Jason Kidd is one the greatest passers to play the game. This is the story of his best performance.
Jason Kidd was one of the most talented players in NBA history.
Not only was he able to rebound like the best of them (and the best of them were big centers), but he was able to run plays like the greats, too.
His former New Jersey Nets’ teammate, Kerry Kittles, had this to say about him:
“[Kidd] said, ‘I know where you’ll be and I’ll find you.’ He had this really uncanny ability of taking a quick snapshot of the possession as soon as it started. He knew where his guys were and he knew where the defense was going to go.”
When he entered the league in 1994 as a 21-year-old rookie, he dished more than 12 assists multiple times and even hit the 17 assists mark once.
But even though 17 assists is quite amazing, what he did a year later was nothing short of spectacular.
On Feb. 8, 1996, Kidd’s team, the Dallas Mavericks, hosted the Utah Jazz at the Reunion Arena.
The Mavs were having a bad season and were on a 3-game losing streak. Kidd knew they needed a win and needed one soon for their confidence.
But he also knew that their opponents that night were not going to be easy. They were playing a top-seeded Utah Jazz that had one of his idols, John Stockton, on the roster.
So, he had to step up. His passes had to be precise. His playmaking had to be high I.Q.
The Game Against the Utah Jazz
The score was close the entire game and the Mavs led most of the contest.
But then the fourth quarter happened. J. Kidd and his crew were staggered by a speed bump and the Jazz started to cut into the lead.
And by the end of the fourth, the game was all tied up and the two teams had to compete in overtime.
During OT, no team was able to get the lead. When a team added a point to the scoreboard, the other team would immediately add one for themselves in the next possession.
And by the end of the first OT, the score was tied again. Hence, the Mavs and the Jazz had to play another 5-minute period.
It was late and Kidd knew his teammates were exhausted. He knew he had to step up and make the final minutes of the game as easy for his teammates as possible.
So, he had to manipulate the defense and play-make. He ran the offense like a game of chess and by the end of the second OT, the Mavs outscored Utah 16-13.
Kidd ended the game with 25 assists -his career-high- and the Mavs beat the Jazz 136-133.
Jason Kidd went on to have many more amazing assists in his career.
He is second on the All-Time Assists list (right after John Stockton) with 12,091 total assists and led the NBA in assists per game five times.
Kidd is one of the best to play the game and his performance this night was legendary.