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"JASON KIDD HAS LONG CARRIED THE REPUTATION AS A “NON-SHOOTER.’’ BUT HE SPENT MOST OF THE SEASON SHOOTING OVER 42 PERCENT FROM THE ARC – A CAREER-HIGH."

‡ Two years ago, no one in the history of the NBA had ever averaged five-plus rebounds, eight-plus assists, and 40-plus percent on 3s in a single season. Then, last year, a 36-year-old point guard did it for the first time.

And here he was in March, doing it for the second year in a row.

This is an opportune time for us to appreciate the brilliant “facts’’ that make Jason Kidd what he’s been over the course of a 16-year career, to appreciate the statistical greatness that is unfolding in Dallas right before our eyes - and hopefully before the eyes of an appreciative playoff-watching national audience.

The long-time watchers get it. "I can't say enough great things about Jason Kidd,’’ says his coach, Rick Carlisle. “He’s just phenomenal.’’

The younger generation (you know, the sort of fellows who’ve never seen “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’’) gets it, too.

"Man,’’ said new teammate Haywood, “he's the Ageless Wonder. They say he's 37, but I’ve got to see that birth certificate. He's just one of those guys that seems like he can play forever."

Haywood said that on the night of Kidd’s birthday, when he added another fact/ number: Dirk got ejected in that game, so Kidd absorbed the responsibility of scorer as well as quarterback. He scored a season-high and team-high 26 points to go along with 12 assists in a win over the visiting Clippers. “Since Dirk was gone, I thought I would play (the role of) Dirk,” said Kidd that night, after making 10 of 21 shots and going 6 of 11 on 3-pointers. “I had some great looks early on that went in and out. Earlier in my career, I would’ve stopped shooting because I missed a couple. But I thought the team needed some scoring so I stepped up.”

“Early in my career’’… and now we get to the “legend’’ part.

Jason Kidd has long carried the reputation as a “non-shooter.’’ But he spent most of the season shooting over 42 percent from the arc – a career-high.

Jason Kidd has long been regarded as slow- afoot. He’s obviously not a lightning bolt, yet even as he inches near 40 years old, he survives and thrives on a nightly basis, outdueling dudes 10 and 15 years younger than he is well enough that this season he was selected to his 10th All-Star Game.

Jason Kidd has long carried the reputation as a fun-loving lover of loving.

Well, that one isn’t a myth. That’s where “fact’’ meets “legend’’ - and I can print both of them (kind of.)

There is a wonderful story that I could tell you

from early in Jason’s career. It involves a night on the town during a road trip, a hotel room, mattresses on the floor - everything from Mike Tyson’s stolen tiger to John Belushi’s missing toga - and then a quick visit to the arena, where Kidd would perform at a Rookie-of- the-Year/All-Star/future-Hall-of-Famer level.

I could tell you the details of that story except for two things: one, Kidd would kill me. And two, there isn’t really just one early-in-Kidd’s- career-on-the-road story. There are more like 41 of them a year, one for every away game. So, you know, all the stories sort of run together.

Nowadays, Kidd-at-37 is slightly more mellow. He takes better care of his body. Watches more film. feels responsible for younger teammates. And his suites don’t end up looking like the basement in “Animal House.’’

Still, he seems to find time for quiet dinners with beautiful people, as Kidd continues his legendarily fun-loving ways.

Jason Kidd is the legend and the truth. He is part John Wayne. And he is part Jimmy Stewart. And maybe, since we’re talking about movie stars who were getting it done in 1962, he’s also part Warren Beatty.

You young pups can Google that one, too.

Mike Fisher covers the Mavs at www. DallasBasketball.com. You can follow him at www.twitter.com/fishsports Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84
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