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Jason Kidd

Jason Frederick Kidd nicknamed J-Kidd (born March 23, 1973 in Oakland, California) is an American basketball player.

He is currently the starting point guard for the New Jersey Nets of the NBA. He led the Nets to two consecutive NBA Finals appearances (2002 and 2003) and is considered one of the best players of his generation as well as one of the greatest playmakers in NBA history. His on-court versatility also makes him a regular triple-double threat, and he is fourth all-time for triple-doubles in the NBA with a career total of 76 (as of May 14, 2006).

Early life and college[]

Kidd was born in Oakland, California, the oldest of three children of Steve and Anne Kidd. His father was African-American and his mother Irish Catholic. He was raised in the Oakland Hills, an upper middle class section of Oakland just outside San Francisco, California. During his youth, Kidd excelled in soccer as well as other sports.

After graduating from St. Joseph Notre Dame High School in Alameda, California, where he led his team to back-to-back California Division 1 state titles, Kidd attended the University of California, Berkeley. His successful collegiate career as a star point guard was topped off by his selection as a First Team All-American during his sophomore year, after which Kidd subsequently opted to enter the NBA Draft in 1994.

NBA career[]

Rising star: From Dallas to Phoenix[]

He was selected as the second pick overall by the Dallas Mavericks, behind Glenn Robinson of Purdue. In his first year he averaged 11.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 7.7 assists, sharing 1995 NBA Rookie of the Year honors with Grant Hill of the Detroit Pistons. He was a member of the "Three J's" in Dallas along with Jim Jackson and Jamal Mashburn, and many hoped that the trio would lead Dallas to success for years to come; however, that plan did not come to fruition, as all three found themselves playing for other teams shortly thereafter. Kidd was traded to the Phoenix Suns along with Tony Dumas and Loren Meyer for Michael Finley, A.C. Green, and Sam Cassell during the 1996-1997 season. In 2001, after five seasons in Phoenix in which the team made the playoffs each year under Kidd, he was traded to the New Jersey Nets for Stephon Marbury.

Face of a franchise: New Jersey Nets[]

The 2001-02 season saw Kidd lead the Nets to a surprising 52-30 finish, and marked one of his best all-around seasons as he finished second to the Spurs' Tim Duncan in MVP voting. Many have argued that Kidd deserved to win the award because of his impact in New Jersey—transforming the Nets from perennial league doormats into championship contenders seemingly in the space of a single training camp. His contribution to the Nets during his first season in New Jersey was huge, and resulted in one of the greatest turnarounds in NBA history. He was also fortunate to join the team when he did, as the team reaped the benefits of the newly healthy Kenyon Martin and Kerry Kittles, and the trading of Eddie Griffin for Richard Jefferson and Jason Collins.

Under Kidd's guidance, the young Nets team prospered through the playoffs and ended up advancing all the way to the Eastern Conference title and the franchise's first-ever appearance in the NBA Finals. However, New Jersey's season would end without an improbable NBA crown, as Kidd and the Nets were swept in four games by Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant's Los Angeles Lakers. However, New Jersey enjoyed another stellar season under the helm of Kidd's leadership in the 2002-03 NBA season, during which the team finished 49-33 and reached the NBA Finals once again, only to lose to Tim Duncan's San Antonio Spurs in six games.

On July 1, 2004, Kidd underwent microfracture surgery to repair a damaged knee. He made a full recovery and returned to the court in December of that year, during which the Nets acquired star swingman Vince Carter from the Toronto Raptors. With the Nets hanging on the prospect of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2001, Carter, Kidd, and Jefferson combined to fuel the team to a late regular-season surge that enabled them to inch past the Cleveland Cavaliers for the eighth and final playoff berth in the East. However, their season would come to an end early as they fell in four games to top-seeded Miami in the first round.

In the 2005-06 NBA season Kidd averaged 13.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 8.4 assists (5th in the league). Although he has gained in age, the 33-year old Kidd's skills do not appear to be diminished, especially on the defensive end. This is evident as he continues to hold some of the NBA's premier point guards to well below their respective performance levels, as he has limited All-Stars Chauncey Billups and Steve Nash to 9 points on two-for-ten shooting and no points on zero-for-five shooting, respectively, in games against Detroit and Phoenix.

Growing legacy: Next 10[]

On February 18, 2006 as a reference to the NBA's 60th anniversary, TNT aired the "Next 10", a program consisting of the network's sixteen NBA analysts that selected 10 players who, in their minds, merit inclusion into the NBA's 50 all-time greatest players list. Kidd was chosen #9, along with other currently active NBA players such as Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, Kevin Garnett, and Gary Payton.

Awards/accomplishments[]

NBA highlights[]

  • 7-time NBA All-Star: 1996, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004
  • 6-time All-NBA:
  • First Team: 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004
  • Second Team: 2003
  • 8-time All-Defensive:
  • First Team: 1999, 2001, 2002, 2006
  • Second Team: 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005
  • NBA co-Rookie of the Year: 1995 (with Grant Hill)
  • NBA All-Rookie First Team: 1995
  • 5-time NBA regular-season leader, assists per game: 1999 (10.8), 2000 (10.1), 2001 (9.8), 2003 (8.9), 2004 (9.2)
  • 3-time NBA regular-season leader, total assists: 1999 (539), 2001 (753), 2003 (711)
  • NBA regular-season leader, total steals: 2002 (175)
  • NBA All-Star Skills Competition champion: 2003

NBA milestones[]

  • In NBA history:
  • ranks 4th in triple-doubles (76, as of May 14, 2006)
  • ranks 8th in assists (7,955, as of 2006)
  • ranks 5th in assist-per-game average (9.2)
  • ranks 13th in steals (1,775, as of 2006)
  • ranks 11th in steal-per-game average (2.05)
  • One of only three players in NBA history to record at least 12,500 points, 5,500 rebounds, and 7,500 assists in his career (the others are Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson).
  • One of only two players in NBA history to average a triple-double in a playoff series of six or more games (17.5 ppg, 11.2 rpg, 10.2 apg) in the 2002 Eastern Conference Finals vs. the Boston Celtics (the other is Magic Johnson).
  • One of only four players in NBA history to lead the league in assist-per-game average for 3 consecutive seasons (the others are Bob Cousy, Oscar Robertson, and John Stockton).
  • Holds New Jersey Nets franchise records for career triple-doubles, career assists, assists in a season, and triple-doubles in a season.

Other[]

  • Member of the 2000 U.S.A. Dream Team which won gold at the Sydney Olympics.
  • Member of the 2003 U.S.A. Basketball Men's Senior National Team.
  • 1992 Naismith High School Player of the Year
  • USA Today and Parade Magazine 1992 National High School Player of the Year
  • Named to the USA Today All-time All-USA Second Team in 2003.
  • Named First Team All-American as a sophomore at the University of California.

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Playing style and personality[]

During high school Kidd was known to be referred to as "Ason Kidd" as his J (jump shot) tended to be weakly honed, especially at vital stages in games. Overall however, he has demonstrated both a strong will to win and the ability to do whatever is needed towards that end, as manifested in such ways as his perennially-strong Player Efficiency Rating and the number of wins his teams compile. Many players have considered it a great privilege to play with Kidd because of his ability to make other players look good, primarily through his much-heralded passing skills. He has also demonstrated both an ability to sublimate his ego and focus on the team's success and to empower his teammates through low-key and good-natured yet firm leadership (much in contrast to the Nets' previous point guard Stephon Marbury). Though not a consistent shooter, Kidd does possess above average three-point shooting ability and the ability to be a complementary scorer. Kidd has a scoring average in the teens, which while not superstar level, makes him enough of a threat that defenses have to respect his shooting ability as well. Still, he is first and foremost focused on getting the ball to where it is needed. He is recognized as one of the top point guards of the NBA's history, the best in the past decade and arguably a rare breed in this day and age and somewhat of a throwback type. In many ways his career has been hampered by the fact that he hasn't had teammates able to capitalize on his skills as a superb point guard.

Throughout his career Kidd has been regarded as something of a coach-killer, clashing with his first coach at Cal, who was subsequently fired. Kidd has also been largely blamed for running then-Nets coach Byron Scott out of New Jersey in 2003. Scott has charged the Nets players in general with a "mutiny", though Kidd was not been named specifically. Kidd refuted those charges by saying that any decision was the responsibility of Nets management, and the fact that the team immediately won 14 games in a row after Scott's ouster should serve as proof that such a change was needed.

Trivia[]

  • Has four children; three with his wife Joumana (T.J., Miah, and Jazelle). He and Joumana set up the Jason Kidd Foundation to help children with medical problems.
  • Dated Gabrielle Union when they were in high school together. Attended Catholic schools most of his life, and donated significantly to his alma mater.
  • McDonald's in the Phoenix metropolitan area once offered the "Jason Kidd Burger", featuring 3 beef patties and 2 slices of cheese, presumably to honor his ability to achieve triple-doubles (triple the beef, double the cheese servings).
  • In January 2001, Jason Kidd was arrested and pleaded guilty to a domestic abuse charge for assaulting his wife Joumana Kidd in anger. As part of his plea, Jason was ordered to attend anger management classes for a short period of time. Kidd completed the mandatory counseling and continued to attend on his own. It is reported that he has since given up alcohol. He and his wife are both active in their church and have completely reconciled. In fact, before each free throw Jason can be seen blowing a kiss to his wife. The couple has three children and are living happily in New Jersey.

External links[]

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