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Basketball

Jason Kidd: The Pure Point Guard

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With the announcement of Jason Kidd’s retirement this week, the NBA’s loses a 19- year veteran.  Leading the league five times in assists throughout his career, Jason Kidd is widely considered one of the best point guards of his time.  He was an incredible playmaker, a near-perfect passer, and had a great perimeter shot.

It seemed like when he was bringing the ball up he always knew what was the best method of attack.  Of course, on the other end of the court, Jason Kidd was given a position on the NBA’s first defensive team four times, and 5 times on the second team.  His speed helped him make steals and force countless fast breaks.  We could talk all day about the awards and recognition that Kidd has amassed throughout his NBA career.

However, with the retirement of this remarkable player poses an interesting issue for the NBA: how many pure point guards are left in the league.

The pure point guard focuses less on personal scoring and more on the best way for the team to score.  On defense, he does not focus all his attention on his man or zone, but ways to strip the ball from any opponent on the court.  Getting back to the issue, there are not too many pure point guards left in the league now that Jason Kidd is gone.

The majority of point guards have essentially become a “hybrid player”.

They do bring up the ball, but are usually just as focused as scoring themselves as the other four players, which may or may not be the best thing for the team in some cases.

images-2For example, Derrick Rose, though awarded the MVP award a few years back, is not a pure point guard.  He averages over 20 points a game, but is still considered one of the best at his position even though he does not play the “traditional” point guard style.  Other star point guards like him are Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving, and Russell Westbrook to name a few.  However, there are a few point guards left in the NBA that most often look to assist rather than score.  One point guard that still plays is Chris Paul.  Chris Paul has a great shot and the ability to drive to the rim, but he knows there is often a higher chance of the team to score if he were to run plays and make a pass to a higher percentage shot than having to start at the top of the arc and shoot on the perimeter or drive to the basket.  Also, Steve Nash is still in the league, who has played as a pure point guard his entire lengthy career.  Those are just a few pure point guards in the NBA, there are some more, but still, the majority is held by the scoring point guard, which seems to be more popular in the NBA today.

My question to you is… “What do you think works better for a team? A point guard that scores for his team or one that passes to his team”.  There are a lot of different answers to this question, but I think a point guard that  can make the right pass towards a higher percentage shot will help the team more than a point guard that may score a lot of point on paper but, at the same time, might yield a lower field goal percentage.

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