have made The League of Extraordinary Ballplayers.
Kidd wowed everyone with “Oh damn! How did he see that?” type passes. He played great defense. He was aggressive. He crashed the boards. He hustled. He was as fast as a jet. He has always been a team player. He’s a great leader. He just never had a jumper.
He started to emerge as a triple double machine. The more he got better, the worse his relationships with Jamal Mashburn and Jimmy Jackson were falling apart. There’s a video clip of Jackson, Kidd, and Mashburn sitting on the bench. They passed around cardboard cut outs of Jason Kidd’s face on Popsicle sticks. This was probably a promotional tactic like bobble head night. Jimmy Jackson played along looking happy, but Mashburn looked at the cut out with an “OMG WTF” look on his face. Even Kidd took notice, but tried to look cheerful.
The Dallas Mavericks made the worst decision in franchise history by trading the young man away to Phoenix while not getting anything much back in return. He spent some seasons here bickering with then coach Scott Skiles. Not much was done here except for all star appearances, blond hair, and playoff berths. He was then traded away again to New Jersey in exchange for Stephon Marbury. This is where he proved his hall of fame status as he led the Nets to two Finals appearances. Ironically, Dallas committed another mistake. As father time approached, Kidd was traded back to the Mavericks for Devin Harris in order to team up with German superstar Dirk Nowitzki. This is probably his final destination.
Some critics will bring up Kidd being a wife beater and comedians joke around with his son’s temple size, but the facts do not change; he’s a hall of fame point guard even better than Gary Payton. One can argue that Kidd might have been better than John Stockton since Kidd never played with a hall of fame power forward such as Karl Malone. On that Nets squad, all he had was Kenyon Martin, Richard Jefferson, and Kerry Kittles.
Jason Kidd is the number three point guard on my all time list behind Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas.
Where does Kidd rank among your all time point guards when it’s all said and done?