Kidd Getting Lost in the Point Guard Shuffle

Well after the smoke had cleared over the Pepsi Center -- and yeah, I was a little off about the Nuggets putting on the show of a lifetime -- I was chatting with Tas Melas about Jason Kidd. It started something like this: ↵
↵⇥Tas: Is this the end of Jason Kidd? ↵⇥
↵⇥
↵⇥Shoals: Jason Kidd is underrated. ↵
↵It took us a little while to work that disagreement out, but ultimately came to the conclusion that Kidd is both in decline and underrated. Remember, this is a player who only a few seasons ago was supposed to pair with Kobe to bring the Lakers a ring. The Spurs very nearly gave up Tony Parker for him, admittedly before TP was a full-fledged All-Star. At Team USA stuff, guys positively gushed about getting to hit the court with him. Actually, if we're going to be real about, Kidd was the best point guard of his generation, and with the exception of a few years of Steve Nash, the keeper of the lineage that extends from Magic to Stockton and now on to Chris Paul. He was a totally singular player, and yet also set the standard for the position. ↵
↵
↵Fine, when Dallas acquired him it was a calculated risk. Kidd wasn't long for this league, and at first, didn't mesh well with Dirk and especially Josh Howard. Then eventually they worked together, at least to the point where the Mavs could upset a Manu-less San Antonio and for a couple of games, trouble a Nuggets team that has "juggernaut" written all over it. Yes, it shows that Rick Carlisle is an excellent coach. But it's also a testament to Jason Kidd's abilities -- and at the same time, quite possibly the last time we'll get to see him make any meaningful use of them. Like Tas said, this might be the last hurrah. ↵
↵
↵Why doesn't anyone care about Jason Kidd anymore? It's not because the media doesn't love to dote on veterans, especially the great ones, when they're at the tail-end of their primes. In fact, that's when they somehow warrant the most superlatives. No, in this case, there are just too many young(er) point guards making noise in these playoffs for anyone to put on airs about an aged master. Heck, the league itself is too rich with point guards, and Chris Paul has not only already laid claim to Kidd's mantle, but arguably has a chance to be the best ever. For Kidd, it's just bad timing. ↵
↵
↵So as we exult in what Billups and Rondo are doing, look forward to watching Paul and Deron Williams next season, wonder how much better Derrick Rose can get, and anticipate the arrival of Ricky Rubio, Brandon Jennings and John Wall into the league, let's take a minute and look at that old dude over in the corner. He may be nearing his end, and denied a proper burial by all these new jacks running things. But in a way, without him they wouldn't even exist.
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↵For more NBA coverage, visit SportingNews.com's new NBA blog, The Baseline.↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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