Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Friday, October 31, 2014

The Classical: Jason Kidd

Artwork by 48 Minutes of Hell’s Jesse Blanchard

So I had the honor of writing a bit about the enigma that is Jason Kidd for The Classical’s Why We Watch series, to which our very own Robert Montgomery Silverman contributed this beautiful piece on Steve Novak a bit back. Anyway, here she is:

For all the legitimately “heady” moments strewn across 17 superlative seasons – the hundreds of big shots, a Nerds box of triple-doubles, innumerable passes threaded through vanishingly narrow angles—Jason Kidd’s game winning three-point-and-one against the Brooklyn Nets last month certainly didn’t seem to rate terribly highly.

Lucky—that’s what it was. And pretty goddamn stupid, too, considering that Kidd actually got away with not one, but twoleg-extending kicks on the shot—a mid-air split so graceless and ridiculous it was a wonder that his body managed to calibrate itself long enough to get off the shot—either of which could’ve easily been called the other way. Neither was, and Kidd’s illusionist gambit instead capped an 18-point, six-rebound, six-assist throwback performance that helped the Knicks remain atop the Atlantic fold and kept his onetime charges a byline below. The Nets haven’t been quite the same since.

So it was lucky, and stupid, but also: it was heady, and it was savvy. Jason Kidd has been at it hard enough, and has been paying his wary, laser-sighted attention long enough, to identify the rare moments when rules take a back seat to context. He understands because he’s been running these lacquer-sheen stages since a good grip of his opponents were rocking diapers and running head first into table corners. He also understands this because Jason Kidd is blessed with a real-time genius that’s both wild and weirdly structured. On the court, he thrives in the moment. Off it, those split seconds have betrayed him. Or maybe it’s the other way around.

Y’all can read the rest here and Happy New Year!