The Evolution Of Jason Kidd
Jason Kidd Through The Years
When you have to take advice from someone, you want that person to be able to understand what you are going through. It’s hard to take advice or directions from a person that has never been in your shoes before.
As a player, when a coach diagrams a play, you have to trust that he knows what he is doing. As a coach, you have to know what you are doing. There is no faking in sports, either you have it or you don’t. Imagine the Brooklyn Nets player’s reaction when the word came down that former cross-city nemesis Jason Kidd was going to be their coach this season. My thoughts would have been, “Didn’t we just play against him a few months ago and now we have to take orders from him?”
To the untrained sports eye, this hiring might seem like a publicity stunt for a championship desperate franchise. But to the millions who truly follow the sport and have followed Kidd’s career, this is not a bad call. Point out one thing that Kidd has not accomplished as a player. He was the blueprint, along with Magic Johnson, on how a point guard should mold himself. He is a NBA champion, a rookie of the year winner, and a true professional. He has reached the playoffs 17 times in his 19 years in the NBA, therefor he can be seen a leader
Kidd has two Olympic Gold medals; he is a 10x NBA All-Star, five-time All NBA First team, and the list can go on and on. He has accomplished more than any player on his roster now. Kidd has the credentials to be a great coach and lead this team to a championship. To get a better understanding of whom Kidd is, let’s take a look throughout his career.
6. Dallas Mavericks (1994-1996)
Drafted with the No. 2 pick in 1994, Kidd was teamed with two other explosive young talents in Jamal Mashburn and Jimmy Jackson (the three J’s). They failed to reach the playoffs together, but they were very exciting to watch on the court as a unit. He averaged 13 points, eight assist, five rebounds, and two steals per and played in one All-Star game in the big D.
5. Phoenix Suns (1996-2001)
Kidd was traded in 1996 to the Phoenix Suns, where he teamed up with Kevin Johnson and future Hall of Fame player Steve Nash. Kidd led the Suns to the playoffs every year he was in their uniform, while earning an All-Star selection three times. He also led the league in assist for three consecutive years while playing with the Suns.
4. New Jersey Nets (2001-2008)
Kidd was traded to the New Jersey Nets in 2001 and his career really took off then. He not only transformed the roster, he changed the franchise as a whole. His first two seasons in Jersey, he guided them to two straight NBA Finals appearances, losing both times. The Nets were never able to duplicate those feats again, but Kidd continued to excel while with the Nets. He lead the league in assist again, had more All-Star appearances, and almost snagged an MVP award (he was robbed).
3. Dallas Mavericks (2008-2012)
Kidd was traded back to his first NBA team, the Dallas Mavericks in 2008. He teamed up with Dirk Nowitzki to lead the Mavericks to a stunning upset of the Miami Heat in the 2011 Finals. He achieved the one goal that eluded him his whole career, and it was fitting that it was done with the team that drafted him many years ago.
2. New York Knicks (2012-2013)
By this stage in his career, Kidd should have retired instead of giving it another go. But the heart of a competitor is hard to just push aside. Kidd fought with injuries during his stint with the New York Knicks, and was a former shell of the player he once was. He was not able to dominate like he was used to doing throughout his career. On June 13, 2013, Kidd decided it was time to put up his sneaks and walk away from the NBA as a player.
1. Brooklyn Nets Coach (2013-???)
As the new Coach of the Nets, Kidd has entered into uncharted waters as he tries to bring together a team that has new faces and different egos to manage. Many wonder if he is suitable to lead a team, given the lack of experience on the sidelines. A tough nose player who gave directions and orders his whole career as a player now has to learn to lead from the bench.
Can he manage the intensity of Kevin Garnett? How will he deal with Paul Pierce, who wants to be the player to take the big shot at the end of games? Will he be able to make Deron Williams into a pass first, defensive leader that he was in his career? Will he be able to keep sensitive Joe Johnson self-esteem in check when Johnson goes through one of his many in-season shooting slumps? Can he get Brook Lopez on any kind of defensive and rebounding plan that could put him in the conversation of elite NBA centers?
Kidd faces a tough uphill battle, but if you followed him throughout his career, then you know he is up for the challenge.
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