Jason Kidd was the engine behind the New Jersey Nets’ success in the early 2000s and he is being justly recognized for his accomplishments by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. On Saturday, Kidd was revealed as one of 13 inductees in the 2018 Hall of Fame class at San Antonio prior to the NCAA basketball Final Four games. Kidd was part of a star-studded finalist list that included Steve Nash, Ray Allen, Grant Hill, Maurice Cheeks and Tina Thompson.
While there might be some debate over the snubs (Chris Webber for example), Kidd’s inclusion was a no brainer. He is one of the best natural point guards to ever play in the NBA. He was a 10-time All-Star, a five-time All-NBA First Teamer and a nine-time NBA All-Defensive Team member.
As good as Kidd was a facilitator, he sits second in the NBA in all-time assists, he might have been an even better defender – especially during his time in New Jersey. Kidd sits second in the NBA in all-time steals and is also considered to be arguably the best rebounding point guard in league history – at 6.3 boards per game. His versatility could be evidenced in his 107 career triple-doubles, good for third all-time in the NBA.
Kidd had plenty of stops in the NBA, playing for Dallas twice, Phoenix, New Jersey and New York, but it’s time with the Nets that saw him emerge as a league superstar. Although he would eventually win his only NBA title with the Mavericks, he had a larger impact in New Jersey.
After arriving in a trade that saw Stephon Marbury head to Phoenix, Kidd sparked his new team to a 26-win improvement from the previous season as the team won 52 games – the first 50-win season in franchise history. He was recognized for the turnaround as he came in second in MVP voting to Tim Duncan in 2002.
As good as he was in the regular season, Kidd was even better in the postseason as the resurgent Nets would reach the NBA Finals for the first time in 2002 and again in 2003. Though the franchise didn’t win titles during his time there, Kidd made the Nets an Eastern Conference powerhouse during his seven seasons there. He played 506 games for New Jersey and averaged 14.6 points, 9.1 assists, 7.2 rebounds and 1.9 steals.
He is the 10th Net to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, joining Rick Barry, Nate Archibald, Julius Erving, Bob McAdoo, Dražen Petrović, Mel Daniels, Bernard King, Alonzo Mourning and Dikembe Mutombo. He is also among six former Nets players to have their numbers retired. Petrović (No. 3), Erving (No. 32), John Williamson (23), Bill Melchionni (25), Buck Williams (52) jerseys hang in the rafters at the Barclays Center with Kidd’s No. 5.
Enter here for the chance to win a trip to the 2018 Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony to see Jason Kidd be enshrined in Springfield.