The time. The effort. The presence of mind.
Jason Kidd didn’t need to become a great 3-point shooter to prolong his NBA career, he didn’t have to continuously work on his jimmy to get to the point he’s at now…
But that would contradict the classic depiction of Kidd, a tireless worker who’s always trying to improve, always thinking about the future, constantly thinking about the next play every time he brings the ball up the court or catches it in the midst of rhythmic ball movement at the offensive end.
“Jason Kidd embodies the qualities of a Hall of Fame player throughout the course of his NBA career,” explains his bio at jasonkidd.com. “He is fiercely competitive; he is devoted to playing perfect team basketball; he is a tireless worker and student of the game, meticulously professional in everything he does on the court. Every team he has ever played for has been dramatically more successful after his arrival, and dramatically less so after his departure.”
Without a shadow of doubt in anyone’s mind, Kidd is providing the Knicks with all the qualities he’s always displayed on the hardwood and in the locker room, but there are a few differences. Instead of making plays with the ball off the bounce, he’s been more efficient with his passes. Instead of driving into the paint and creating, he’s spacing the floor with his jump shot.
“When Jason Kidd broke into the league, I don’t think he could make anything outside of 12 feet,” Tim Legler, a former sharpshooter himself, said late last night on SportsCenter. “Now we’re looking at this guy and he’s third in 3-pointers made for a career. The way he transformed his game to extend his career and be a viable threat on a championship team in Dallas and now he’s trying to help the Knicks go to some place similar, the poise that he steps into these shots with and knocks them down… You really can’t put a value on Jason Kidd coming into that locker room.”
The progression Legler spoke of didn’t come overnight for Kidd, who has been wizard-like with the basketball in his hands since his days at Cal.
But how, exactly, has Kidd, gone from being a player who shot 27% of his shots from behind the arc as a rookie to being a downright lethal spot-up shooter who has taken close to 75% of his shots from downtown this season? We’ll take a look below: