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  • Writer's pictureErik Slater

A look back at Jason Kidd's Nets legacy

Legendary Nets point-guard Jason Kidd and front office executive Rod Thorn were formally announced as inductees of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Saturday at the Final Four.

Kidd will join former Nets greats Julius Erving, Rick Barry, and Drazen Petrovic upon his induction.

Thorn traded Stephon Marbury to the Suns for Kidd in 2001, a move that would completely change the trajectory of the franchise. The trade was criticized by some, but Thorn knew Kidd was a winner.

In his first season with the team, Kidd improved the Nets' record by 26 wins and led the team to the first 50-win season in franchise history. He was edged out for the MVP award by Tim Duncan. However, some argued that Kidd was more deserving of the award due to his impact on the complete turnaround of the Nets.

Throughout the 2002 playoffs, Kidd continuously willed the Nets to victory. He carried the Nets in the fourth quarter and overtime in victories over Indiana and Boston. Amazingly, Kidd averaged a triple-double throughout the entire Eastern Conference finals, leading the Nets to their first-ever NBA Finals.

Kidd led the Nets back to the playoffs in 2003. The Nets would win 10-straight games as they swept the Celtics and Pistons on their way back to the finals. Kidd averaged 20.1 PPG, 8.2 APG, and 7.7 RPG throughout the playoffs.

The NBA may never see a player like Kidd again. He was a player who could dominate a game while scoring in single digits.

He finished his career second all-time in assists and steals. Kidd recorded an unbelievable 107 triple-doubles throughout his career, finishing third all-time behind Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson.

Kidd was never afraid of the moment. He did whatever it took to win, whether that was scoring, passing, rebounding, or playing defense.

Undoubtably his greatest attribute as a player was that he made those around him better. His basketball IQ allowed him to play the game in a way that got the most out of the skillset's of those around him.

Kidd's Nets teammates such as Kenyon Martin, Richard Jefferson, Kerry Kittles and Keith Van Horn looked like completely different players when he was on the floor. There would be a noticeable drop-off in their games once they were no longer alongside Kidd.

Kidd will be remembered as one of the greatest Nets to ever put on the uniform. He put the team on the map and created countless memories for those who had the pleasure of watching him play the game.

Nets fans will look back on Kidd's time with the franchise with a nostalgic smile on their faces. They will remember the ally-oops to Kenyon Martin, the no-look passes that left opposing players in awe, his orchestration of the fast break, his fadeaway game-winner in game 1 at the Palace, the sound of exhilarated New Jersey playoff crowds, and much more.

Kidd revitalized the Nets franchise and basketball as a whole. He played the game the way it was meant to be played and that is what he will be remembered for.

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