NBA fans of my generation have been treated to some of the greatest players ever. We’ve witnessed big men like Shaq and Hakeem, power forwards like Duncan and Garnett, the new age small forwards of Durant and LeBron, and arguably the two best shooting guards ever in Jordan and Kobe.
But point guard might be the deepest position where we’ve witnessed some greats. The likes of Gary Payton, John Stockton, Tim Hardaway, Tony Parker, Kevin Johnson, Mark Jackson, and even more recently in Chris Paul have played during our generation. However, it’s Jason Kidd and Steve Nash who have set the bar of greatness through the 90s and into the 2000s.
This brings up the question, whose career was better between the two?
First, let’s look at the career stats for each.
Jason Kidd – 1391 games, 17529 points, 12091 assists (2nd all-time), 8725 rebounds, 2684 steals, 40% FG, 34.9% 3PT, 78.5% FT
Steve Nash – 1202 games, 17285 points, 10249 assists (4th all-time), 3613 rebounds, 892 steals, 49.1% FG, 42.8% 3PT, 90.4% FT
First, take a moment to appreciate just how great these two are. Both are arguably top five all-time at their position while battling each other for the last 17 seasons. Since Nash joined the league in 1996-97, the two are 1-2 in assists, more than 2000 assists ahead of third place. Only eight times in those 17 years did neither Nash nor Kidd lead the league in assists.
Head to head, the two are nearly Nash nearly has 50-40-90 CAREER averages. Kidd tops that with the third most triple doubles in NBA history, behind only Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson. Where Nash has two MVP titles, Kidd thrice made it to the NBA Finals, winning a ring with Dallas in 2010-11. Nash was close on a couple occasions, making the conference finals in 2006 and in 2010, while also infamously losing out on possibly their best opportunity thanks to a Robert Horry hip-check (don’t worry Rob, Lakers fans still love you).
Both were great floor generals and exactly what you’d what from a starting point guard. Nash is famous for battling through injuries, as Lakers fans should know. On the other hand, Kidd took an inexperienced Nets squad to the Finals (which, again, Lakers fans will remember) and was one of the key pieces of the Mavs team that won a title (which Lakers fans wish they could forget).
Another common trait shared between the two are the Phoenix Suns. Kidd spent four and a half years with the Suns, averaging 14.7 points and 9.8 rebounds with the team. Nash spent far more of his career with the Suns, eight seasons in total. His best seasons came with the Suns, both individually and as a team. We’ve already discussed his team success, but his 16.3 points and 10.9 assists is impressive, but the fact he averaged 50-40-90 is even more impressive.
Speaking of which, Nash is the most prolific member of the 50-40-90 club. Of the 10 times this was accomplished, four of those came from Nash. Not only that, twice Nash missed the feat by mere percentage points.
In the end? It’s hard to determine. While Nash has better individual achievement and awards, Kidd is the better all-around player and has the ultimate goal of a player, a title.
What do you say Lakers nation? Tweet us here to let us know you’re thoughts.