A look back at Jason Kidd's long and unique career
Kidd was one of a kind. His great work ethic and unique combination of skills allowed him to evolve his game throughout his 19 year career. When you look at his statistics, his name pops up next to guys like Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson because of the different things he could do.
He was a pass-first point guard, an elite defender, an excellent rebounder, a capable scorer, and a leader. Kidd led the league in assists in five out of six seasons from 1998-2004 and he's third all-time in career triple doubles.
The Oakland native and former Cal Golden Bear was the best player on two Nets teams that went to the finals and later he was a vital role player on the Mavericks championship team. Kidd filled both of these roles, and many others, gracefully without demanding star treatment--even though he had earned it.
He led the Nets to the Finals in 01-02, where they got swept by Shaq and the Lakers. In those playoffs, Kidd led the team in points (19.6), rebounds (8.2) and assists (9.1) The following year, he took the Nets back to the finals where they lost in six games to the Spurs. Kidd again carried the team, averaging 20.1 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 8.2 assists during the playoff run.
Even when his physical tools declined and his scoring went down, he was still able to stay in front of some of the best athletes in the world and hit big shots when his name was called.
In the 2011 finals, at age 38, he took turns on both LeBron James and Dwyane Wade and showed that positioning and smarts are just as important as foot speed. And in game 5, with the series tied 2-2, Kidd hit a dagger three pointer with less than a minute left to seal the game.
Jason Kidd is one of the most versatile and humble superstars the game has ever seen. Very few players last in the league for 19 years and the only ones that do are the ones that are able to evolve. At each stage of his career, in many different cities, under many different coaches, Kidd always found a way to fill an important need and help his team win.