Wednesday, February 21, 2007
The Next Ten: Jason Kidd
For the 96-97 season, the NBA named its list of the 50 Greatest Basketball Players. For 06-07, we at Pacifist Viking will be adding 10 players to the list. We are not the first to re-examine the list of the greatest players. But you know what? We're the best.
In this decade, Steve Nash is starting to overshadow Jason Kidd as the best point guard in the league. While Nash may be brilliant, this is completely unfair. In Jason Kidd's career, he has led the league in assists per game 5 times, been second in the league in assists per game 3 times, and been in the top-5 in assists per game another 3 times. Compare that to Nash, who so far has led the league twice and been in the top-5 a total of 3 times. Kidd has the numbers to claim the title of greatest passer of this era.
Jason Kidd has been All-NBA first team 5 times. He's been NBA All-Defense first or second team 8 times. And he carried a less than inspiring Nets team to the NBA Finals two years in a row. He's done so by being in the top-5 in assists per game a whopping 11 seasons. He's one of the top point guards ever to play the game, and easily one of the 60 greatest players ever.
Jason Kidd is akin to Christopher Marlowe. Here is Marlowe, stepping up as the great poet and playwright of his era--and then gets completely overtaken by William Shakespeare. The difference is that we are right to consider Shakespeare the master over Marlowe; I find it hard to argue that Steve Nash is better than Jason Kidd. You could even argue that Nash is Marlowe to Kidd's Shakespeare: Kidd, like Shakespeare, has the much larger and more impressive ouevre. But we'll deal in perception and call Kidd the Marlowe to Nash's Shakespeare.
Previous Players: Bob McAdoo, Dennis Rodman, Tim Duncan, Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Reggie Miller, Allen Iverson