Monday, May 30, 2011

Give the Kidd a Ring

Jason Kidd is one of the greatest players of his generation.  He was a triple-double machine, an all-time great defender, and the possessor of possibly the greatest court vision of any point guard in NBA history (Magic Johnson may have something to say about that though). 

Unable to win a championship in his prime despite being carried to two NBA Finals by Jason Collins, Kidd is trying to win a title alongside Dirk Nowitzki.  He’s the co-second best player on the team, along with Tyson Chandler and Jason Terry.  On a team that is built around Nowitzki’s top-end talent and the fit around him, Kidd’s job is to provide size and rebounding at an unorthodox position, defend intelligently, hit the open 3 and run the half court offense.  What would winning a ring do for his all-time standing in this role? 

It’d be the same as what a ring would have done for Scottie Pippen if the Portland Trailblazers hadn’t gotten game seven asphyxiation vs. the Lakers in 2000.  Kidd is the guy with a lot of Finals experience on a hungry team; he fills in where needed as a peripheral player, much like Scottie.  Portland and Dallas are much alike actually, except Dallas has a dominant go-to offensive anchor in Nowitzki, while Portland played hot potato in the clutch. 

What would the title do?  It would help illuminate that prime/peak Jason Kidd could have definitely been the clear-cut second best player on a title team.  I’ve personally always thought that, but a title for Kidd would validate my stance somewhat.  It would also obviously give him a championship as a legitimate contributor (read: not what Gary Payton did in 2006 with Miami) on his resume, which I personally use as a tiebreaker when figuring out where a player goes on an all-time list. 

Title or no title, Kidd is a championship player in my eyes.  But that title would certainly aid along the public’s perception of him in a generational sense.            

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