Jason Kidd is one of those guys that you either love or hate. If you focus solely on his on-court abilities then you probably admire the man. A constant triple-double threat, he made any team he was on better and smarter. If you look at his off-court transgressions he’s been a domestic abuser, drunk driver and helped plan his trade as a coach. As he celebrates another birthday we look back at the man and his sneakers.
One of Oakland’s long lineage of basketball players, Kidd decided to take his skills to Cal Berkely. There he helped the Bears upset the 2-time defending champion Duke Blue Devils during his freshman year. It was also there that he wore Nike and helped start the relationship between the two. After his second season the point guard took his talents to the NBA becoming the second draft pick of the 1994 NBA Draft headed to the Dallas Mavericks. There his skills were on display for the world. He would co-win the Rookie of the Year title and would be part of the “Three J’s.” However disputes and bad play caused a trade to the Phoenix Suns.
There his star really started to shine. While with the Suns he made multiple All-Star games, All-NBA First Teams and lead the league in assists a few times. Teamed up with stars like Penny Hardaway, Kidd was a player that was exciting to watch every night. His lead helped the Suns to many post-season matchups during the time. But once again off-court issues and a desire to change meant a trade for Kidd. This time he was headed East to the (then) New Jersey Nets. Just like with every other trade he made his team better. He made a decent Nets team better through a quick rebuilding process. During his time in New Jersey the team made the NBA Final, their first, appearance. Multiple playoff appearances and the ability to draw free agents, Kidd stayed with the team for a while. However he eventually asked for a trade back to the team that drafted him.
His second stint with the Dallas Mavericks proved successful as he was part of the crew that knocked out the mighty Miami Heat in the 2010-2011 season. A redemption for Kidd and the thrill to the organization. However as the team transitioned to their next generation of players Kidd wasn’t part of the plan. He moved on from Dallas and joined the New York Knicks. There he was part of a resurgence Knick team that made the playoffs. However that was it for him as he decided to retired after 19 seasons in the league and right after 1995 co-Rookie of the Year Grant Hill retired as well.
Although he rarely gets to wear the sneaks on court anymore, since coaches aren’t really allowed, Kidd’s sneaker game was one of the best. And we forgive him and Nike for parting ways for a few years and letting him land on Peak. Maybe for his birthday this year Nike can send him another special pair for one of many special point guards that have worn the Swoosh.