Monday, June 3, 2013

The Impact of Jason Kidd

No matter how old you are or how long you have been a fan of the Nets, or any other NBA team, chances are that you've heard about Jason Kidd's time with the New Jersey Nets.

Kidd was traded from the Phoenix Suns to New Jersey  in 2001 along with Chris Dudley for Stephon MarburyJohnny Newman, and Soumaila Samake. Kidd's presence made an immediate impact on the Nets as they finished the season with a record of 52-30, and also led the team to its first ever NBA Finals appearance. They would end up getting swept by the Lakers. But this was the best season in Nets franchise history, and it was all thanks to the leadership of Jason Kidd. 

Kidd came in second that season in MVP voting, but many people believe he deserved the award over the winner, Tim Duncan, because of the true impact Kidd had on the Nets. Kidd resurrected a basement-dwelling team in the Nets and made them title contenders immediately. The Nets would also make the finals the following year, but lost that series as well to the Spurs 4-2. 

Though Kidd was one of the most exciting players in the NBA, he had his flaws. He was labeled a "coach-killer" after the firing of head coach Byron Scott in December of 2003. But Kidd and his Nets, now coached by the youngster Lawrence Frank, got right back to work winning a record 13 straight games to start Frank's tenure as head coach. Kidd would lead the Nets to the conference semifinals against the Pistons, but they lost the series and the Pistons would go on to win the NBA Championship. 

Jason Kidd got some nice help in 2004 when the Nets went out and traded for star shooting guard Vince Carter, creating a solid big-three of Kidd-Carter-Jefferson. This instantly made the Nets that much more exciting of a team. But they never blossomed to full potential as a group and never made it past the second round again in the Kidd era.

February 19, 2008 was a sad day for Nets fans as their superstar point guard who led them to back-to-back finals appearances was traded to the Dallas Mavericks after Kidd held out of his final games with the Nets with apparent migraines. Kidd would go on to win an NBA Championship with the Mavericks in the 2010-11 season. Since the trade of Jason Kidd, the Nets never made the playoffs again until this first season in Brooklyn. 

What does all this say about Jason Kidd? It says that he was one of the most dominant players in the NBA and in Nets history. That his floor presence alone was enough to lead his team to victories. His ability to be a floor general and defensive force to be reckoned with backpacked the Nets to four Atlantic Division titles in five seasons and back-to-back NBA Finals appearances. Jason Kidd will always be remembered by Nets fans, young and old. His contributions to the franchises success are immeasurable. 

We here at Nets Takeover wish Jason Kidd congratulations on a long hall of fame career, and a happy retirement.
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