NBA / Dec 1, 2009 / 11:00 am

Pound-for-pound crown: Allen Iverson vs. Jason Kidd

Jason Kidd

Legend is a term that shouldn’t be thrown around loosely, something we lose track of on every level of basketball these days. Raymond Lewis and Earl The Pearl? Playground legends. Go Get It and The Pharmacist? No. It’s not a knock on the latter two, but they’re just not at that level.

If you watched last night’s 76ers/Mavs game, you heard a lot of talk about one legend (Allen Iverson) while seeing another legend (Jason Kidd) put in work on the court. Kidd picked apart a weak Philly backcourt — one that needs Iverson — for 22 points, 11 dimes, six boards, four steals and three blocks.

At this stage in their careers, Kidd and Iverson are in two wildly different places. Kidd is QB’ing one of the better teams in the League and taking advantage of what might be his last chance at a championship, while A.I. is somewhere between semi-retirement and hoping to catch on with a squad headed for the Lottery, where he might be a starter.

Both are surefire Hall of Famers. Both are living legends in the game. Kidd and Iverson are obviously very different players as far as style, but pound-for-pound, who has had the overall better career?

In his 16th season, Kidd has career averages of 13.7 points, 9.2 assists, 6.7 rebounds and 2.0 steals. In 115 playoff games, he’s been good for 15.2 ppg, 8.9 apg, 7.4 rpg, and 1.9 spg. Kidd has played in two NBA Finals without a championship. He has nine All-Star appearances, a Rookie of the Year, nine All-Defensive Team nods, and six All-NBA nods. He ranks second in League history in assists, sixth in steals, ninth in three-pointers made, and 65th in rebounding as a point guard. He’s led the League in assists five times.

Iverson has 14 seasons in, averaging 27.0 points, 6.2 dimes, 3.7 boards and 2.2 steals. In 71 playoff games, he’s put up 29.7 ppg, 6.0 apg, 3.8 rpg and 2.0 spg. Iverson has been to one NBA Finals without a title. He has a league MVP, Rookie of the Year, 10 All-Star nods (with two All-Star MVPs) and seven All-NBA nods. He ranks 17th all-time in scoring, 12th in steals, 10th in free throws and 23rd in field goals, having led the League in scoring four times and in steals three times.

Those are the numbers. Throwing in whatever else you feel is relevant, who has had a better career?

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  • quest???

    Its hard. Its like comparing apples and oranges, it could go either way but i give it to iverson because he has accomplished a lot in less time than jason kidd

  • LakeShow84


    Iverson is one dimensional.. Look at Kidds game.. it has evolved with his age and knee surgeries.. Iversons game?? still a scorer who thinks he can lead a team and wont ACCEPT anything less.. and to each his own but Kidd has accepted his place and done what is neccessary to extend his career.. all AI has done is chop his braids..

    Plus throw in the 9 all defensive team nods and its a wrap for AI..

    Come on now.. lets get a CP3/Old school Jkidd comparison.. thats harder..

  • the R

    who would u want on your team ?…. that’s what I thought…
    gimme Jason all day.

  • Youngwood

    How about how many triple doubles Kidd has ? is that irrelevant?

  • http://bt.davka.info/ SparkyJ23

    JKidd cos he’s still got a career and if he was a free agent EVERY SINGLE TEAM would take him and be happy to have him.

    Plus top 10 beats top 20

  • F.L.A.S.H.

    kidd anyday, but respect for iverson for cultural changing influence

  • control

    “Who has had the better career”

    There is a major problem with that question when comparing these two individuals. One is STILL having a career, the other is done, finished, peace!

    I’d take the one who will do what it takes to make his team win, the one who makes people better. How many players have gotten PAID because of Jason Kidd? How many because of AI? Yeah, I’d take the POINT GUARD who makes my players better, because you know, that is a point guard’s job. Jason Kidd all the way, and that isn’t even open for discussion.

  • AdvancedMind

    Stop the madness, this is between Kidd and A.I?
    Ok lets see.
    Scoring: A.I in a landslide, but then again are PG’s suppose to score 27 a game?
    Passing: Kidd, in even a bigger landslide then A.I’s scoring over Kidds.
    Rebounding: I personally could careless about a guard being among the trees and trying to grab rebounds but i think the easy choice is Kidd.
    Defense: Really is it even a question who wins this. For the retards ill give you the answer, and its not the answer, its Kidd hands down.
    Chips: None between them but Kidd has went to 2 chip series with just as bad if not worse of a team then A.I’s chip series squad.
    Better at making players around him better: Kidd
    Seriously, unless the real question is, “WHO WOULD BE A BETTER AND 1 PLAYER” then hands down its Kidd.

  • AdvancedMind

    @ 6
    Yea much respect for f@cking up the culture of basketball, now every kid cuffs the ball on the crossover, and all 5’7 kids on the court thing they should be scoring while letting everone around them take care of there defensive assignment.

  • ali

    great question austin. similar to choosing between the big benz and a lamborghini. really depends on your taste. two of the certifiable all-time greats. i’d go with kidd.

  • Bron42 aka Had Springs before slamball

    @advancemind, did you really say a team with prime kmart and rjay were worse than iversons team of mckie and lynch? Lol

  • Taj

    Kidd by far has had the better career. He’s made players around him better. The most telling stat that wasnt mention on here was the amount of triple doubles either has had. That goes to show the impact J Kidd has on a game, not just the scoring column.

  • hahns

    im gona go with AI – you gota look at the historical perspective – ai CHANGED the game. how many if you guys posting wanted to play like AI on the playground? the whole scoring point guard mold was popularized by him and he looked real good doing it. kidd is/was a great player and one of the all time best, but at the end of the day he was just a great player that made others around him better – if we’re including stuff outside of the game in “career,” then its got to be iverson.

  • LakeShow84

    @ AdvancedMind #6

    Nah that was Jordan that made 1on1 scoring look so glamourous.. AI just ran with it.. and repped the hood while doing it..

  • BiG ShoT BoB

    When your number two in anything in history especially assist then theres not much else to say. But I may be biased seeing as I grew up in the bay and idolized J-Kidd and he is still my favorite player until this day.

  • life-p

    kidd…all dayy

  • scotsman

    considering AI shitted all over his career in the last two years i dont think there is any argument there…Kidd all the way.

    Looking at two points already made on here:

    -the amount of triple doubles JKidd has
    -the fact Kidd makes a lot of players better around him whereas at his peak all AI could do was carry them to some extent

  • http://heckler@aol.com Heckler

    we all love allen iverson; and probably for numerous reasons OUTSIDE of basketball. he was the whipping boy poster child for the ‘selfish’ athlete. and he withstood it all and still prospered.

    but on the court, jason kidd has had the better career. if allen iverson doesnt score, he is useless on the court. jason kidd however, can contribute in sooo many ways.

    kidd has had more playoff appearances too. and jason kidd SHOULD HAVE BEEN LEAGUE MVP IN 2002. the league gave it to timmy duncan only because reports were that kidd smacked up his wife that year just before voting time.

    kidd teams have had more 50 win seasons.

    love allen iverson, but jason kidd wins this one pretty easily.

  • Promoman

    Jason Kidd had the better career. Allen’s blessed with more athleticism (slightly) and scoring ability but Jason comes out ahead here. Allen Iverson’s attitude kept him from a title. Jason’s had some hiccups too, with the Toni Braxton & Byron Scott incidents but he improved every team he went to and is one of the best to never win an MVP. Iverson’s the most overrated MVP of this era. Barring Jordan’s 2nd run with the Bulls, if Jason played on the Philly teams that Iverson played on they’d have been Eastern Conference Title threats at least.

  • http://www.bouncemag.com 40 cal bouncemag.com

    Go get it and the pharmacist? Auston are you okay? Lol.

  • isotope

    The title said pound for pound, didnt it? Its not even an argument that AI is pound-for-pound better. How can you say AI is one dimensional when Kidd is an average scorer but a really good passer and rebounder. AI is an average passer but a real good scorer and causes turnovers defensively.

    Kidd is obviously a better teammate but he’s no saint either. But that isnt the question being asked. Some of the greatest were horrible teammates. Triple doubles are great but sometimes I wonder if it has a negative effect. I mean why should your PG be leading the team in rebounding? What does that say to your PF and Center. Are they thinking “I got the rebound dude. That’s my job. Let me do it”?

  • Dee

    JKidd hands down. Everybody has already made the point that Kidd is a better teammate, but no one mentioned the fact that JKidd is a solid defender (not a great one). The same never could be said for AI, he played D when he felt like it.

    And maybe I am bias because I’m from Oakland.

  • dmitry of jersey

    this is not a comparison between a benz vs lamborghini. it’s more like a Civic Si vs Lamborghini.

    Let’s see, AI is a small dude who scored a shitload of points. good job.

    Kidd dominated games from the PG position like NO ONE has done since Magic. if you watched those Nets finals teams you know what I mean. he made chauncey billups look like a fool, which is funny because after Big Shot was traded for AI, billups made AI look like a fool… do the math.

    considering Kidd has stayed relevant and is running one of the best teams this season while iverson is taking a dump while watching replays of his 12-29 FG games from the early 2000’s, I’d say Kidd has had the better career.

  • Dagomar

    Iverson was the better scorer. Kidd was the superior point guard. Ultimately I take Kidd, no question.

  • LakeShow84

    “How can you say AI is one dimensional when Kidd is an average scorer but a really good passer and rebounder”

    LMAO.. thats 3 dimensions for Kidd right there slick..

  • http://www.WhyCandaceWhySheldon.thatbastard.com Chicagorilla

    Jkidd. I’ve posted all my reasons to why I hate AI’s use of his talents. JKidd is the ultimate team player.

    For the person who questioned why you want your Pg to rebound… well if Kidd is boarding, that allows gile/quick Bigs to get out and run the break. Kidd on team USA should have answered all of your questions. Remember Team USa with AI and Starbury as the backcourt? Then think about what Kidd just did in the summer of 08 with Lebron, Melo, Wade running the wings and D12 holding down the middle…. it was a think of beauty to any basketball mind. after the 08 summer, Clevland should have been trying to steal Kidd from NJ. But they are too stupid to do anything like that.

  • Taj

    HAHA.. Lakeshow, I was thinking the same thing when I read that!!

    I dont even think this comparison is fair. I love AI’s tenacity and the fact that he played hurt and could score etc. But Kidd a team with Kidd at the helm has historically done better than a team with AI at the helm! Nuff said!

  • AdvancedMind

    @ Lakeshow
    Serious? While keeping it hood huh?
    Where from the mean streets of VA?
    Yes Jordans one on one, the same Jordan who averaged 8 assists a game and 8 rebounds in a season, and made everybody around him look like allstars while winning hmmmm, 6 chips.

  • SayItAintSo

    Jason Kidd

  • Yes Sir

    @ ISOTOPE(21)

    Are they thinking “I got the rebound dude. That’s my job. Let me do it”?

    Are you stupid? he didnt crowd the lanes to get his rebounds, his superior court vision made him land in places where he got rebounds! understand the game first, have you ever seen any of Kidd’s games int he earlier part of this decade?

  • AdvancedMind

    Im sorry K mart in his prime? When the f@ck did K mart have a prime? O when Kidd basically created a prime for him. LOL @ RJ, How was he effective on the court? O when Kidd created his Offense for him, by running the court for open lay-ups and alley-opps. Point being is that Kidd made those players who they were. A.I never gave anybody else a chance, he ran Stackhouse away, the same player who put up 29 a game, Derrick Coleman, Chris Webber, older but still produced the year prior to them joining the 76ers.

  • Big V

    J-Kidd is 6’4 and weighs 210. Iverson is 6’0 and weighs about 175.

    So, pound for pound, Iverson > Kidd.

  • isotope

    @ LakeShow. You should pursue a career in journalism because you do a good job of picking one line from a comment and ignore whats said next. If you take my comments about JKidd to mean he’s 3 dimensional then you should take my next comment about AI to mean the same for him.

    Again, this isnt an argument for best player or best career or even best point guard. Its for best pound for pound. Last I checked Kidd has quite a few pounds on AI. Would Kidd be as good a rebounder if he was Iverson’s height?

  • isotope

    @ Yes Sir. LOL. Yes I’ve seen the games. No he’s not crowding the lanes but he is going for the rebounds. I dont know about you but i’ll be a lil embarassed as a PF/C if my PG is getting more rebounds than me. He’s definitely not wrong in getting the rebounds. He’s good at it so he might as well do it since the other guys arent and the opposing PGs arent boxing him out. Again, i’m not saying Kidd is a scrub. I’m not even saying he’s not a better player than Iverson. He edges AI out as a better all around player. But we’re talking pound for pound.

  • LakeShow84


    @ DIME

    Next time just say who has had a better career.. Boxing pundits are taking the pound for pound title too seriously lol


    AI IS NOT A GOOD ON BALL DEFENDER.. and Jason Kidd was a WAY BETTER DEFENDER PERIOD.. And as far as the “dimensional” talk go.. bottom line is if AI has a bad shooting day (which is what 50/50 nowadays) he becomes a major DETRIMENT to the team because he’ll STILL go for his shot..

    If Jkidd aint scoring he’ll ease off the pedal and dish the rock and if he isnt dishing then he is rebounding.. see what i mean??

    Iverson is a player who has to outscore his opposing position to justify his court time.. An announcer was saying, and i forgot who, but he brought up that Ron Artest is probably 1/5 people who can score 20 and keep his opposing player from SCORING 20.. Jkidd used to be able to do that..

    AI?? never.. jumping passing lanes doesnt impress me.. thats why when CP3 was being considered for DPOY it was a joke..

  • LakeShow84

    And ur trippin if ur thinking PF/C’s would have a problem with their floor leader getting boards.. well SMART, team oriented PF/C’s that is lol

  • LakeShow84

    @ AdvancedMIND

    see dont get it twisted! i didnt say nothing about Jordan’s #’s but he made the fadeaway and takin over games with game winners and so on more appealing to youngsters who want their own gusto nowadays..

    Bird and Magic made team basketball what it was.. Jordan made individualism what it was in basketball.. Thats why u have Kobes and Dwades and 6-10, 270 lbs SF desperately trying to learn a perimeter game.. shit look at how many Center’s have 3balls.. WTF is that about??

  • kevin k

    I agree with Big V
    “J-Kidd is 6′4 and weighs 210. Iverson is 6′0 and weighs about 175.

    So, pound for pound, Iverson > Kidd.”


    But seriously, with all these haters in Dime with their peripheral visions, look at it this way.

    In the league, there will always be a Jason Kidd type of a player. Magic, Stockton, Kidd, D-Will, and more, a pass 1st PG with exceptional high IQ. BUT, there will never be a player like AI. what he did on the court can’t be and will never be duplicated. He dominated the league when you couldn’t hand check, couldn’t play zone D, had illegal D, and was much more physical. There will never be another 5’11 player like AI.

    Also JKidd was one of the biggest Divas when he was with Phoenix and the Nets so quit trippin about how he’s the ultimate team player and that nonsense. He got his coaches fired just as much as AI. Freaking 08 team would have won the Gold Medal if it was me in the team instead of Kidd. Kidd, Boozer, and Redd were worthless and useless. he’s also a wife-beater.

    but Kidd > AI in career

  • Big V

    Seriously, take your pick. They’ve both had about as great a career as you can have without winning a chip. They’re both HOFers and in the record books (for scoring and assists, respectively).

    For me, I’m going to go with Iverson just because of how prolific a scorer he was despite his physical limitations. Yes, he had blinding speed, but he was able to continue putting up monster numbers as he got older and slower.

    I certainly have no argument with anyone picking Kidd here either. They’re both first ballot HOFers.

  • Dmouw

    When comparing Iverson to Kidd it’s a joke… At one point A.I. was the NBA. A man 6 foot nothing, 165 lbs… you and I the average person dominating. The man’s one dimensional, but yet he’s number 10 in steals. He’s one of the highest scorers ever and yet he dropped 16 dimes in a critical game against Milwaukee in the eastern conference finals… A Milwaukee team that was far more talented then Philly. He also played the 2 guard not 1, another words he played guys much taller and bigger and whooped em’. Kidd is great but all he can do is facilitate. He won’t take over the game for you, and he was never in the position as the number one most dominate player. Whether you view as a joke or not A.I. was the best player in 2001 and if you debate that your nuts.

    Stupid argument, different players anyways. A true point and one of the greatest scorers ever college or pro… and if you hate for Iverson’s selfishness to retire u try being a superstar your entire life… NOT CAREER, LIFE! and then come off the bench. Jordan wouldn’t do it at 40, why would A.I. at 34???

  • dmitry of jersey


    Dude that’s plain ignorant. Kidd took over games several years in a row, was runner up MVP to Shaq in 2003 i believe, and took a team that had Jason Fuckin Collins as its center to the NBA finals not once but twice. He took over games , believe me, and he did it without scoring 40 points or jacking 20+ shots, which is even more impressive.

  • LakeShow84

    “At one point A.I. was the NBA”

    Yeah those were the down years lol

  • Yes Sir


    Kidd didnt take over games? He did that year after year for the nets for 6 years, so much so that he took them to two nba finals.

  • RobertGingerbreadman

    Okay Yall Sayin Kidd but On Some Real Shit Allen Is Just The Best At What He Does.Jason Kidd Okay Triple Doubles So What It Ain’t Helped His Team Out One Bit This Nigga Just Helping His Stats Out.And Who Cares About The 2 NBA Finals Apperances In Each One He Got His Ass Merked,But If I Wanted To Start A Team Right Now I Would Pick Allen Iverson.

  • Hmmmm

    Ummm, Kidd averaged a triple double in the series against Boston the year the Nets made the Finals. ThinK that might have helped a wee bit

  • D

    Allen Iverson has had the better career!!!

  • Kyle

    Wow, this is a hilarious comparison. Kidd is easily a better player.

    If you did a survey of the every basketball player from the past 20 years, and asked would you rather play with Jason Kidd or Allen Iverson. Not one player would choose Iverson.

    Kidd, who’s a walking triple-double, is a high IQ basketball player and one of the top 4 point guards to play this game. He’s also made 9 All-Defensive teams.

    Iverson was basically run out of the league, because he’s a selfish point guard.

    Fun facts:

    Kidd – 35% 3 point shooter, shoots 78.2% from the line
    A.I. – 31% 3 point shooter, shoots 78.0% ———line

    Kidd averages 3.1 turnovers a game, but 9.2 assists.
    The Answer averaged 3.6 turnovers, and 6.2 assists/game.

    Kidd has 472 double doubles, 104 triple doubles. Iverson has only 134 double doubles! Kidd might end up with more triple doubles than Iverson has double doubles. What a point guard Iverson was!

  • Alaskanballa

    This one is really easy to get…..Kidd all the way.

    Iverson is a better scorer but also takes MANY more shots….after that Kidd is and always has been better in EVERY OTHER FACET of the game

    Iverson is a thug/punk……..no respect for anyone outside of himself….I bet he was a nightmare to coach with his indignant attitude and street thug approach to life……….Kidd has been a true leader and competitor from day 1 in this league.