Player Profiles: Jason Kidd

BACKGROUND:

Simply put, Jason Kidd is one of the greatest floor generals the NBA has ever seen. Along with Grant Hill, he was the co-NBA Rookie of the Year in 1995, after averaging 11.7 points, 7.7 assists and 5.4 rebounds, while leading the league in triple doubles for the Dallas Mavericks. In 1996, he made the first of his 10 All-Star Game appearances. After being traded to the Phoenix Suns during the 1996-97 season, he led the franchise to five consecutive playoff appearances. As a Sun, he led the NBA in assists three straight seasons (1999-2001). After the 2001 season, he was traded to the New Jersey Nets, where he would make his biggest mark. In his first season in New Jersey, he finished second in the MVP voting while leading the Nets to their first of back-to-back NBA Finals appearances. The following season, Kidd had his highest scoring season, averaging 18.7 points while again leading the league in assists. In 2004, Kidd again led the league in assists while leading the Nets to the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. After that season, Kidd underwent microfracture surgery, sidelining him until December. Despite missing time, Kidd still led the Nets to a playoff spot in 2005. With a fully healthy Kidd the next season, the Nets rebounded to gain the third spot in the Eastern Conference. In his final full season with the Nets in 2007, Kidd again led New Jersey to the Eastern Semi-Finals. During the 2008 season, Kidd would be traded to the team he got his start with. After playoff failures in the next three seasons with Dallas, Kidd finally got his elusive championship ring in 2011. In his career, Kidd has totaled over 100 triple doubles and is second all-time in assists and steals and third all-time in three-point field goals made. He has also won two Olympic Gold Medals as a member of Team USA, as his teams had a perfect record of 56-0 in international competition.

OFFENSE:

Kidd remains one of the league’s best passers in the open court, which will help the Knicks ignite their transition game. In the half-court offense, Kidd has one job: to hit the open three-point shot. The Knicks hope the three-point shooting Jason Kidd from 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons returns. In those two seasons, he made over 40% of his three-point attempts, compared to just over 34% the past two seasons.

DEFENSE:

At 39 years of age, Kidd cannot be depended on to guard the young, quicker point-guards who are dominating the NBA. However, Kidd is a very intelligent team defender and uses his strength to bother wing players. Kidd has never averaged less than 1.6 steals in any of his NBA seasons.

ROLE:

Kidd’s primary job will be to backup Raymond Felton as point guard, however he could find himself playing in a number of different scenarios. With the injury to Iman Shumpert and Ronnie Brewer just now making his return after knee surgery, Kidd could see himself playing some shooting guard. Whatever the role is, there is no reason to think he shouldn’t have a solid season in New York. He doesn’t need to play big minutes (as he’s done for most of his career) which should keep him fresh during the season and into the playoffs.