Rob Mahoney over at SI flags Jason Kidd as among the most unexpected surprises of the NBA season, as Kidd’s play has been a stabilizing force for the Knicks, and easily one of the biggest contributing factors to the team’s improved play this season. After a down year in last season’s lockout-shortened campaign, some worried that Kidd didn’t have enough left in the tank to positively influence New York, or even play significant minutes, a notion he has steadily disproven.
Kidd is no more spry today than he was last season, and yet he has again contorted his career to find new life as New York’s nominal shooting guard. His assists are down, but his influence is way up; much of the Knicks’ newfound unselfishness has been attributed to Kidd’s style and influence. He doesn’t have to do a ton with Carmelo Anthony and Raymond Felton carrying the offensive load, and he makes the most of his opportunities by sinking damn near every three-pointer he takes (Kidd is shooting a league-best 52.8 percent) and getting the ball where it needs to go.
It’s been pretty remarkable to watch the influence Kidd has had on this team, and how much impact a player can have without having to score all that much or even dominate the ball. There is obviously still the lingering concern about whether Kidd can sustain this for the entire season, particularly given the workload he’s been carrying of late, but so far he’s been an absolute difference-maker.
It’s also still nice he got rid of that whole “blow a kiss” at the foul line thing, remember that? I always wondered how he broke the news to little T.J., “I just don’t want to do it anymore, all right … You’re too old, it’s silly now … It’s just time … Look, it was really just for a girl in the stands, and I had to go with it … No, not your mother … Oh, and there’s no Santa. Sorry.”