Kenyon Martin puts Jason Kidd in the class of Magic and Stockton
After all of the trash talk between the Knicks and the Nets this offseason.. it’s almost strange to see someone from one team compliment the other. But, it looks like even the most bitter of trash talking enemies can say a nice thing or two every so often.
Knicks PF Kenyon Martin at one point helped Jason Kidd and the Nets get to the NBA Championship game in 2002, where they were swept by the Lakers. Now that Martin is a Knick and Kidd is the head coach of the Nets, the former first overall pick in 2000 has a few kind words for his former teammate and current rival.
“In my era or my day, or just period – me watching a lot of basketball and knowing a lot of basketball – J-Kidd’s in the top 3-4 point guards of all time,” Martin said Wednesday. “You have to say John Stockton, Magic, but he’s definitely in that class.
“Definitely the elite, great, first-ballot Hall of Fame point guards, you have to put him right up there. I think he’s earned it. Everything he gets, he’s earned.”
Martin has since played for the Denver Nuggets, Xinjiang Flying Tigers, and New York Knicks but hasn’t ever regained his all-star form he showed as a Net. On the other end of the coin, J-Kidd has turned in his jersey and sneakers for suits and clipboards by taking over coaching responsibilities for the Nets after stints in Dallas and with the Knicks when his Nets playing days were over. Even though they’re on seperate sides of the court now, it hasn’t killed the respect Martin has for Kidd.
“From Day 1, the day Kidd came in, our first team meeting he let us know what he expected from us as a team and as an organization,” Martin said. “He just changed the way guys would approach thing. My rookie year we won 26 games and him coming in my second year and we went to 52. That’s a testament right there.”
He now has faith that Kidd’s successful career on court will transfer to success as a head coach.
““He played as leading more by example, but if he sees something, with his knowledge, he incorporates it,” Martin said. “He wasn’t always the most vocal guy, but when he did say something you had to listen because you knew he knows what he’s talking about. Him being a head coach, I think it’s going to be a learning curve at first, but having Lawrence with him, having played under Lawrence, I think he’s going to be tremendous.”
Obviously, Kenyon Martin isn’t letting the Knicks/Nets rivalry cloud his judgement about just how legendary the 10x all-star really is. It’s always good to see good things coming out of fierce rivalries instead of just poison.
What do you think?
Will J-Kidd translate to a good head coach in the NBA?
Is Kenyon Martin right about Kidd’s legend status?