There was a recent 48minutesofhell post about building titles around lead guards, and how they are difficult. I think this puts a new perspective on the entire Jason Kidd era.
Here's what it had to say about Jason Kidd:
The Jason Kidd conundrum
Because some point guards are more about intangibles than gaudy stats, a great way of evaluating these players is not by the statistics they accumulate but by the careers that they create. And few have made as many careers as Jason Kidd.
Did anyone reasonably believe that Kenyon Martin was worth anywhere near a max contract? Richard Jefferson? Keith Van Horn? Was Mikki Moore really a rotation player on a playoff contending team? A number of players owe their largest contracts to Jason Kidd.
Unfortunately for the New Jersey Nets, there is no easier way to throw your cap space down the drain than by overvaluing your own free agents. Especially when their stats are inflated by a great point guard.
It raises and interesting point. Could Jason Kidd's ability to make everyone around him better have been a bad thing?
It can conceivably bad in two regards: Value inflation, and masking flaws.
In terms of value inflation, Kidd made everyone who played with him better by constantly setting them up with easy looks. This gave them good stats, and ergo, seemingly deserving of a large contract, even though that might not be the reality of the situation. Something that immediately becomes apparent once they leave the team. This made it harder for us to retain our own free agents, or made it more expensive for us to do so.
In terms of masking flaws, Jason Kidd was able to make the team better. In fact, better than they really were. With his brilliance, he made our teams overachieve. He was able to mask our weaknesses by showing off our strengths. But he didn't remove the weaknesses. They were still there, we just couldn't see them against weaker teams. But once you run into a good team or in the playoffs, those weaknesses were exposed. Sure you could get by teams like first time playoff attendees the Toronto Raptors, but not the Miami Heat.
Looking back on those roster, it was somewhat amazing to see that they won as many games as they did. Look at these rosters:
2006-07: Hassan Adams, Josh Boone, Vince Carter, Jason Collins, Eddie House, Mile Ilic, Richard Jefferson, Jason Kidd, Nenad Krstic, Mikki Moore, Bostjan Nachbar, Bernard Robinson, Clifford Robinson, Marcus Williams, Antoine Wright
2005-06: Vince Carter, Jason Collins, Marc Jackson, Richard Jefferson, Linton Johnson, Jason Kidd, Nenad Krstic, Jeff McInnis, Lamond Murray, Bostjan Nachbar, Scott Padgett, Zoran Planinic, Clifford Robinson, John Thomas, Jacque Vaughn, Antoine Wright, Derrick Zimmerman
2004-05: Travis Best, Rodney Buford, Elden Campbell, Vince Carter, Jason Collins, Kaniel Dickens, Donnell Harvey, Richard Jefferson, Jason Kidd, Nenad Krstic, Ron Mercer, Jerome Moiso, Alonzo Mourning, Zoran Planinic, Clifford Robinson, Brian Scalabrine, Jabari Smith, Awvee Storee, Billy Thomas, Jacque Vaughn, Aaron Williams, Eric Williams
I don't think anyone realizes that these teams were basically a rag-tag team of journeymen and minimum salary vets.
Another potential problem of masking your flaws is making you think you're better than you really are. Do you really think these teams were 40 win teams? Would we still have not made a move for a guy like Jermaine O'Neal or Rasheed Wallace had we known how bad we really were up front? If not for Kidd's abilities to grab up to 8 rebounds a game, the frontcourt situation didn't seem as bad as it really was.
We were never able to reduce Kidd's minutes because we depended on him to win. Maybe that's the problem