Before the Atlanta game gets too far in our rear-view mirror, I wanted to make sure we spend a moment realizing the rarity of Jason Kidd's performance.
To me, Jason Kidd's play in 2009-10 is the single greatest reason why the Mavericks are appearing to be ready to tangle with the Western powers in these playoffs. Sure, the trade is key and Dirk is Dirk, but Jason Kidd has taken over this team and is running them in the right direction - full speed ahead.
They have a certain composure and direction that I have not seen previously, and I think Kidd is a determined player right now making a serious run at things.
Anyway, from a standpoint of legendary performances in the 4th Quarter, I will not soon forget the 4th in Atlanta that Kidd turned out and seemed to will the Mavericks to an unlikely OT victory over the Hawks. The game will likely be remembered for Kidd's smart drawing of a technical foul with Mike Woodson , but let's not forget the full body of work.
19 points, 16 rebounds, 17 assists is a triple double that is extremely rare, eclipsing the 15/15/15 barrier.
So, I became quite determined to find out how rare it really was, and thanks to Sarah Melton and the Mavs/NBA stats people, here is what I have for you:
Here are all of them from the last 30 seasons:
19-16-17 Kidd, Jason DAL 02/26/2010 DAL 111 @ ATL 103
21-16-16 Kidd, Jason DAL 01/30/1996 LAC 101 @ DAL 105
24-17-17 Johnson, Magic LAL 04/18/1989 DEN 118 @ LAL 142
20-17-15 Johnson, Magic LAL 04/01/1989 LAL 108 @ DEN 114
30-17-15 Bird, Larry BOS 04/01/1987 WAS 86 @ BOS 103
28-19-15 Bird, Larry BOS 01/13/1982 ATL 95 @ BOS 116
33-15-17 Johnson, Magic LA 03/29/1981 DEN 148 @ LA 146
27-15-19 Richardson, Micheal NY 03/21/1981 CLE 105 @ NY 119
15-16-16 Richardson, Micheal NY 03/13/1980 IND 107 @ NY 100
Most 15-15-15's ever:
Oscar Robertson 14
Wilt Chamberlain 8
Magic Johnson 3
Larry Bird 2
Jason Kidd 2
Micheal Richardson 2
To see more about NBA Triple Doubles Wikipedia has a pretty good page on it ...
So, it appears - at least back to 1980 when NBA record-keeping improved dramatically - that we have never seen a 20/20/20 game.
It also appears that the 14 year distance between Kidd's 2 15/15/15 performances is borderline insane. And, look at the company he keeps on that list of guys who have done it! Oscar, Wilt, Magic, Larry, and Michael Ray Richardson - who might have been unreal if it wasn't for cocaine and all. Pretty amazing company from a player that is a living legend and had to be seen to be appreciated fully.
Here are a few pieces of email regarding Kidd and the controversial trade that brought him here 2 years ago:
that 4th quarter by Jason Kidd last night was maybe the best regular season performance ever by a maverick. Not only was it physically dominant with damn near a double-triple double and a bunch of critical 3s, but it was as mentally "hard" as we've ever seen a maverick be, in my opinion. On the road, against a very good Eastern conference team Kidd really did refuse to let his team lose. And if all that wasn't enough, then Kidd physically punks and mentally hoodwinks the opposing head coach! Dude, when that happened you just knew the Hawks were done. Atlanta got outcoached by the opposing point guard... how do you come back from that?
Just outstanding. I loved it. I'll never decry the loss of Devin Harris again. Harris will never be able to do what Kidd did last night.
If you swapped Jason Kidd with Devin Harris, the Nets have more than 6 wins. Kidd makes others around him better. He makes the game easier for his teammates. A HUGE part of the Mavs success since the trade is having a basketball savant like Kidd running the offense for new comers.
Devin Harris has never been a good facilitator. He’s more in the mold of a Steve Francis or Stephon Marbury. Only far less of a prick. However, I think Francis and Marbury were much better at setting up their teammates, despite their selfishness. People like to bring up Harris in the 2006 playoffs, but aside of the 2 great games against the Spurs, he didn’t do anything in the 1st round. He didn’t do much against Phoenix and really didn’t do much against Miami. People like to talk about Harris’ defense, but wake me up when he (or any PG for that matter) can stop guys like Deron Williams, Chris Paul, a healthy Baron Davis, etc.
The fact that Dirk wanted Harris gone was enough for me. I more so didn’t like giving up the 1st round trade assets, but when you look at the Mavs history of drafting players, Josh Howard was a no brainer pick at the end of the draft. Other teams stayed away from him because of his questionable IQ. The Mavs picked guys like Nick Fazekas over Big Baby. They drafted Maurice Ager who is nothing more than a D-leaguer pretending to be an NBA player.
If you read this blog and/or listen to our show, you know that I loved the trade when it happened, hated the trade when it appeared it failed miserably (Hornets series and the 2008 summer of Josh), loved it again last spring, wasn't sure about a 3-year extension, and now marvel at the Kidd 2010. I can comfortably say that although we could debate whether Steve Nash would have made the most sense to be the Mavs point guard the last 6 seasons, surely most now realize that Devin Harris is ordinary and Jason Kidd extraordinary. Kidd, even at this advanced age, has the Mavs looking very formidable - and I just don't believe they would be in this position without an amazing PG facilitating the whole thing.