Many great things in life are fleeting — orgasms, kief highs, young Grant Hill, half the shows to ever air on Adult Swim.
For modern-day Knicks fans, almost all pleasures are fleeting. Perhaps no greater example was the 2012-13 Knicks season, an orgasmic blip on a 15-year stretch of basketball erectile dysfunction. Part of the Viagra that powered that season was Jason Kidd, playing in orange and blue for the last season of his brilliant 19-year career. Based mostly on the back of the other 18 years of his career, Kidd will today be enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, but that one season is probably the favorite of his career for more than a handful of Knicks fans.
Joe already waxed some beautiful nostalgia earlier, but here’s a few more favorite moments of the P&T staff from Kidd’s ’12-13 campaign:
I’ll remember three things about Jason Kidd’s time in New York.
1) For months, he couldn’t miss a three-pointer. Then, for months — LITERALLY MONTHS — he couldn’t hit one.
2) The year after Kidd retired, it was painful to see how much higher the degree of difficulty was for Carmelo Anthony to get the ball in spots where he could take advantage. Kidd was near the end of his powers as a Knick, but even so it was immediately apparent how easy it can be to underestimate the subtle skill of getting your teammates the ball in spots that maximize their abilities.
3) I lived right by where Kidd was arrested for DWI in 2012. That was weird. In a weird way.
There was plenty to like about Kidd during that 2012-13 season. The fact that he could still be an essential cog in an offense, even at his advanced age, was really remarkable to watch. He found everyone in their spots, and was really the only old guy on a team chock full of them to make it through the whole season (Kurt Thomas, Marcus Camby, Rasheed Wallace, etc. all had their moments, but also couldn’t stay healthy worth a damn).
Honestly, though, as much joy as the actual play on the court brought me, the one thing that I always remember about the solitary Kidd season on the Knicks is that one game where he wore a headband all funny to cover up/hold on a bandage covering a cut on his head caused by Lance Stephenson literally landing teeth-first on Kidd’s cranium:
Much like that 88-76 slog of a win against the Pacers, Kidd’s headband usage was disgusting, and yet somehow also beautiful. Carmelo Anthony, the undisputed King of Great Headband Wearing (regardless of what you think about anything else in regards to Melo, his headband game is always on point), a true warrior, managed to resist what I’m sure was a near-uncontrollable urge to straighten out Kidd’s cockeyed terry cloth head accessory.
Much like a pop-up indy art installation in Hell’s Kitchen that you maybe initially were all like “Eh, don’t really like it,” but went home and thought about and determined it was one of the greatest and most artistic things you’ve ever seen, Kidd’s asunder headband left a mark on me for its avant-garde distaste for symmetry. Really, I think we can all agree that Jason Kidd was the true harbinger of the current “dad style” fashion craze, just generally not giving a shit how stupid he looked, as long as it was comfortable to him.
Also much like a pop-up indy art installation, the lopsided headband only lasted one game, and was briefly replaced with a hockey helmet during warm-ups of the Knicks’ next game. But its impact will live on forever to me.
What I’ll remember most about Kidd’s year in New York is the resiliency, intelligence and leadership he brought to the table. For an organization which had been deficient in those qualities for years and has been since his departure that was invaluable in catapulting them to an unexpected 54-win season.
There were plenty of examples, but his performance against the Spurs in the 6th game of the season always stuck out. After a 5-0 start there was still a sense that the team was just on a flukey early season run and when they fell down 12 in San Antonio midway through the 4th it felt like the inevitable wake up call fans had been dreading.
Instead this happened.
Kidd hit back-to-back triples to cut the deficit down to four. Then after the Knicks had regained the lead, Kidd hit the dagger three to put them up five with just over a minute left. He scored nine of his 14 points on the night in the fourth and the Knicks got out to a 6-0 start.
Sure, they lost the very next game at Memphis, but the word was out, the Knicks were for real and Jason Kidd was as big a reason for that as anybody. \
What’s your favorite J-Kidd moment from 2012-13? Let us know down below!