Each month, NBA.com/Canada gives you a behind-the-scenes look at the NBA Experience. In the latest instalment, we've compiled quotes from NBA players and coaches about what it's like to play with or against New Jersey Nets star point guard Jason Kidd.
What current and former Nets players are saying about Kidd
Kidd's backcourt partner Kerry Kittles:
He's a guy who works hard and makes sacrifices. And once you see your leader making sacrifices and giving 110 per cent every night he's on the floor, especially on the defensive end, it really just uplifts the team. It uplifts everybody's play and everyone plays with more confidence and more as a team. And that's why we've been successful thus far.
No one anticipates like he does. When he grabs a rebound, he's taking a picture of the court before he hits the ground.
Nets backup guard Lucious Harris:
Jason gets this look in his eyes, and everyone knows it's time to listen . . . He doesn't talk all the time, but when he does, man, people listen. We sure do.
Former Nets/current Sixers forward Keith Van Horn:
He's going to find you in open spots. He's going to run the offence. He's going to do the things coaches and teammates expect out of a point guard. It's so much easier as an offensive player knowing that if you're struggling a little bit here or there, you can run the floor and get some easy buckets doing that. And you're going to get easy shots because he's such a great creator.
Former Nets/current Sixers centre and Winnipeg, MB native Todd MacCulloch:
Kidd, who was traded from Phoenix to New Jersey in summer 2001, is the Nets' undisputed leader.
It's very easy to adapt as a big man playing with Jason Kidd. He finds ways to get you the ball in ways you don't think are possible. You just have to be ready for it.
What NBA coaches are saying about Kidd
Nets head coach Byron Scott:
Jason is great, that's all you can say. You just have to give him a lot of credit. He's a competitor. He's one of those guys that just competes for 48 minutes.
It's hard to put into words what Jason means to this team right now. He is the heart and the soul of this team. Any time the game is on the line, he just, for whatever reason, shoots the ball better, makes better decisions and comes up with defensive plays.
He's just one of those guys who's a rarity in this league. He is able to do it on both ends. He's been everything (we hoped for) and then some. He's been everything we thought he would be and more.
Orlando Magic head coach Doc Rivers:
The biggest difference in the Nets, aside from their health and Jason Kidd, is their belief in Jason Kidd. It looks like a gun was shot when they grab a rebound. They are flying. It's a race. You see Kenyon Martin running past Kittles because they know whoever wins gets the ball. It's really amazing to watch on film. It's scary.
Washington Wizards head coach Doug Collins:
You see what he's done to that team, he gives them a real swagger, and that's the sign of a great player.
Houston Rockets head coach Rudy Tomjanovich:
Boy, I think Jason Kidd is a special player. He's such a winner, and he's so versatile. Whatever it takes for his team to get that win, he's going to find a way to do that. I've seen him do it with a steal, with a rebound, with a shot or with a defensive stop . . . It's just meat and potatoes. He's going to come out there, he's going to play hard, and he's going to find a way to do it.
Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Flip Saunders:
Kidd finished second to Tim Duncan in 2001-02 NBA MVP voting.
William R. Sallaz
He does what it takes to win. If he needs to score, he'll score. If he needs to rebound, he'll rebound. He's taken all their players' games up another level with his unselfish play.
What Nets opponents are saying about Kidd
San Antonio Spurs centre/forward and 2001-02 NBA MVP Tim Duncan:
He's my favourite player in the whole league. Every year he plays he should be a candidate for MVP.
Sacramento Kings centre/forward Scot Pollard:
He has vision. Sometimes the rest of the world has bifocals and he has x-ray (vision).
New Orleans Hornets guard Baron Davis:
He's definitely the MVP this year.
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