When I was in ninth grade, the shoes I wanted more than any other were Kidd’s Nikes. He had just had an amazing rookie year, sharing ROY honors with Grant Hill (where is Glenn Robinson these days?!). I hated the new style that Nike gave Kidd later, so I kept those shoes for years, long after they regularly gave me blisters and wore thin. I loved Jason Kidd’s game, and I’m thrilled that, with the Mavs victory over the Heat last night, Kidd finally has a ring.
I loved the pure point guard-ness of Kidd – he wasn’t always the greatest (or prettiest!) shooter, but man could he marshal the troops and conduct an offense. It seems like no matter where he ended up – Mavs, Suns, Jersey, back to Dallas – he found success and learned to put up big numbers.
And those numbers talk. Besides his ROY co-share, he made 10 All-Star appearances (5 starts), and was named to an All-NBA team 16 times in his 17 year career. In the entire history of the NBA, he is 3rd overall in 3 pointers and steals. Yes, you read that right: Kidd made more 3 pointers than anyone in the league except for two other guys. Assists? Second all time (he passed Magic Johnson this year – Magic said that Kidd is his favorite pt guard playing today). In various years he has led the league in games played, assists, steals per game, and minutes played. He became the fourth player in the NBA to reach the 10,000 assist milestone and is now the only player in NBA history with 15,000 points, 10,000 assists and 7,000 rebounds. How do you get numbers like that?! Oh yeah, by being the most successful player at achieving triple-doubles (107 regular season, 11 in playoffs) not named Magic or Oscar. After Game 6, the post-game commentary crew were discussing King James’ triple-double, and one the analysts scornfully declared triple-doubles to be the most overrated statistic in basketball. There may be some truth, in that a triple-double does not guarantee a win like points can. But surely everyone has to agree that this statistic does indicate a level of commitment to each game and one’s teammates, and Kidd has demonstrated that going to the playoffs with every team he has played for, and getting to the Finals with two different teams three times. Now that he can add a championship to this impressive roster, Kidd has done nearly everything and is the oldest player in the league, and yet he’s starting for a championship team.