NBA / Apr 19, 2010 / 4:56 pm

Jason Kidd: Best PG of the last 20 years?

Jason Kidd, Dime #40

Welcome to the “extreme” era of sports media. Thanks to an increasing number of outlets having to fight for an decreasing attention span of the audience, we’re not getting an overabundance of extreme arguments: Everything is “the best” or “the worst,” a smash hit or a bust, an all-time epic or an utter disaster. The point is, say something that makes people listen to you and put down the remote or chill on the left-click.

Charles Barkley is good for throwing out those extreme statements. During last night’s Spurs/Mavs highlight, Barkley blurted out, “He’s the best point guard of the last 20 years” in regards to Jason Kidd. The guys in the studio immediately jumped on him for ranking Kidd ahead of John Stockton, and when Barkley didn’t really have a response, it gave me the idea that this was just another of those random extreme statements intended to cause debate. (And it’s not that Barkley was totally off-base. I’d probably have Kidd #1 in the post-Magic/Isiah era, too. But I wonder how much Chuck thought about it before he said it.)

Well, it worked. Going back to 1990 — at the tail end of Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas‘ careers, so let’s make it interesting and exclude them from this group — where does Kidd rank among NBA point guards?

You’ve got Stockton, Gary Payton, Kevin Johnson, Mark Price, Tim Hardaway, Penny Hardaway, Muggsy Bogues, Mark Jackson, Nick Van Exel, Mookie Blaylock, Terrell Brandon, Allen Iverson (if you consider him a PG), Steve Nash, Stephon Marbury, Rod Strickland, Sam Cassell, Baron Davis, Gilbert Arenas, Andre Miller, Chauncey Billups, Deron Williams, Tony Parker, Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook and the new rookie class of ’09-10, featuring Tyreke Evans, Brandon Jennings and Stephen Curry.

Where does Kidd fit in? Is he really the best PG of the last two decades? Who makes up your Top 10?

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  • Bizz

    Kidd has the #’s and the credentials to go toe to toe with Stockton, he also never had a Malone all his life to feed. He made names out of K-Mart, Kerry Kittles and RJ to name a few and also has some All-NBA first team awards as well.

    But when you’re making the argument of top PGs over the last 20 years, please remove:

    Mark Price, Tim Hardaway, Penny Hardaway, Muggsy Bogues, Mark Jackson, Nick Van Exel, Mookie Blaylock, Terrell Brandon, Allen Iverson (if you consider him a PG), Stephon Marbury, Rod Strickland, Baron Davis, Gilbert Arenas, Andre Miller, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook and the new rookie class of ’09-10, featuring Tyreke Evans, Brandon Jennings and Stephen Curry.

    They either have done nothing, or have done nothing yet that have made them worthy of being in this argument.

  • Bizz

    In regards to AI, I left his name there because he was basically a 2 guard.

  • Antouan

    Top 10

    1 Stockton
    2 Kidd
    3 Payton
    4 Nash
    5 March Jackson
    6 Chris Paul
    7 Penny Hardaway
    8 Mark Price
    9 Allen Iverson
    10 Deron Williams

    I only rank AI low because he’s more of a scorer than a true PG and i choose not to put in any news guys because they simply havent put in enough work yet

  • w

    IMO he’s the best of the last twenty years… But it could go either way with him and Stockton, I give it to Kidd becasue of his size

  • the cynic

    Kidd is either 1 or 2, not sure if you can even make a sound argument for him being any lower


    Jason “Wife-Beater” Kidd is a arguably the best PG of his time. I love every aspects of his game but his weakness is his stroke!

  • F.L.A.S.H.

    @ bruce: he’s the best three point shooter %wise on his team

  • F.L.A.S.H.

    @ bruce: he’s the best three point shooter %wise on his team

  • ERIC

    1. Kidd
    2. Stockton
    3. Nash
    4. Payton
    5. Billups
    6. Tim Hardaway
    7. Penny Hardaway
    8. Chris Paul
    9. Deron Williams
    10. Tony Parker

  • Ballin 305

    If we r talking about taking them in their primes I would have to go
    1. Payton
    2. Kidd
    3. Stockton

    Payton in his prime defensively would eat steve Nash and sh!t him out the other side

  • chris r

    below stockton and nash because to be the best you have to know how to.. you know, shoot?

  • Dave

    you don’t rank a guy’s career on his size, that’s how you draft them. you rank guys on what they accomplished and Kidd deserves to be up there but Stockton was the best pg in history, other than Magic of course.

  • Celts Fan

    @Chris – ball’s played on 2 ends. To be the best, you also need to… you know… know how to defend. So my top 4 is:

    1. Stockton
    2. Kidd
    3. Payton
    4. Nash

  • Celts Fan

    @Dave – you’re forgetting the Big O, but it’s Stockton after that…

  • sh!tfaced

    Barkley couldn’t respond because he always said John Stockton was among his top 5 favorite players of all time.

    And no Rondo up there. We know someone who’ll be happy to see Rajon isn’t listed up there… lol

    Kidd and Stockton at 1 and/or 2. Can’t go wrong with that. With Nash a close 3rd. Number 4 onwards will most likely be different from each other’s lists…

  • Reggie

    1. Stockton
    2. Nash
    3. Kidd

  • Reggie

    You’ve gotta remember Stockton was a much, much better shooter than Kidd…

    Hands down..

  • chris r

    celts fan

    you’re absolutely right, that still leaves stockton at the top, and i’d still put nash over peyton.

  • Sanssasin

    Kidd ahead of Stockton!!?? Really!!??


    You could argue about Kidd being 3rd maybe… maybe 2nd but any higher than Stockton and you just looking like a fool! Guy has averaged over 10 assists only 3 times! His highest ppg is 16.9 points.

    Kidd’s best year stat wise (98-99):
    16.9 ppg 10.8 apg 6.4 rpg 2.30 spg 3.0 to’s 44.4% fg 36.6% 3-pt 41.2 mpg

    Stockton’s best year in the last 20 (90-91):
    17.2 ppg 14.2 apg 2.9 rpg 2.85 spg 3.6 to’s 50.7% fg 34.5% 3-pt 37.8 mpg

  • Mo

    Has Kidd even ever been MVP or MVP runner up? Honestly I don’t know where the heck I’d rank him. He’s certainly not THE best of the last 2 decades. Not THE Best. Good, but the THE best. If Barkley said he is, then he must have Alzheimers or something. LOL!

  • sh!tfaced

    @19 About the assists…

    Stockton had a Mailman to dish the dopey dimes to, that’s at least plus 2 or 3 assists a game…

    Kidd had K-Mart, RJ, Aaron Williams, Mutombo, Krstic, Kittles, Mikki Moore, etc, most of them had their games downgraded when they didn’t have Kidd as their teammate.

  • loons

    It’s really Kidd and Stockton sharing the top spot right now. But the way he’s still chugging along at his age and not showing any signs of wear from microfracture surgery, he will probably finish his career as top 2 or 3 PG of all time.

    @Mo…Kidd was shafted out of the MVP in 2002 to Tim Duncan. That was the year the Nets went from 26 wins to 52 and the Finals. Steve Nash can probably thank Kidd for his two MVPs because of that travesty.

  • CTP

    Dime. Did you really even post this? HOW ON EARTH COULD YOU EVEN ENTERTAIN THIS!?

    Name one category Kidd had on Stockton?

    Shooting? Hell no.
    Passing? Hell no. Look at stocktons assists numbers.
    Defense? Who’s the all time steals leader? Oh yeah, Stockton.

    Rebounding is in Kidds favor, but I don’t need a rebounding pg for hell sakes.

    I am obviously annoyed that supposed basketball wizards in Dime would even entertain this.

    And if you think Kidd is better than Stockton you are clearly a moron who watches zero basketball.

    Charles Barkley made an ass of himself.

  • Are You Serious

    @ whoever is up top…
    “REMOVE MARK JACKSON” Do you not know who he is? Are you completely unaware of the All-Time Assist leaders ranking in the history of the NBA?

    Remove Mark Jackson, Boi Please!

    For Everyone, the question you should ask yourself (In an extreme listing) is ‘If he is not number 1 what must he do to get there AND what have the people ahead of him done to be ranked ahead?

    1) Stockton – How many years did he play at a high level and how many games did he miss during that time?
    2) Kidd – Just for understanding the game, the guy with the ball in his hands can always score, HE ALWAYS FOUND A WAY TO PUT THE BALL IN THE SCORERS HANDS.

  • stillanetsfan

    1. Stockton
    2. Kidd
    3. Jackson
    4. Nash
    5. Payton
    6. T Hardaway
    7. Paul
    8. Price
    9. Johnson
    10. Billups
    Considered kidd ahead of Stockton since he did make mikki moore into a legitimate starting center for a year (Come on)

  • vince

    look at these kids rank nash ahead of the glove. cute.

  • Bizz

    @24 Hell yea I said remove Mark Jackson. This is not a debate on the best assist totals of all time. This is greatest PG OF ALL TIME…and Mark Jackson is nowhere near a Jason Kidd in this type of argument much less a John Stockton. You name your choice of Mark Jackson as the top PG of the last 20 years, and see how much of a backlash you get. Dumbass.

    Mark Jackson:
    Career highlights and awards
    1987-88 NBA Rookie of the Year
    1989 NBA All-Star

    THAT’S IT. Where in the hell does that even measure to CP3’s accomplishments much less J-Kidd? Yes, Mark Jackson played for about 17-18 seasons…but he has 10,334 over that span and his assists per game wouldn’t even be @ 8 per game, while Kidd’s is over 9.

    Jason Kidd:
    NBA co-Rookie of the Year (1995)
    10× NBA All-Star (1996, 1998, 2000-2004, 2007-2008, 2010)
    5× All-NBA First Team (1999-2002, 2004)
    All-NBA Second Team (2003)
    4× All-Defensive First Team (1999, 2001-2002, 2006)
    5× All-Defensive Second Team (2000, 2003-2005, 2007)
    NBA All-Rookie First Team (1995)

    Remove yourself from this argument and go play in traffic.

  • nate

    1: Stockton
    2: Kidd
    3: Nash
    4: Payton

  • Are You Serious

    @ bizz
    Fine he doesn’t have and endless trophy case of awards like other players in the league. So be it. If a student has a 3.659 GPA however is not valedictorian does that diminish that students accomplishment?

    Yes he played 17 years 15 being relevant and in those 15 he averaged a little over 8 assists per game. I agree with taking a majority of guys listed out of the conversation but to simply dismiss a guy for not being recognized is blatant disrespect. Other PG listed have a legit claim of being removed from the topic due to injury or lack of years played.

    If you were a GM and you could pick a guard who can give you 8 assists a game for the next 15 years, knew how to run an offense, and was durable would you pass on that guy? This season only 7 pg’s averaged 8 or more a game, 5 of which are in the playoffs. Stockton and Jackson both stayed healthy. Since the point guard is the most important position what good is he in street clothes?

  • Are You Serious

    And I’m still playin frogger

  • Gerard

    Parker + Cassell = more rings than the rest of the list combined

  • Ian

    payton wouldnt shut down nash he would prob drop 40 on him but so can nash.


    bubble cassell

    shit man u said malone helped stockton to 2 or 3 more assists per game?? i think its easier to run and throw alley oops to kmart and jefferson. stock didnt have it eastier getting assists from a jump shooting overrated pf.

    so let me get this straight nj won 6 fewer games when the east was the worst thing ever than san antonio. kidd avged 14 and 9 with an amazin 39% fgp a slightly worse season than the year before and duncan robbed him??? goh with that bs. everytime a player switches teams and does the same crap he always did people want to mention him as mvp. pleaseee that was duncans best season easy.

  • Are You Serious

    Lets say Kidd gets a ring? would he then leap frog Stockton as the top PG in the last 20 years?

  • Bizz

    I wouldn’t pass on Mark Jackson as a player. I agree with you on that. We’re seeing guys like Jose Calderon stink it up after having 1 good year of assists, so a guy of Mark Jackson’s career as a PG I’m not undervaluing, because it’s almost impossible in this day and age to average 7+ assists for your career as a PG and not be among the Kidds and Stocktons for over 17 seasons. But we’re making a very large reach here in trying to have a debate between the greatest PGs of the last 20 years and thinking Mark Jackson is in this discussion. Realistically it’s a 4 player argument: Kidd, Stockton, Payton and Nash (in no particular order) and in the realm of what we’re debating, which is the greatness of a PG, we can name off the Magics, the Isiahs, the Oscar Robertsons, Kidds, Stocktons and Paytons of the world…Mark Jackson does not enter that list. He’s probably on the 2nd tier to be fair and pushing it, but he’s not in that upper tier. My dismissing of all the other pgs I named was because it’s irrelevant to even consider those guys due to the things that you stated, whether it was duration of career or injuries, has nothing to do with what they’ve accomplished, but rather what they’ve accomplished in relation to the top names and what they’ve accomplished. Tim Hardaway has nearly 16000 pts and over 7000 assists, but we’re not gonna put the names of Tim Hardaway next to John Stockton on an Excel spreadsheet, much in an argument on top PGs. I guess I missed the question about who’s in the top 10…And in that case, Mark Jackson definitely makes the top 10. I merely was looking at who Dime nominated as top PGs of the last 20 years, and asked where do I put Jason Kidd in that list, I put him above basically all names except for Stockton, and that one is debatable. Sorry for the confusion.

  • Are You Serious

    *Shook Hands* Good Game

  • K Dizzle

    @ Ian – I am so tired of that JKidd “shoulda won the mvp cuz he took the nets to the finals” crap. Next time somebody even thinks about postin that junk, please go to wikipedia and read the facts and stop postin what you think you know. Duncan earned his mvps, Nash earned his. MVP can usually go to 2-3 guys every year. They all deserve it. NOBODY gets robbed.

    Now, back to the regularly scheduled program:

    At number one, I leave Stockton due to his longevity and alltime #1 in assists, steals, and shootin 50% as a point guard, which is just ridiculos.

    At number 2, I’m repostin Wikipedia on my favorite point guard, Oakland’s Finest:
    Gary Dwayne Payton (born July 23, 1968) is a retired American professional basketball player. He is best known for his 13-year tenure with the Seattle SuperSonics, and holds Seattle franchise records in points, assists, and steals. He has also played with the Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics and Miami Heat, the last with whom he won his only NBA Championship.

    The only point guard EVER to win the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award, Payton is widely considered one of the greatest of all time at that position.[1][2] He was selected to the NBA All-Defensive First Team nine times, an NBA record he shares with Michael Jordan. His tenacious defense also earned him the nickname “The Glove”. As the story goes, Payton’s cousin called him during the 1993 Western Conference Finals series against Phoenix and told him, “you’re holding Kevin Johnson like a baseball in a glove,” and the nickname was born.[3]

    Considered the “NBA’s reigning high scorer among point guards” in his prime,[4] Payton is referred to as “probably as complete a guard as there ever was”[5] by NBA Hall of Famer Gail Goodrich.

    JKidd is nice, but who y’all think Kidd learned from?
    Out in Cali, we know GP used to murder JKidd out in Mosswood. I the l, all those passes Kidd been makin, Gary already done. Alleyoops, off the glass, whatever you want. GP served it up. The original low post scorin point guard. GP was a double edged sword. Put 30 on you on one end, and shut u down on the other while fillin your ears full of s**t… In their primes, Payton murders EVERY OTHER point guard on the list…but Stock’s number 1 cuz he did it real good for a long, long time.

    That is all.

  • i am a witness


  • Tom

    In terms of his total body of work, Kidd is the best PG since Magic.

    And don’t put Isaiah in the same sentence as Magic, unless it’s to say he wasn’t even close. Isaiah was an over-rated jacker. Magic was the best PG of the modern era.

  • AZ

    YES SIR…agreed

  • AZ

    agee wit the GP part.

  • RC

    Stat wise I would say yes. But we also got John Stockton who got his team to the playoffs pretty much every year and twice in the finals. We got Tony Parker who won 3 rings and a finals MVP. We got Steve Nash 2 time MVP and leads the league in assist more than couple of times. We got the glove who has the same all around game as Kidd more defense and Offense maybe a little less passing. And of course Chauncey Billups got a ring, finals MVP, been to the conference finals so many times.

    It’s a tough call.

  • Promoman

    Kidd has an argument but I’d have to go with John Stockton.

  • robmo35

    I’ve got to ask, in the grand scheme of things who cares who the best point guard of the last 20 years is? Has the topped ranked point in the league for the past 20 years won a ring? No. Every team values the position, but pg is not going to win you a title if that player is going to be your go to guy. What about the best 2s or 3s, without questions the 5s. These are the players that determine end of year winner and losers

  • Celts Fan

    @K Dizzle – Preach on. I loved the Glove when I was coming up. Hell, I still have my Celtics GP jersey! I still think I’d take Kidd’s career, but GP is one of the most underrated guys in the history of the league and clearly a top 5-7 PG ever. Some of these youngsters got Nash over him like you only play one end of the floor. SMFH…

  • robmo35

    If you want my list it is
    1. Kidd
    2. Stockton
    3. Nash
    4. Harper
    5. Paul
    6. Strickland
    7. Deron Williams
    8. Cassell
    9. Billups
    10. Jason Williams

  • robmo35

    Forgot Tony Parker

  • Mark

    K Dizzle: Duncan himself said, “I’m not going to give [the MVP trophy] back… but if someone else won it, I wouldn’t dispute it.”

    Character aside, the statement is implicative that had Kidd won (really the only other player in contention, aside from Shaq), it would have been deserved as well. Incorrect verb usage or not, you can wikipedia yourself to see how good Kidd was that year. It’s very much debatable.

  • Ian

    of course duncan was going to say that mark. you think he was gonna break out and say what he was really thinkin?? better record td , better stats td, tougher conference td. kidd only got consideration like i said because he was the new allstar on a new team. of course he wasnt going to dispute it like dizzle said every season 2-3 guys could win it kidd was one that season but he wasnt robbed he wasnt the frontrunner.

  • Ernesto

    I’d frame the argument this way…

    It’s 1990. You get to pick one PG for the next twenty years. You can have Stockton, but you’ll only have him at his peak for the first ten. Same with Payton. Nash you get for the last ten. In this context, you probably have to go with Kidd, because the question is about longevity as much as ability.

  • K

    If we counting AI as a 1 it’s


  • johnsacrimoni

    Some really ignorant comments here. Yes Kidd is arguably the best point guard of the last 20 years, it’s between him and Stockton. Anyone who has ever watched a basketball game knows there is so much to Kidd’s game that never shows up in the box score. I consider the Big O to be a shooting guard, to that end it is definitely Magic number one, Isiah and Stockton after him, and then Kidd for sure. You also have Frazier and Nash, then probably Payton. Deron Williams and Chris Paul both have the potential to be all-timers too.

  • fLaVa

    its funny how none of the PGs mentioned above won a championship if i m not mistaken, with that being said.

    1. Kidd
    2. Stock
    3. Nash
    4. Payton

  • rick773

    @ Flava GP won a chip with MIA

  • franco

    stephon marbury hands down will shut any of those crap PGs down all day

  • NTstateOFmind

    just wondering- how many triple-doubles has Stockton had?

  • sh!tfaced

    @Ian… But at least jumping shooting Malone was a hell of a lot more consistent scorer than RJ or K-Mart and all the other cats Kidd got to play with…

  • sh!tfaced

    Stockton had ONE triple-double in his whole career.

  • Celts Fan

    @K – AI IS NOT A 1. He spent his entire career starting next to PGs like Eric Snow and Anthony Carter. That makes him a 2.

    Even if he was a 1, he was too much of a ballhog to really affect his teams’ ability to win games. Sure, Billy King was garbage, but even when Allen had a good team around him (they got him plenty of sidekicks – Stackhouse, Larry Hughes, Iggy) he needed to dominate the ball. His only truly successful team was when it was a bunch of role-players and spot-up guys with AI taking 30 shots a game. I watched most of his prime (lived in Philly at the time) and that man was one of the best entertainers I’ve ever watched, but that didn’t translate to consistent winning (“YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME!” Thanks Herm.) AI will (should anyway) go down as one of the 30-40 best individual players ever, but in terms of guys you’d want to help you win titles, there are hundreds I’d take over him. Not hating, just being real.

    Even if AI was a 1, here’s the list:

    1. Stockton
    2. Kidd
    3. Glove
    4. Nash
    5. Answer

    @Rick and Flava – you’re both right. Payton won a ring with the Heat, but “The Glove” never got one (though he locked up MJ and helped Seattle take 2 games from the 72-win Bulls. That’s gotta count for a lot!)

  • JD

    maybe change that to “Kidd is the best point guard in the last 10 years” instead :)

  • KanDMan

    The role of a PG is to assist your team to win..that being said JKidd is a walking triple double. Grabs a board push the rock and either distribute or score. His list of teamates is questionable at best..no Nalone on the list. he used to called ason Williams cuz he had no “J”..cant leave him open anymore. Magic who is considered the best was also a walking triple double..

  • mrparker

    Re Stockton or Kidd

    Grading on the curve I’d say they’re both A-‘s against Magic’s A+. Who cares which A is better than another A.

    How many conference championship teams have had their point guard be their best player.

  • @BklynDre




    4. marck jackson

    5. payton

  • Random

    1. Stockton
    2. The Glove
    3. J. Kidd
    4. Nash
    5. Mark Jackson
    6. Kevin Johnson
    7. Mr. Big Shot
    8. Hardaway
    9. CP3

  • robj

    1. A. Miller
    2. R. Strickland
    3. S. Blake
    4. P. Mills
    5. T. Porter

  • NJ4Life

    Hands down, Kidd is a top 3 pg of all time, behind only Magic and Stock. Oh and I forget who mentioned it but Kidd’s best season he averaged 18.8ppg, in ’03.

    Last 20 Years:

    1. Kidd
    2. Stockton
    3. Payton
    4. Nash
    5. Jackson