Thirty games into the season, Jason Kidd looked like the greatest thing since sliced bread. He had redefined himself in Dallas as a deadly three point specialist who could play some defense at either guard position. He was an intelligent point guard who was active on the defensive glass. In New York, Kidd helped the offense with his tremendous ball control (the Knicks were first in turnover rate on offense last year), and his three point shooting spread the floor. He was so valuable to the Knicks that he averaged nearly 30 minutes a game in that time span.
Then came game 31, and the Indiana Pacers. The veteran point guard had made 66 of 150 three pointers (44.0%) prior to that game, but that night in the Mid-West he managed only 2 of 9 from deep. Somewhere during that game, Kidd drove off of Sandy Alomar Cliff. Over his second 30 games, Jason only made 30 of 123 three pointers (24.3%), a nearly 20 percent point decline.
Lots of players lose their shot from time to time, but Kidd’s shot had a ripple effect on the rest of his performance. Where he was once highly valuable, without his stroke, Kidd was rendered useless on offense. In the playoffs, Kidd was downright feeble, failing to score in his final 10 games. He went from Steve Kerr to Chris Duhon.
Kidd’s NBA career has Greek Tragedy written all over it. Young Jason Kidd is blinded by his own ego, but eventually overcomes it to become one of the best combatants in the wooden arena, albeit with one weakness. Eventually our young hero toils to overcome his flaw, but by the time he addresses it, he’s old and his other skills have declined. He fights the slow decay of his body and finds that although he’s no longer the warrior he once was, he’s phenomenal at the skill he once lacked. And the minute he realizes this, he loses that skill, and in turn loses everything. In the afterlife he shakes the hand of Hades, and is back for his second life.
Grades (5 point scale):
Offense: 1 (4 for 30 games, -2 for after)
Final Grade: C-