#FlashbackFriday: Better PG in their Prime: Steve Nash or Jason Kidd?
Jason Kidd and Steve Nash have both changed teams for what it seems like the last times in their careers. Jason Kidd reportedly took a deal from the New York Knicks, while Steve Nash was sent to the Lakers via a sign-and-trade. (Fun fact of the day: Jason Kidd and Steve Nash both played on the Suns for a year in 96-97.) They’ve been in the League for years killing at the point guard position. From breaking down defenses distributing the ball and throwing some of the prettiest passes NBA fans have seen the last 15 years, JKidd and Steve Nash are both Hall of Famers but are starting to get pretty old. Ok, not pretty old, they’re old. Jason Kidd is 39 years old while Steve Nash is 38, but both have been playing at high levels for longer stretches than what most NBA analysts, coaches, and fans thought. But, who would you take when they were in their primes? I know the typical prime for an NBA player is usually around 28-31, but for these two pass first point guards, it’s been a different story. When Jason Kidd was 34, he averaged 11 points, 10 assists, 7.5 boards, and almost 2 steals a game. Steve Nash as a 35 year old averaged 16.5 points and 11 assists while shooting 50% from the field, 42% from beyond the arc, and almost 94% from the free throw line. I’m pretty sure any NBA team would take those statistics from their starting point guard no matter how old they are.
Jason Kidd is the definition of a floor general. He controls the tempo of the game, sets up his teammates, and causes havoc on the defensive end. The 10 time All-Star might get overlooked because he’s not going to cross anybody or throw up some acrobatic shot that gets him on the top 10, but he knows the game and understands it better than almost anyone. His basketball IQ isn’t only on the offensive end but on the defensive end too. He’s been on 9 All-NBA Defensive Teams averaging almost 2 steals a game in his entire career along with 5 defensive rebounds a game not to mention that he’s 2nd all time in career steals. Also in a couple seasons, he’s been close to averaging a triple double. Jason Kidd was able to take a New Jersey Nets team to the NBA Finals back to back years. His starting small forward was Keith Van Horn, and his starting center was Todd MacCulloch. Although they lost, Jason Kidd was the leader and carried that team to the NBA Finals. It just proves how solid his game is from ranging from his defensive presence to his ability to run the offense.
Steve Nash is still seen as one of the hardest players to guard in the League to this day. He’s also a back to back MVP. Not even Kobe has done that. Like I said earlier, he shot 50/40/90 in a whole season while being the primary focus of NBA defenses. Other than Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki and Larry Bird are the only ones to do that for multiple seasons. That’s pretty good company. Steve Nash has been called one of the best shooters in the game, but that’s not even what he’s really known for. His passing ability is ridiculous. The last two seasons he has led the NBA in assists per game at 35 and 36 years old. You know who the second best player was on that team: Marcin Gortat. That might even be more ridiculous. Steve Nash does what a great player is supposed to do: He makes his teammates better. Joe Johnson and Amare both should have thanked Steve Nash for their max contracts because if it weren’t for him, they definitely wouldn’t be making as much money as they are. Having Steve Nash on any team is a great benefit.
Both players are what you want from your starting point guard. They create great opportunities for better shots and read defenses like quarterbacks. Steve Nash’s statistics are crazy especially for the numbers he puts up at his age. Jason Kidd’s statistics might not be as impressive as Steve Nash’s but they’re not bad by any means. His ability to rebound and defend as a pg makes him a better overall player, but what Steve Nash does on the offensive end from knocking down jumpers all over to pushing the tempo getting easy buckets for his teammates creates nightmares for defenses. But if you had to choose, who would you take while they were in their primes: Steve Nash or Jason Kidd? #FlashbackFriday