|Jason Kidd has been struggling recently, but still has been a revelation for the Knicks, a team that has apparently revitalized the future Hall-of-Famer's career|
When the Warriors absolutely crushed the Knicks on Monday night in Oakland, New York point guard Jason Kidd was not just playing any game. He was playing in his hometown, in front of the fans that he used to rank as a member of when he was growing up in Alameda, Calif., a stone's throw from where Oracle Arena currently stands.
Kidd, who grew up in an area that was basketball-rich during his formative years, went to California-Berkeley for college ball and played playground basketball on the same courts as fellow Oakland native Gary Payton, who was an All-Star nine times during his illustrious career.
Talking to columnist Monte Poole of the Bay Area News Group, Kidd talks about how even though he is approaching 40 years of age, he does not see retirement in his near future. He also regrets the infamous drunk driving incident he was involved in earlier this summer that found him arrested in the Hamptons, an eastern suburb of New York City.
Kidd has tried to rebuild his image after a domestic violence claim made against his by his ex-wife, Joumana, from whom he has been divorced since 2007.
From Poole: "Clearly, it was a mistake and I owned up to it," Kidd said about his arrest. "It happened and I'll have to learn from it. We all make mistakes, some aren't public and some are. "The most important thing, I hope, is that I learn and that, hopefully, others learn from my mistake."
Casting his prior legal issues to the side, there is no doubt that Kidd, a product of the Bay Area from birth through college, is one of the best point guards the NBA and the game of basketball in general has ever seen. As Poole notes in his column, the Knick is second all-time in steals and assists, third in triples-doubles and made three-pointers, and has won two gold medals with Team USA, in addition to a host of other accomplishments.
With those credentials, it is hard to imagine this guy not being in the league anymore, and, thankfully, according to his own testament, he will be around for much, much longer, tricking opposing teams with his high basketball IQ, array of dazzling passes, and the occasional three when the shot-clock is running down.
It is Kidd who serves as one of the only remaining links (along with Steve Nash) between the super-athletic, physically-gifted, and high-scoring elite point guards of today (like Chris Paul, Kyrie Irving, etc.) and the more cerebral and assist-focused ones of the past (John Stockton and Mark Jackson come to mind).
And if that link stays unbroken, the NBA will be better off.