Debating the Greats: Jason Kidd vs. Steve Nash

As a Phoenix Suns fan, I’ve lived through some great, great point guards. Since 1995, when I first started watching Suns games, I have watched the tail end of Kevin Johnson’s career, Jason Kidd at his very best, Penny Hardaway in a few vintage Penny Hardaway seasons, and Steve Nash, both as a rookie and in his prime (I refuse to acknowledge that Stephon Marbury was in any way associated with the Suns). Of all of them, Kidd and Nash are obviously at the forefront. Both were the best point guards of the time when they played for the Suns. So, the question remains: who was better?

If you ask me who my two favorite players of all time are, I’ll say Steve Nash and Jason Kidd before even processing the question. You know how you know what 2+2 is before thinking about it? That’s the way I am. I can’t speak for all Suns fans, but Kidd and Nash represent more to me than I could ever possibly justify to people who don’t get it. The Suns mean so much to me that at the age of 9 I was driven to tears by a bad call in a meaningless regular season game in December. Hell, they mean so much to me that I was almost driven to tears when Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw were suspended in 2007. Friends still tell me that, when asked why I looked so sad at the beginning of summer that year, I responded with, “Stoudemire and Diaw were suspended… I don’t know what to do.”

Looking back at the Jason Kidd era, I can honestly say that there were maybe 5 games per year that I either did not watch on TV or listen to on the radio (that’s right, I actually listened to them on the radio when I wasn’t near a TV). And since Nash has landed in the valley of the sun, I’ve been almost as dedicated, watching every national televised game (and some not nationally televised), reading every game recap, and not doing well on finals during the playoffs. I’m sure there are people more qualified than I am to compare the two, but unless you were watching with me when the ’97 Suns almost beat the number 1 seeded Sonics, crying with me when Kidd was traded for He Who Must Not Be Named in 2001, or celebrating with me when Nash was named the 2005 MVP, your opinion doesn’t mean anything to me.

In order to really decide who was the better point guard, we’re going to have to look at a few specific skill sets. Good point guards have to be good ball handlers, good passers, good defenders, good scorers, and, above all, good teammates. Great point guards have to be all that and more. I’m going to rate their ball handling, passing ability, scoring, and defensive prowess and these are obviously going to factor in to my decision of who was better. However, at the end of the day I’m going to go with my instincts when rating the two.

I’m also only going to analyze these two when they were at their best. For Kidd, that means from the 1997-1998 season (his first full season in Phoenix) to the 2003-2004 season (right before his skills started declining). For Nash that means from the 2004-2005 season to right now (because let’s be real, Steve Nash is still one of the three best point guards in the game).

Ball handling
In today’s media frenzied world, it would be very easy for me to write, “Steve Nash was easily the better ball handler,” post my favorite youtube video of his best passes and be done with it. 80% of people would agree with me because they remember that Nash won 2 MVPs, was the best point guard in the league, and that point guards are good ball handlers. But let’s break it down a little.

Statistics: A ball handler’s primary job is to bring the ball down the court and take care of the ball. In the primes that I defined above, Kidd averaged 3.4 turnovers/game while Nash averaged 3.54 turnovers/game. However, according to 82games.com Kidd’s teams had an average pace factor of 91.6 while Nash’s had an average of 95.7. What does that mean? To tell you the truth, I have no idea. But I do know that Kidd’s teams were around 8th-12th in the league in pace factor while Nash’s teams were always top 5. Since I don’t have an advanced degree in statistics, I can’t really analyze the advanced stats which are used in basketball and make inferences once I see them. But I can tell you that while Kidd averaged less turnovers/game, Nash played at a much faster pace (keep in mind the league has gotten significantly faster since Kidd played).

Personal account: I’ve watched both players and while both are great ball handlers, I believe Kidd was a hair better. Nash does some amazing things with the ball, maybe more so than Kidd, but he also tries to make passes he shouldn’t at times. Kidd always took great care of the ball and, in my opinion, had a slight advantage.

Final Verdict: Jason Kidd

Passing
I might be old school in this, but I’ve always believed that elite point guards should be elite passers. Point guards like Tony Parker and Chauncey Billups, great players who were better at scoring than passing, never did it for me. It’s no coincidence that my two favorite players are two of the best passers of all time. Both Kidd and Nash grew up playing point guard the right way, passing before scoring. Every Suns fan who grew up in Phoenix in the late 90’s heard the story about a young Kidd having to pass the ball to get the older kids to allow him to play. Nash, on the other hand, learned how to pass while playing soccer and hockey in Canada, two sports where being a good passer is not only a skill, it’s necessary.

Statistics: Instead of just posting assists/game in each of their primes and then deciding how pace affected each of their careers, I’m going to post APG and the assist:turnover ratio to help us out. In Kidd’s prime, he averaged 9.6 assists/game with an assist/turnover of 2.82. Nash averaged 10.9 assists/game with an assist/turnover of 3.1. Since I don’t want to make this article 25,000 words long, I’m going to end it here and say that statistically, Nash was the better passer. 

Personal account: I watched Jason Kidd for many years. Nobody was better at getting a rebound, going the other way, and finding an open teammate on a fast break. Few were better at penetrating and dishing to an open teammate for a 3. With that said, he was never as good at Nash. Steve Nash is an absolute magician with the basketball, and the best pure passer I have ever seen play. One of the most ambidextrous players in league history, Nash was a better passer with his left hand than most were with their right. Normal rules like “don’t jump into the air unless you know what you’re going to do with the ball,” didn’t apply to him because he could usually make the right play. On the biggest stage (2007 Western Conference Finals) he made two behind the back passes with his left hand in the middle of the lane on consecutive possessions to win game 4. I honestly believe that before all is said and done, Nash will go down as the greatest pure passer in league history.

Final Verdict: Steve Nash

Scoring
While I could take this space to write about how Steve Nash, one of the best shooters in league history, was a better scorer than a man nicknamed Ason (get it? No J), I won’t. Instead, I want to stress how historically great a shooter Nash is. In Nash’s career he has shot 90.38% from the free throw line (either number one or two in league history with Mark Price), 43.2% from 3 (5th best in league history), and 49% from the field. He has had 5 seasons of shooting at least 40% from the three point line, 50% from the field, and 90% from the free throw line (the 50-40-90 club) which only 4 other players have done, only one of them more than once. A 2010 statistical analysis by ESPN columnist John Hollinger rated Nash as the greatest shooter in history, and nobody else was even close. In fact, the other players on the list (Steve Kerr, Reggie Miller, Jeff Hornaceck, Chris Mullin, Peja Stojakovic) were all spot up shooters, not point guards. Take a note that many of Nash’s three’s are pull up jump shots from a fast dribble, and you’ll realize that Nash is a historically good shooter.

Personal account: I’ve witnessed Nash hit so many big shots over the years, both in the regular season and the playoffs, that I almost get confused when he misses a three pointer in the fourth quarter.

Final Verdict: Steve Nash

Defense/Rebounding
Like scoring, it is undebatable who was a better defender/rebounder. Steve Nash plays what some call a matador defense. He always brings effort, but he’s not very good. Kidd, on the other hand, is almost as historically good at defense and rebounding as Nash is at shooting. Great point guards have at least one trait that separates them from good point guards. For Nash it was scoring, for Stockton it was longevity, for Magic it was the ability to play multiple positions, and for Jason Kidd it was his rebounding and defense. In his prime, Kidd averaged 6.4 rebounds/game, one of the best marks ever for a point guard. In fact, for his career, he has averaged 6.5 rebounds/game- as the rest of his game declined after 2003, his rebounding improved. In addition, Jason Kidd was one of the best on ball defenders of his generation. He made the All-Defensive First Team 4 times and the All-Defensive Second Team 5 times. Look at that stat: he made an all-defensive team 6 times in his 7 year prime. Along with Walt Frazier, Dennis Johnson, and Gary Payton, Kidd is one of the best defensive point guards of all time.

Personal account: During Kidd’s tenure with the Suns, he was so good at getting triple doubles that a downtown McDonalds named a burger after him: the Triple-Double Burger. It had 3 beef patties and 2 slices of cheese. In the commercial, the song “Everything You Want” by Vertical Horizon was playing. Suffice to say that Jason Kidd’s ability to defend and rebound, in addition to his passing and scoring, was not lost on Suns fans.

Final Verdict: Jason Kidd

 

So far, I’ve come to the decision that Nash was a far superior shooter/scorer and a better passer, while Kidd was a far superior defender/rebounder and a marginally better ball handler. Basically, they’re tied. So, after about 15,000 words, this article comes down to my instinct:

Final Verdict: Steve Nash
I watched both players play throughout their primes and both have given me great memories over the years. While Kidd was a joy to watch and was implemental to any team he was on, my opinion is that Steve Nash was better and more important to his teams. I honestly believe that Nash did everything possible to win a title, should have won a title, and had some very bad luck from 2005-2008 (Joe Johnson injury, Amare out for the season, Donaghy, Amare/Diaw suspensions). Nash always raised his game in the playoffs and made some of the clutchest plays in Suns history. He was the perfect teammate, and a great ambassador for the Suns. Not one former player or coach ever had anything bad to say about Nash. 

Kidd, while also great on the court, was not as good a player off the court. Throughout his career, Kidd was called a “coach-killer.” This reputation started at UC Berkeley and has continued on to his career in the NBA. Then, there is the fact that he was traded in the middle of his prime at 28 years old. Many believe that this was because of a domestic abuse charge he was arrested for earlier in the year, but I don’t buy it. You don’t trade the best point guard in the league unless he really has become a problem in the locker room and with the front office. Then coach Scott Skiles did not resign with the Suns until Kidd was traded. Kidd was obviously a much bigger problem than the Suns let on at the time, especially if they believed Stephon Marbury was a better option.

I believe public opinion, for the most part, says that Kidd was better because Nash was a terrible defender. I would counter that the fact that Kidd was a terrible shooter, with a career field goal percentage of 40%. What are your opinions? Post in the comments!

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23 Responses to Debating the Greats: Jason Kidd vs. Steve Nash

  1. pakastallion says:

    FH,

    Really enjoyed the passion and prospective. Couple of things:

    1)With Ray Allen passing Miller on the all-time 3-point list, I was shocked to find out J-Kidd is third on that very list. While it would be simply silly to deny he had his “Ason” issues, I think it is time to give the man credit for his ability to a) hit the three ball (even though those stats are predicated on players post 1980 & skewed because Kidd has been in the league so long.) And b) turn a weakness, shooting, into “less of a liability” this late in his career (imagine if Rondo could some how do this.)

    So I guess I would say Nash is by far a better shooter, but I also would temper your skepticism of Kidd as a scorer.

    2) By way of the first, I’d say Kidd is (as you say) a FAR superior defender and Nash is a BETTER (not far superior) scorer. Not that this means you have to swing the argument towards Kidd, but if you concede to this point, it might make the space for your instinctual juices to flow differently.

    3) AND the most worn out of arguments in favor of Kidd>Nash… I can’t put a player that was so inept (and you’d have to concede im being fair with this term) at defense. It is one half of the game. I understand Magic wasnt the best defender either and we are willing to put him in the top-5 of all time. BUT Nash was awful and he didnt play in a system that hid it like magic. Magic passes the history-bar for defense because he had the support and structure on the defensive end to mask his mediocrity. Nash never had this…we know he sucks at defense. So this is where I think the debate swings Kidd’s way. I know you acknowledged this point, so i’m not sure how moved you will be by it.

    4) So I’d say -in a vacuum- give me J-Kidd. If however, you have a team in place and are just adding a point-guard … this is where the true debate resides … depending on your teams needs (i.e. you can win without a strong defensive point, give me Nash OR if you need a better on ball defender at point to help anchor the back court, give me Kidd.)

    So yea, ultimately give me Kidd. However, if the team is in place … I will give you an argument for either.

    Thanks again for the insight. Really enjoyed the read!!

    • Flying Haque says:

      You do make a few good points, but I do have some issues:

      1) Kidd is so high on that list because he’s played 17 seasons (which you pointed out). For reference, the only other players in the league he was drafted with are Grant Hill and Juwan Howard. If you look at his shooting percentages you’ll realize that he’s a career 35% three point shooter and has only shot over 40% from three in two seasons in his career. He was also a career 40% field goal shooter. In fact, in his arguable best season (first in New Jersey) he shot less than 40% from the field. Not from three. From the field. That’s not just a “weakness,” it’s terrible. Also, he has improved his shooting this late in his career, but his overall game has fallen greatly. You can contrast that with Nash (who’s actually only a year younger than Kidd), and see that his game is as good this year as it ever was. At this point it’s really hard to realize, but J-Kidd was an atrocious jump shooter in his prime.

      2) I think we’d be arguing semantics, but I’m pretty sure that Nash is a FAR superior scorer. But it is debatable so I’ll let it go.

      3) Nash is actually an underrated defender. this does not mean he is a good defender. It means that he’s not the atrocious defender he’s made out to be. He has trouble sticking with the Chris Paul’s and Monta Ellis’s of the league, but so does everybody else. Nash’s defensive liabilities have been exaggerated by the media because of the system he’s played in, labelled as “no-defense.” The fact is, if those Suns teams played no defense, they’d be more like the Warriors, and wouldn’t have had much success. Nash wasn’t good, he wasn’t awful, but he played in a system which allowed teams to score 115 points every night because the pace was so fast. As a player who was never lauded for his defense, he naturally took most of the blame for this.

      4) I think at the end, I’d take Nash because I could really rely on him to get a basket at the end of the game, whether it was with a clutch shot or making the right pass. I also think his shooting is a pretty underrated part of his game. Even if I agreed with you that Kidd was a great defender and Nash was a terrible one, I would still say Nash makes it up in his scoring ability by being HISTORICALLY good at shooting while Kidd was pretty bad

      5) One thing I didn’t mention, that would lend credence to your argument, is that Jason Kidd always had terrible teammates. I’m pretty sure in his prime, he only played with an All-Star in one year (Kenyon Martin in 2004).

      6) Finally, the reason I picked Nash is because I truly do believe that you could win a title with Steve Nash as your best player. I don’t think you can win one with Jason Kidd as your best player

      • pakastallion says:

        I hear your points, BUT will never agree with the idea that Nash and underrated defender should go together in the same sentence. Put diplomatically, Nash is a “below-average” defender while Kidd is an “excellent” (to continue the pre-school grading marks) defender. Also, a comment we both agree on, point guards just don’t win you a championship as the best player on the team (Isiah last to do it) -especially during the era these two played in. so starting from scratch, you gotta take the guy who doesnt have such a fundamental deficiency on one side of the court. your thoughts? And I agree, Nash is one of the greatest shooters in history.

      • Flying Haque says:

        The thing is, most point guards are okay defenders, you normally can’t really tell. Nash is a below average defender true, but part of this is because the system he played in was literally a no defense system. For example, he’s always one of the league leaders in charges taken (ie getting a charge called on the other team), meaning he can get to the right place on the floor, but yes, his instincts aren’t good.

        In the end though, I think the argument boils down to which weakness you can deal with more, bad defense or bad shooting. J-Kidd’s game was perfect in every way, except he really was a terrible shooter (shooting 40% from the field is really really bad). You can’t hide him in a game, like the celts can’t hide rondo’s lack of shooting in a pick and roll. Nash’s defensive liabilities can be hidden (and the suns were able to do this for a while with Shawn Marion and Grant Hill. Kidd’s abilities could not

  2. Jay H. says:

    I’m going to do what I do best and add some more statistics to the debate. We all know that Kidd was a better rebounder and defensive player than Nash. That isn’t really debatable. However, I think the numbers show that Nash is a better shooter, scorer, and passer (to the extent that being a better passer is defined by assist numbers).

    When comparing Nash and Kidd, it is important to look at their stats per minute because Kidd has played 38% more minutes than Nash. Also, I’m not a huge fan of the advanced metrics but I will include some of them for historical perspective

    Shooting:

    1. While Kidd has played 38% more minutes than Nash, Kidd has only hit 14% more three pointers.

    2. In terms of True Shooting % (which is a measure of shooting efficiency that takes into account FTs, 2 pt FGs, and 3pt FGs), Nash is 1st among active players and 11th all time. With Effective FG % (which adjusts for the fact that 3-pointers a worth more than 2’s and FTs), Nash is 4th among active players and 16th all time. Kidd isn’t ranked in the TOP 50 among active players in either category.

    Scoring:

    1. Per 36 minutes, Nash averages 16.9 points and Kidd averages 13.0.

    2. Nash averages .468 points per minute, Kidd averages .362 points per minute. In other words, Nash has average 29.3% more points per minute than Kidd.

    Passing:

    1. Per 36 minutes, Nash averages 9.7 assists and Kidd averages 8.9 assists.

    2. In terms of assist percentage (the percent of his team’s assists a player earns while he is on the floor), Nash is 4th in NBA history at 40.95% while Kidd is 7th at 39.8%.

    Which player you would want really depends on how the team is built. If your team needs a point guard that can shoot, score, and still create assists at an all time great level, you go with Nash. If you want a point guard who is a great defender and rebounder, you go with Kidd.

    If we could somehow take both Kidd’s strengths and merge them with Nash’s strengths, we would have the perfect point guard. Let’s call him Jave Kash.

  3. kidveesh says:

    Who do you have for playing in the clutch, FlyingHaque? Both obviously have statistically amazing careers. But in your opinion, who performs better with his skill set under high pressure environments?

    Additionally, in your response to pakastallion, you say that Nash could win a title as his team’s best player, yet even with multiple 55+ win teams, he couldn’t get to the finals. On the other hand, do you believe that J kidd, with Amare, Marion, and barbosa/bell/however many athletic wings you guys had would not get to the finals? Although your offense could never be as strong with J Kidd at the helm, his physical toughness could have changed the mindset of your team enough to beat Duncan and co.

    I would agree though that Nash would have a championship if Gentry was his coach from 05 to 07. But I think Kidd, in his prime with Nash’s supporting talent, would have made the finals with any coach.

    • Flying Haque says:

      I definitely have Nash for playing in the clutch. I’d have to look this up, but just based on my memories, I remember so many times when Nash would hit a running 3 with less than one minute left. I remember in 2008, when we played Dallas and were down by 8 with 50 seconds left, he scored 10 points in the last minute to tie it and we won in double overtime. J-Kidd didn’t have the ability to really score in the clutch, which is why I think Nash is more important in that sense.

      Your second point is a really good one though kidveesh. Nash did have great supporting casts in Phoenix (although you could make the argument that some of those players ie Barbosa, Diaw, Raja Bell, Joe Johnson, had their best seasons because of Nash) while Kidd never did. And in certain situations, I think Kidd could have done a bit more for the Suns in those 05-07 years than Nash did. But I also think that Nash’s specific skill set is what made those Suns teams very very good, and I’m not sure Kidd would have been able to. Those Suns teams were some of the best pick and roll teams in NBA history, and this is only because Nash is one of the greatest shooters in NBA history. Also, Nash’s ability to get those teams to gel (from 2005 to 2006, we had 4 returning players) is another aspect of what makes him really good. If you look at 2006 when Amare was injured, we still made it to the WCF and almost beat Dallas that year. If you take a look at when the Nets lost K-Mart, that Nets team really started sucking afterwards. So yeah, I do think in certain situations Kidd would definitely have helped those Suns teams and maybe been better for them, but overall, I don’t think anybody could really have run those teams but Nash.

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  4. What says:

    the rule changes benefitted nash. . .no hand checking rules and defensive three seconds made a lot of players penetrate the lane even more better. .that is why we have a lot of good point guards today. . .chris paul tony parker and others who penetrate the lane (dwyane wade lebron james) would not be as good as they are if they were put in the 90’s era and the early 2000. . .jason kidd is an old school player. . .and I think he is a better passer than steve nash. . .I know kidd is a terrible shooter but i also know that he was a one man fastbreak. .the minutes they played is not really an issue because nash is playing in a faster pace. .

  5. Bnice25 says:

    You know what? There is nothing more enjoyable than a good debate among knowledgeable basketball fans. There is one thing I would like to add.

    It is soooo easy to look heavily at statistics. And, stats do count. However, there are some things statistics just cannot do. In particular, statistics really don’t give you a feel for a players impact on a game, and the will they impose on it. They only tell part of the story.

    Statistics cannot tell you how Shaquille O’Neal intimated opposing defenses. Statistics cannot show you the breathtaking combination of speed and power Lebron James displays on a fastbreak. Statistics could not possibly measure the confidence that players like Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson gave to their teammates to elavate their games. Statistics only tell have the story.

    Though statistically the first half of Kidd’s prime was spent in Phoenix, this true prime was in New Jersey. A player’s prime should not be measured by stats alone. But, also how he has reached the peak in his maturity as a teammate and has a leader. J-Kidd was basketballs best leader while with the Nets. So, I first wanted to establish that.

    I watched most of Kidd’s games with the Suns, and almost all of them with the Nets. Jason Kidd almost had an “omnipresence” with the Nets. His will to win was so strong, he would just put in another gear, that no one on the opposing team could match physically or emotionally. All the while….elevating his team to do things, they could never dream possible. During those two seasons the Nets…he was everything: Passer, Defender, Scorer, Rebounder, and Coach! Triple Doubles were achieved with such startling regularity….you knew this was something special.

    As far as scoring. There were times Kidd was a very effective scorer for the Nets…especially in the 4th quarter. Go back and look at the game stats. When Kidd made up his mind that he wanted to score…he could score.

    As a rebounder….there is no equal at his position. In boxing, they have something called “Pound for “Pound” greatest of all time. Most believe Sugar Ray Robinson was the Pound for Pound greatest. His power and speed for a Middleweight was unbelievable. Well, Jason Kidd @ 6’4″ very well could be the best pound for pound rebounder the game has seen. Some of this rebounding games (14, 16, 17, and even 19) were ridiculous!

    Finally, as a defender..this would be the greatest advantage that Kidd or Nash would have over the other. Kidd in his prime was ALL over the court, ALL over the passing lanes, and ALL over the man his guarded. Only Gary Payton in my opinion was better. His quick/strong hands, freakish anticipation, and rebounding….put him in an entirely different league from Nash. Even now, at 38, he is able to guard Kobe Bryant for critical stretches in a game. This something Nash could not fathom.

    Lastly (I thought I was finished), his speed on the fast break. I very much disagree with the assessment that Nash played at a faster pace. Nash played in a faster offense…one that we can only imagine how good Jason Kidd would have been in. But, Jason Kidd in his prime…and for his size, was the fastest man in the league with the ball, and probably among the top 5 of all time in straight-line speed dribbling.

    Steve Nash is a very good player. However, I think he is only “great” because he has had the good fortune of playing in a “7 second” offense that can easily inflate stats. He was barely a top 5 point guard before he came back to Phoenix. Jason Kidd, who has played in several different offenses, was consistantly great, and will go down in the history of the game as the better basketball player. He will be remembered as a player who could dominate the game without scoring a point. Do you want to know who was the better player? Have both players refuse to shoot the ball for a game…and see who impacts the game more! I think we all know the answer.

    • kevinhom says:

      Good argument overall…but a great non-statistical argument could be made for Nash as well. From a Bill Simmons article that sums up everything I’m trying to say in the perfect way…

      “Our friend Paul Shirley (a devout Nash/MVP-backer) e-mailed me with an excellent point about how valuable Nash was to the Suns, saying that Nash’s unselfish, intense style was contagious to the rest of the team. Within a few weeks, everyone was playing that way and everyone was getting easy baskets, as though his unselfishness seeped into everyone else by osmosis. And that’s a crucial point. I watched the same thing happen with the ’86 Celtics. Bird and Walton were so gifted at finding open guys, that the gift eventually seeped into the other guys on the team, almost like when you’re in a room with someone who’s so funny, everyone else becomes a little funnier just by hanging out with him.

      With the 2005 Suns, Nash’s unselfishness raised everyone else’s games, and it’s something you can’t measure with statistics.”

      I saw it with my own eyes too. Nash’s passing is just brilliant. Those teams were so fluid and they had such great rhythm. Nash was the key to all of that.

      And last thing I want to say is….”Have both players refuse to shoot the ball for a game and see who impacts the game more?”….c’mon man. I don’t want to be insulting but that’s absolutely ridiculous. I understand a true PG’s first priority is to pass the ball and initiate the offense…but what makes Nash so deadly is that his options (in the pick and roll and other scenarios) aren’t limited because teams fear his shooting. And the bottom line is you need to put the ball in the basket. Having a hypothetical situation where they refuse to shoot (which is actually kind of what J-Kidd does naturally nowadays) is ludicrous. It’s like saying “don’t hit any home runs” in baseball…or “don’t serve any aces” in tennis.

      If we’re just comparing the primes of Nash and Kidd…it’s really debatable but in the end I’d definitely go with Nash > Kidd.

      If we look at the entire career and body of work…I don’t really think there’s any debate at this point seeing as how Nash is still truckin’ along and Kidd is a shell of his former self….Nash > Kidd.

  6. With Kidd winning a championship as a starting point guard, this separates him from all active players as the best point guard including Nash. Kidd also made his presence in the clutch during the 2011 playoff games. He guarded the top players of the opposing teams in the crucial minutes. Now, the debate is, is he at par with the all-time greats, Stockton and Magic? I think he gets past Stockton because of the championship and his role in winning it. Well, Magic is in a different level, but Kidd may be nearing that horizon with another title next season as a starting point guard for the mavs.

    • ur2dads says:

      Menandro S. Abanes (above), I agree with your words completely. I believe that Kidd is now a definate selection in the top 5 of all time (alongside Magic Johnson, Oscar Robertson, John Stockton and Isiah Thomas).

      Look tbh, Nash has a great career and respect to him for his 2 MVPs, but he is no Kidd. The list above is correct and I agree with the author’s comments but I do think that rebounding should not be classified alongside defence. Kidd has average 7 throughout his long career compared to Nash’s pitiful 3. Add to that Nash’s pitiful defense in which he couldn’t even average ONE steal per season as a PG (Yes, I’m not joking, 0.9 was the highest he ever got with a career average of 0.6) and you begin to realise why on earth people are still arguing over whose better?

      That being said, people often forget that Nash forces the team to play HIS style of uptempo pace gameplay whereas Jason Kidd’s adjusts to the strength and weaknesses of his team. Unfortunately, I only started watching Jason Kidd when he was traded to Phoenix, so I can only attest to what I saw from there on, and I saw a man who was able to change his game from Scott Skile’s offensively challenged plays to Byon Scott/Eddie Jordan Princeton Offense to living off Avery Johnson’s tight run ship to finally, Rick Carlisle’s pick and roll jump shooting offense. Add to that Jason’s impressive 56-0 Olympic Record under various coaches and you start to realise just how good Jason could of been had he been with another superstar like Nowitzki early on in his career.

      • kevinhom says:

        I guess it just comes down to what you value most….you say that Kidd has better rebounding numbers and steals (which he does) and I say Nash is the better shooter (which he is). Reason I side with Nash is because I don’t think being a great rebounder is necessary at all for being an elite PG. When you describe his career rebounding numbers as “pitiful”….I mean c’mon…all other great PGs get only 3-4 per game…CP3, D-Will, Billups, Rose…etc. etc. Speaking of Rose…he doesn’t averages less than a steal per game too but do people say “oh well he can’t be an elite PG now”…no because he does so many other good things. Same with Nash.

        The Olympic record doesn’t mean much to me…I mean really….all U.S.A players have good international records. To be honest Kidd was just the token veteran on that team, there’s a reason why he wasn’t closing those games out. And to reiterate Kidd is doing next to nothing offensively now under Carlisle’s offense.

    • kevinhom says:

      Kidd hasn’t been good for a few years now. So many announcers during that 2011 playoff run overrated his defense GREATLY just because he’s Jason Kidd…the savvy vet. He had his moments…no doubt but the Mavs that year were driven by Dirk, Chandler’s defense and some more scoring punch provided by Terry and Barea. I honestly believe they could have gotten by with another league average PG (yes “average”…not below average and not above average). For example…they stuck Kidd on LeBron in the Finals multiple times I recall. That wasn’t good defense by Kidd…Lebron should have TORCHED him…that’s completely on LeBron being scared of the moment and deferring to Wade rather than Kidd shutting him down. LeBron stood around so passively and solidified his reputation as a choker (that’s a whole different debate though). My point is…Kidd getting his first ring doesn’t separate him from anyone…obviously it’s a nice touch but it was almost like Payton’s first ring where he just latched on for the ride.

      It says something about the player when their defensive strategy is just to leave you wide open on the perimeter (as teams so often do with Kidd). This strategy often paid off too…luckily Dirk was a beast though and it didn’t matter in the end. Put Nash or any decent shooter as their PG and this wouldn’t be an issue.

      • kevinhom says:

        sorry to clarify…”It says something about the player when the OTHER team’s defensive strategy is just to leave you wide open on the perimeter”

  7. Jason says:

    I would pick Kidd as my all time point guard. .No offense to the all time greats like Magic Johnson, Stockton and others. .Kidd can play pg, sg and sf and is a better on ball defender compared to all of the greatest point guards except maybe Gary Payton who was his childhood friend. .Offensively, before he was like the fastest player with the ball in his hands and has a tremendous basketball IQ(both on offense and defense). He was an all around player who plays hard every game and has one of the best vision in the history of the game . .As he gets older and maybe because of his knee injury he lost his quickness and speed which I think some players would be forced to retire especially for a point guard. Instead, he worked on his jumpshot to stay in the league and to win a championship.

    Watching the Mavericks in the playoffs, I noticed that Kidd was not the primary ball handler though he was the one calling the plays so I guess he was still the point guard. .On offense, he was more of a spot up shooter but also a really really good playmaker on the wing while on defense he defends the opponent’s best players who are very versatile like Kobe, Westbrook, Durant, Wade and Lebron. He led the steals per game in this playoffs. I could not think of any point guard in history whether they are in their prime or not who could have done a better job than what Jason Kidd has done for the Mavericks. . JJ Barea and Jason Terry running those staggered pick and rolls which I think was an excellent play that was very difficult to stop and made the Heat a not that very good defensive team even though they really are a great defensive team. I believe that Jason Kidd can play in any system that’s how versatile he is for me. .If you guys think that point guards like Magic, Stockton, Payton, Nash and others could do a better job than Kidd then you’re wrong and yes they can also dominate the game without scoring a point but I just don’t think they can do it better than Kidd can. One reason I think is because they need the ball in their hand to be a playmaker like how Nash and Stockton keeps running “pick and rolls” and pad up their stats. Magic Johnson meanwhile is 6’9 and is more like a point forward like Lebron James is today just not that athletic and is the one creating mismatch for his team on offense while on d though he’s great at team defense but sucks at on ball defense just like Dirk. .Next reason is the intangibles. .Intangibles are the plays that don’t show up on the stat sheets and I believe Kidd is a master at that, the other one I can think of is Larry Bird but he ain’t a point guard. .

    I am not saying Kidd is the best point guard all time. I’m just making a case that he could be the best and I have him at no.2 all time behind Magic. .He surpass Stockton because he has 1 championship and Stock has none. .One thing I believe is that if I make an all time championship team, Kidd would be my starting point guard even if his 38 along with Michael Jordan on the guard spot. .The thing is Kidd never had an all time great teammate in his career until Nowitzki. Magic had Jabbar and Stockton had Malone most of their careers while Kidd got Dirk or Dirk got Kidd on the twilight of his career. .Kidd made his teammates better no doubt about that along with the other greats but Kidd’s teammates were good but not really good, those guys like Kenyon Martin and Richard Jefferson.

    Steve Nash is a really good point guard but for me is not a top 5 point guard. .The changing of some rules in the nba like hand checking is without a doubt a benefit for Nash. .I just think that Nash with the handcheck rules can have a very difficult time penetrating the defense and getting to the lane. .Although he might be the best pick and roll player ever and is a great shooter, he also has no d. .He is the one creating shots for his team especially with the big guys like Amare but what if he had teamates like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade or other great scorers who needs the ball in their hands. .Will they be happy playing half court with Nash??I do not know what Nash is capable of in other system because he has always been playing in a faster system all his career and is very good at that. .He has always led his team as the highest scoring team most of his career. .I believe Nash is the best at what he does but I just don’t think he can win a championship playing that way. .playoffs are more about defense and they say defense wins championship. .

    I believe Kidd is better overall than Nash. .I can say Nash is better on offense but not a better player or a point guard than Kidd. .It is clear that Nash had better teammates than Kidd most of their careers. .I thought Nash’s teammates had potential. .Phoenix didn’t really suck much before they signed Nash. .Marion was an all star already and Amare was the rookie of the year. .they also had Joe Johnson. .they were the 8th seed in the playoffs of 2003 where Marbury was the point guard. .they gave the Spurs a hard time in the first round and the Spurs would later defeat the New Jersey in the Finals. .When Nash signed with Phoenix they had the best record and Nash would win MVP and I say he deserve it. .When Kidd was traded to New Jersey, nobody expected that Kidd can turn that franchise around but he did and I think should have been the MVP in 2002 considering it was the New Jersey Nets. .During his time with the Nets he helped the careers of many players who played alongside him but was not as good as what they are when they are playing alongside Kidd. .Kenyon Martin became an all star once, Richard Jefferson was close on becoming an all star and rejuvenated Vince Carter’s career. .Alongside the role players who are mostly bench warmers for other teams. .All I can say is that he made them looked good. .Most of those players now can’t be found in the NBA or bounced around the NBA with the exception of Kenyon Martin. .while Nash teammates were still better without him. .Amare became an MVP candidate with New York, Joe Johnson became the franchise player for the hawks. .Marion became a big contributor for the Mavericks as they win the championship. .

    Now that Kidd has championship and Nash has none. .I think this debate is over now and that the answer is Jason Kidd is better. .

    • D-Flash says:

      I agree. Steve Nash should have won championships with the talent his team had. Nash’s teammates are legitimate all stars (Dirk, Finley, Marion and Amare).He was never short on talent with his team.

      Jason Kidd is definitely better just because he plays defense, offense and rebounds the ball very well. He doesn’t even need the ball in his hands to be effective. Definitely one of the best point guards to ever play the game. J Kidd all the way!!

    • kevinhom says:

      “Phoenix didn’t really suck much before they signed Nash”…this really discredits your argument. Please do some research before you make statements like that. 2003-2004 saw the Suns win 29 games. In 2004-2005 (the year they signed Nash)…they won 62 games. One of the bigger turnarounds in league history. That’s all I need to say in response.

      • Fernando says:

        Often solar panels are pecald on a roof. If it is on the main house it will also keep the house cooler and electrical wiring lines will be shorter. But if they are on the ground it will be easier to keep the panels clean. In either place it should not be shaded.A wind power system should be as high as possible and away from trees and buildings that might obstruct the flow of air, but you would not want to locate it so far away that electric lines pose too much resistance. A geothermal system can be built in many different ways. If there is a pond nearby that is deep enough using this for the ground loops is the cheapest method. Trenches can be dug and a long loop system installed or most commonly two wells can be drilled and water will be pumped from one go through the system and be deposited in another well. The equipment that uses the loop will be located within the house.

  8. FACT1 says:

    KID OR QUEEN NASH?
    KIDD EVERY DAY.
    KIDD ELEVATES HIS GAME IN THE PLAYOFFS, WHERE NASH IS LIABILITY ON DEFENSE & PASS DESISION.
    KIDD HAS TAKEN TEAMS TO THE FINALS 3 TIMES & WON 1 CHAMPIONSHIP.
    THE QUEEN HAS HAD STACKED TEAMS & CHOKED. GENTRY EVEN PULLED NASH LATE IN THE 4TH WHILE PLAYING THE LAKERS BECAUSE NASH CHOKES.
    THIS WRITER HAS HIS HEAD UP THE QUEENS REAR.

  9. Ryan W says:

    A lot of people who are pro-Kidd mainly say it is due to his defense/rebounding, and simply say Nash is horrible…which isn’t exactly true. I live in AZ so I watch every game, and Nash isn’t a liability really. I’m not saying he is a GOOD defender but he isn’t bad, I’d say he is your average or slightly below average defender. Also, being a good rebounder is good, but it really isn’t too important for the PG position. On his scoring, Nash could average 25 points per game if he tried, but he always looks for teammates and rarely shoots for himself, at max he will attempt 10 shots a game nowadays not to mention he is shooting around 54%. He also does make his teammates better, the Sun’s current leading scorer is Gortat, and when Nash sat out a game in a back to back to back, Gortat was barely able to amass any points without the play making skills of Nash. Now I am probably biased because I haven’t really watched Kidd play, but I think Nash is a great PG who is top 5 all time, especially in passing/scoring efficiency.

  10. Coachjj says:

    I would never consider Nash an underrated defender. In fact I would say year in year out he is one of the bottom 10 worse defenders in the league among starting pg’s. Maybe bottom 5. Now I would love to do research and find stats and facts, I don’t really have the time at the moment and just want to respond. Btw, I think this was a well written article and I give you a ton of respect for it. But we all miss things and here’s some of those things that I feel you missed, off the top of my head that is.

    Like someone said in a reply, defense is HALF the game. In fact some players make great NBA careers being Great defenders with very little offense. (battier, raja bell, mutumbo) Now you broke down 3 area’s of offense (ball handling, shooting, and passing) and then you combined rebounding and defense. I feel if you broke the defense down to 3 categories as well, (on ball, off ball, rebounding) then this debate would drastically swing in Kidd’s favor. Also one big part of kidds game is his post game. He is one of the best, if not best post up pg since Magic as he can score and pass out the post better than a lot of PF’s and C’s, and he is equally as good in defending the post whether it be a pg or sg trying to post him up. If you broke down his tenacious on the ball defense, and then tried to do the same with Nash it just wouldn’t be fair. Don’t forget Kidd at 39 years old he was asked to be the Kobe stopper for the Mavs in the series with l.a. And he did a great job! His off the ball anticipation in his prime was first class and he anchored the defense on whatever team he was on. I have no clue how you can say that you firmly believe that a team lead by Nash can win a championship more than a team led by Kidd. How? Nash has never even made it to the NBA finals! Kidd, 3 times. Let’s even take out this Dallas championship since Dirk and Terry carried that team and let’s talk about the back to back trips that Kidd led the average Nets to the Finals! In fact his 2002 snubbing of the MVP award is one of the top 5 greatest MVP snubs of all time. Take out Starbury lol, and plug in Kidd and now you win 26 (I think) more games, one of the top records in the league and lead your team to the NBA finals with a starting five (this is off the top of my head) of kittles, van horn, Kenyon Martin and starting center 6 ‘9 Jason Williams! And your complaining about Amare being suspended lol. Nash had an incredible supporting cast with Amare, Joe, and Marion. In fact Nash is also in the top 5 for biggest NBA MVP snubs of all time, but on the wrong side. A lot feel shaq’s help in the turnaround of the heat should have won him the MVP. Some even say that Amare could of even won the award with averages of 26.9 and 10. Kidds whole career he has done more with less. A walking triple double at the height of 6 ‘4. A one man fast break and the most unselfish player we have seen this generation. Think of team USA in ’08 where he led the team in assist and went like 6 straight games without even attempting a fg!
    And now that he won his ring, I feel he will hands down go down as a better pg than nash. And don’t discredit his longevity when it comes to his 3 point shooting. He was once dubbed and “injury prone” player early in his career so now that longevity is a testimate to his hard work. When it’s all said and done, Kidd will go down as one of the top 3 greatest pg’s ever, of not the greatest…

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