When it comes to point guards, Jason Kidd is one of the greats.
His career stats of 12.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 8.7 assists don’t even tell the story.
Kidd left his imprint on games so much defensively and with his ability to get his teammates involved that the stat sheet honestly doesn’t do the NBA Hall of Famer, NBA Champion and current Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach justice.
Guess what? As an NBA assistant, that imprint has carried over to the game’s best player, LeBron James.
Last night in a win against the Oklahoma City Thunder, LeBron James tallied a triple-double with a stat line that included 25 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
For those keeping score at home: James also tallied seven turnovers — James’ season-high.
LeBron said that Kidd told him his game was not good.
“He said I was pretty bad tonight at first because of my seven turnovers and I agreed,” said James after Tuesday’s game.
“He’s the first person to come critique me after the game which I love and then he said congratulations with the feat I was able to do.”
James grew up inspired by Kidd.
How did the two compare?
“My opinion is LeBron is LeBron and my dad was J-Kidd,” Jason Kidd’s son, TJ Kidd told me by phone.
“Both bring different assets. They are probably two of the top five best playmakers to ever do it. My dad never was a big scorer. But he could go get buckets if you needed him to. LeBron can put you on a poster. My dad didn’t have many of those. LeBron is someone who could easily average a triple-double if he focused on it. But the two of them are all-time greats in their ability to give you a triple-double and do it and get there team wins. Because at the end, ultimately they do it to help their teams win games. They both have Einstein levels of basketball IQ. Just off the charts.. Some similarities. Sure. You can see that. But two different games they play. Would’ve been an absolute blast to see them on the same team. But this will have to do.”
What gets lost in translation is the gift that LeBron James has in not just Anthony Davis who tallied 34 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 blocks in Tuesday’s 112-107 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, but the role that Rajon Rondo plays in the success of the 12-4 Lakers squad.
In 27 minutes, Rondo tallied 8 points, 10 assists and 2 rebounds in the Lakers’ win on Tuesday. His attention to detail and poise within Frank Vogel’s offense is supremly underrate.
LeBron James’ former Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers teammate, Dwyane Wade told me this summer that one of the keys to the Lakers’ success is the chemistry of Rondo and James. “If they get it together obviously they’re going to be a very good team,” Wade told me.
“LeBron, Rondo and those guys, their veteran leadership is going to try and get that continuity together early on and try to get it together and going fast.”
Hall of Famer, Nancy Lieberman, Rondo’s former coach with the Sacramento Kings believes that both James and Rondo are basketball geniuses. “He’s one of, if not, the smartest players that I’ve ever coached,” Lieberman told me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.
“LeBron James had to find a peer that understood the game intellectually as he does. So there’s EQ (emotional intelligence) and IQ (intellectual intelligence) involved in this game and LeBron and Rondo have both.”
The Los Angeles Lakers are off today and tomorrow. They’ll play the Oklahoma City Thunder again on Friday in Oklahoma City at Chesapeake Energy Arena.