- Full Name: Jason Frederick Kidd
- Born: 03/23/73
- Height: 6'4" (1.93m)
- Weight: 212 lbs (96.2 kg)
- Position: Point Guard
- College: California '96
- Drafted: 2nd overall in 1994 (Dallas Mavericks)
Point guard Jason Kidd is best known for his single-handed revival of the beleaguered New Jersey Nets, whom he led to the NBA Finals in 2001-2002 after a 52-30 season. While his personal life has understandably generated quite a bit of controversy, his stats and accolades tell another story. A five time NBA All-Star, a four time All-NBA first team selection, and a three-time all-NBA Defensive team selection, Jason Kidd is probably the best point guard currently active in the league.
Kidd was raised in Alameda, California, and had already established himself as something of a basketball prodigy by the time he'd graduated from high school. In his senior year at St. Joseph of Notre Dame high school, he won the Naismith Award (given to the top high school player in the USA), averaging 25 ppg, 10 apg, 7 rpg, and 7 spg. He was named the High School Player of the Year by Parade magazine and USA Today, and was named the California Player of the Year twice. His team won two California Divison one state titles, and Kidd graduated as the all-time prep career leader in assists with 1, 155.
Kidd was recruited by California, where he broke the records for both career steals and career assists, with 204 and 272 respectively. In his first year he averaged 13 ppg, 7.7 apg, and 4.9 rpg, and became only the fifth freshman in NCAA history to be named to the All-Pac-10 team. In the 1993-94 season, he was a finalist for both the Wooden and Naismith Awards, and became the first sophomore ever named Pac-10 Player of the Year. He averaged 16.7 ppg, 6.9 rpg, and led the nation with 9.1 apg. He also became the first Cal player to be named to the first All-American team since Russ Critchfield back in 1968.
Kidd went second overall in the 1994 NBA Draft to the Dallas Mavericks, and was hailed as possessing the potential to be the next Magic Johnson. In his first season with the Mavs, their win/loss record improved by a massive 23 wins, tying Kidd for fourth on the NBA's all-time rookie impact list. Averaging 11.7 ppg, 7.7 apg, and 5.4 rpg, Kidd shared NBA Rookie of the Year honors with Grant Hill. He was the only rookie to finish in the top ten in two of the league's statistical categories (10th in assists, 7th in steals), and led the league with four triple-doubles, the most incredible of which occured on April 11th, in which Kidd notched 38 points, 11 boards, and 10 assists to clinch the Mavs' victory over the Houston Rockets in double overtime. He was unanimously named to the All-Rookie First Team.
The following season, Kidd increased his numbers to 16.6 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 9.7 apg, and 2.13 spg. He was in second in the league for assists, and ranked second in triple doubles with nine. He also notched 175 steals and 155 personal fouls, making him one of only four players to collect more steals than fouls. In yet another double-overtime win over the Utah Jazz on February 8th, he dished out a Mavericks franchise record 25 assists. Kidd also became the first All-Star starter in Mavericks history when he received 1,049,946 fan votes for the 1996 All-Star game in San Antonio.
22 games into the 1996-1997 season, Kidd was traded to the Phoenix Suns, along with Tony Dumas and Loren Meyer in exchange for Michael Finley, A.C. Green, and Sam Cassell. In the first half of his first game for Phoenix, Kidd fractured his collarbone, and was sidelined for the next 21 games. In his absence, the team went 9-12. When Kidd came back, the Suns went 23-9 and managed to secure themselves a spot in the playoffs, while averaging over 107 ppg. In his stunted third season, Kidd averaged a solid 10.9 points, 9.0 assists and 2.25 steals over 55 games.
In 1997-1998, his first full season with Phoenix, Kidd led the Suns to a 56-26 record, on the strength of his 9.1 apg. He ranked second in the league again in assists, as well as seventh in steals, and tied with Grant Hill for first in triple-doubles. He was also the only Sun to appear in all 82 games, and was a starter in all of them. He also made his second career All-Star appearance in New York.
The following season, Kidd became the first Sun ever to lead the NBA in assists with an average of 10.8 per game. He also led the league in triple-doubles with seven, while the rest of the NBA combined for 11 in total.
On top of that, he led the Suns in double-doubles with 30, and steals (2.28 spg), and ranked first among NBA guards in rebounding with 6.8 rpg. He was named to the All-NBA first team, along with the All-Defensive first team. He was named NBA Player of the Month in April after averaging 20.1 points, 10.4 assists, 6.7 rebounds and 2.38 steals, and logging two triple-doubles. He was only the fifth Sun in team history to earn the honor.
In 1999-2000, Kidd earned All-NBA First Team honors and topped the NBA in assists (with 10.1 per game) for the second consecutive season, and was also named to the All-Defensive Second Team. Kidd notched a career-high 7.2 rebounds, which was a higher average than 17 of the league's 29 starting centers. He led the Western conference guards in All-Star votes, and was a starter in the 2000 NBA All-Star game in San Francisco. He led the NBA in triple-doubles, with five.
In the summer of 2000, Kidd was a tri-captain and starting point guard for the USA Men's National Team, who won the gold medal at the Sydney Olympics. In the NBA season of 2000-2001, Kidd averaged 16.9 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 9.8 apg, and 2.13 spg, becoming only the fourth player in league history to lead the league in assists for three consecutive seasons. He was named First Team All-Defensive for the second time, the All-NBA First Team for the third time, and led the league in the triple doubles, with seven. He made his fourth All-Star appearance as a starter with 1,062,837 votes at the All-Star game held in Washington, DC. Kidd missed four straight games in late January, and the Suns went 1-3 without him. While the NBA officially excuses his absence was for personal reasons, it was actually a forced suspension resulting from a horrible lapse in judgement on Kidd's behalf.
Kidd was arrested by police and booked on a misdemeanor assault charge after hitting his wife, Joumana, after an argument. "There's just a bad history here," Joumana Kidd told police in a 911 call. "I told him this would be the last time, and he popped me right in the mouth." She refused medical attention, saying "Don't worry about me," she said. "This is minor compared to what I usually go through." This incident shocked the public, who had viewed Jason and his wife Joumana as a model pro sports couple. Joumana, with her charming and outgoing personality, was something of a local celebrity, and often appeared on television with her husband. Less than a month before the incident, they had hosted a New Year's Eve telecast together, and nothing had seemed amiss. He and his wife were also partners in operating the Jason Kidd Foundation, which contributed to the Phoenix Children's Hospital and Phoenix Boys and Girls Club, among other causes.
"I love my wife. I love my family," Kidd was quoted as saying, "This is a situation that is embarrassing to me, to my family, my friends and also to the Phoenix Suns. I apologize for that and at this time that is pretty much all I can say." Refusing to comment on whether he had hit his wife before, he only said "I have issues that I have to work on." Apparently (hopefully), these issues have been resolved, as the Kidds have remained married and have a three year old son, T.J., as well as twin daughters.
Welcoming a change of scenery, Kidd was traded to the New Jersey Nets in 2001-2002 along with Chris Dudley, in exchange Stephon Marbury, Johnny Newman and Soumaila Samake on July 18, 2001. In New Jersey, he averaged 14.7 ppg, a career-high 7.3 rpg, 9.9 apg, and 2.13 spg. Starting all 82 games, he led the NBA with eight triple-doubles, was 2nd in assists, 3rd in steals, and fourth in double-doubles. He was the first Nets player ever to win Eastern Conference Player of the Month for November, as well as the first to win Eastern Conference Player of the Week on three separate occasions. Again, he played in the NBA All-Star game, which was held in Philadelphia, and also made the All-NBA First Team. In leading the Nets to a 52-30 season and an NBA Finals berth (despite cries of "Wifebeater" ringing in his ears during the Conference Semi-final series against the Boston Celtics), he narrowly missed being named league MVP (the honor instead went to Tim Duncan).
Kidd is a benefcator of numerous charities, including his own Jason Kidd Foundation, an organization dedicated to providing funds for children's medical research and to charitable organizations supporting the needs and interests of children, as well as having launched the "Assists for Kidds" program, which encourages fans to make donations to charity for every one of his assists (Kidd himself has pledged $100 per assist). He hosts youth basketball camps every summer, as well as charity golf tournaments. Jason and Joumana have given children ages 6 to 12 from the Salvation Army Homeless Shelter a shopping spree at a local Toys R Us every Christmas, and he has also donated several scholarships in his name to Cal and St. Joseph.
Kidd facts include that he wears size 14 shoes, his mother's name is Anne, and he has two sisters (Denise and Kim). In the spring of 2000, McDonald's
in the Phoenix area introduced the Jason Kidd burger
, which consisted of three beef
patties and two slices of cheese
. His favorite atheletes in other sports are baseball
player Ken Griffey, Jr.
, and professional golfer Phil Mickelson