What the Kidd Did
Posted Dec 12 2006 9:00PM
East Rutherford, NJ, Dec. 12, 2006 -- On Monday, Jason Kidd recorded his 79th career triple-double. That's one more than Wilt Chamberlain, moving Kidd into third place all-time on the career triple-doubles list. The next day, we spoke with Jason about the accomplishment, as well as the state of the Nets.
NBA.com: Obviously, it has been a bit of a disappointing start to the season for the Nets. Where are you now as a team. Can you build on this win on Memphis?
Jason Kidd: I think for us, as a team, we've come out of the gate slow. But there's a lot of basketball still to be played and we've stopped the bleeding in one sense. But I think, for us, it's just to build on what we've done positive and learn from the negative stuff. We're a veteran ballclub. We understand what it takes to win in this league and hopefully, we can continue to do that.
NBA.com: I know you've seen the breakdown of your 79 triple-doubles. Is there anything that stands out when you look at this list?
Jason Kidd: I thought the breakdown was great. To be able to see one, the different months. I think it's February and April where I tend to get my most triple-doubles. And then Friday nights... because I haven't played too many Friday afternoon games... but Friday I've done quite well with triple-doubles too.
NBA.com: One thing that stood out to me was that the Suns won each of the first 15 triple-double games you had with Phoenix. Obviously, there's a correlation between you getting a triple-double and your team winning the game.
Jason Kidd: I've always felt that if I had a triple-double that the chances of my team winning were pretty high. I still believe in that, because it feels that I have an impact on the game and somehow, I'll always feel that I'm controlling the game if I do have a triple-double.
NBA.com: You went 68 games in your rookie year without one. What took so long?
Jason Kidd: Scoring. I think not being able to score hurt me those first 68. Scoring and maybe rebounding. But come April of my rookie season, they started to come in a bunch. After that first one, I broke the seal and just continued to keep going.
NBA.com: Is there one that is more memorable than the others? Are playoff triple-doubles stand out more?
Jason Kidd: Playoffs stick out, but I think one that I really enjoyed playing in the game... there's two now. The one in Houston... it was an overtime game where I shot a lot of three-pointers at the end to get into overtime. And then, the recent one is against Phoenix, the double-overtime. Just because that was a great basketball game to be involved in as a player and as a fan. It was unfortunate our team had to lose. But those two stand out.
NBA.com: Was that double-OT game the ultimate point guard matchup?
Jason Kidd: It was the ultimate. When you have two point guards that weren't going to let their teams lose... We were going to do anything in our power to one, exchange punches in the sense that he was giving me his best and I was giving him my best, and he was the one standing up at the end.
NBA.com: How aware are you of your numbers during the course of a game?
Jason Kidd: I'm more aware maybe late in the game, because somebody will come up and say that you might need an assist or you might need a rebound or you might need two rebounds... or you might need two points. So, that's when I'm more aware of what I'm doing because somebody will bring it up.
NBA.com: The scoreboard at Continental Airlines Arena isn't too good for keeping track, isn't it?
Jason Kidd: Yeah, you'll get a headache trying to see what your numbers are here, which is probably a good thing, because we're not playing for numbers. But it's very difficult to know who has what. The only good part about our scoreboard is just the points and fouls. You can't tell who has any assists or rebounds, but they're working on it.
NBA.com: We've seen you dunking in the highlights from college and your early years in the league, and we saw you (unsuccessfully) attempt an alley-oop dunk last night. How has your game changed in the course of 13 seasons?
Jason Kidd: I think the game has changed in a lot of different ways. It has slowed down. I might still be fast with the ball, but the game is a lot slower. I see things a lot clearer. I understand how important the fourth quarter is. I understand how important the ball is and getting a good shot. And then physically, maybe not being able to dunk on a regular basis... but I felt good last night. Vince didn't believe me, but I wanted him to throw the alley-oop to see if I could get it. It didn't happen, but it was a good attempt.
NBA.com: Still, the standard line for people is to say that Jason Kidd "has lost a step." What does that mean and what kind of motivation do you get from people saying that?
Jason Kidd: I don't feel that I've lost a step. I feel that I'm more assertive or that I don't have to waste a step. I look at it that way. I use my mental aspect more than my physical skills. So I think I've lost a step. I just feel that I'm stronger and I don't need to go as fast as I did when I was a little bit younger.
NBA.com: You've got (regular season) triple-doubles against 28 of the 30 teams, with the Nets and Celtics being the only teams you haven't recorded one against. Would you like to get one against Boston?
Jason Kidd: In the regular season, yes. Fortunately, in the playoffs, I've averaged a triple-double against Boston. I'd rather average a triple-double in the playoffs than go out during a regular season game and get one against them.
NBA.com: This season, you're averaging a career-high at 8.7 rebounds per game. In October, you mentioned averaging a triple-double. Is that something you've got your mind on?
Jason Kidd: I just said mentally and physically, I felt great. My goal wasn't to go out and average a triple-double. It's just that's how I felt physically and mentally. You know, I still feel that Oscar Robertson... that will be the last time that will ever be accomplished. Because the game is so hard. Maybe if I was 6-8, rebounding would be a little bit easier for me, but this is probably as close as I will ever get to averaging a triple-double.
NBA.com: Is there a young player in the league now that could approach your numbers?
Jason Kidd: I think LeBron has built his game to come close to averaging a triple-double. Because he's unselfish, he can rebound and he can score at any time. So, he's one of the guys that I think stands out. If [anyone] ever came close, he would be one.
NBA.com: Would you trade them all for a ring?
Jason Kidd: Yeah. That's what we play this game for... to be able to win a championship. So if I had to trade 79 in for one ring, I would do it.