He may be the head coach of Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks now, but Jason Kidd will always be remembered for his Hall-of-Fame career. He was a 1-time champion, 10-time All-Star, Rookie of the Year, 5-time assists champion, 9-time All-defensive team awardee, and 6-time All-NBA team during his playing years. It's not an understatement to say that Kidd, who played the best years of his career with the New Jersey Nets and Mavericks, is one of the top 10 best point guards.
Steve Kerr can attest to that
Before Steve Kerr and Kidd went head-to-head in last season's Western Conference Finals, the former sharpshooter walked down memory lane and recalled the times they went up against each other as players on the court. Their most notable matchup happened in the 2003 NBA Finals when Kidd played for the Nets and Kerr with the San Antonio Spurs.
While Kerr had the bragging rights at the end of the series, he recalled how tough it was to go up against the current Mavericks head coach during their playing years.
"I didn't guard him, thankfully. The biggest thing I remember about Jason was just the overwhelming speed and force that he played with. In transition, even after made baskets, he'd come barreling down. You didn't really see how strong he was until you played against him. On TV maybe you couldn't see it as much, but when the game started, you felt his force. And he was obviously a brilliant passer. Just played with this wonderful pace and energy and made the games easier for his teammates. Just a brilliant player." Kerr explained.
Kerr was thankful that he didn't have to guard prime Jason Kidd in this series because, in fairness to him, the latter averaged 19.7 points, 7.8 assists, and 6.2 rebounds in 6 games in the 2003 NBA Finals. At that time, Kerr was 37 and playing in his last year with the Spurs. But he somehow still managed to play at least 12.7 minutes per game in 75 games that season.
Kidd on Kerr
Meanwhile, when the tables turned, and Kidd was asked about Kerr, the 1-time champion joked that he only remembers Kerr because he was Michael Jordan's teammate. But ultimately, Kidd showed the same respect for Kerr and said that he played basketball the right way and was a tough competitor.
"Yeah, I remember facing Steve, he had Michael Jordan. Steve always makes the big shots. Steve was a great competitor and a great NBA player. He played his role at a high level and he won. He was a winner that's what makes Steve special," Kidd said, as reported by The Atheltic's Anthony Slater.
They faced each other again in Western Conference Finals last season, but this time as respective head coaches, Kerr again got the last laugh after defeating Kidd's team in 5 games. The battle between these two point guards didn't end in 2003 but will continue as long as they lead their corresponding teams to the top of the race every season.