Some have compared Lonzo Ball‘s game to Jason Kidd‘s game.
But do they actually play alike? “Everybody would like to compare that to him,” LaVar Ball, Lonzo Ball’s father told me by phone in an interview on Thursday afternoon.
“I mean, Jason Kidd passes the ball, light-skinned, big guard…he has to get it from somebody, he’s more athletic than that. He shoots better than that. He’s hungrier than him. I’m trying to see where the comparison is. But you know to make a story, that’s what the media do – ‘Oh he’s like this guy, he’s like that guy’…No, like I said my boy is a new breed.”
Kidd was a human triple double machine during his career and he turned the then – New Jersey Nets into contenders.
Jason Kidd’s son, T.J. Kidd was a fixture at Nets games during the team’s New Jersey days at Continental Airlines Arena and Izod Center.
A college student in the Los Angeles-area, he’s still connected to the game. and is a fan and being in the LA area. Upon hearing LaVar Ball’s assessment, the youngest Kidd weighed in. “Honestly I don’t really mind it,” he told me via text message on Thursday evening.
“He’s building his sons up for success. I respect that. I think that Lonzo is a great basketball player with a high basketball IQ and I hope he has a great career. For him to say that my dad wasn’t “hungry” when he played just isn’t true. You look at what he did in Jersey and took them two straight NBA Finals against the Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal Lakers and then the next year vs David Robinson/Tim Duncan Spurs. Two Gold Medals. NBA Champion with the Mavs in 2011. The body of work is there. He’s also Top 10 all-time in 3 pointers made.. I’m sure both at their absolute best would be a very fun one on one game to watch. At the end of the day He will have his bias and I’ll have mine. The one thing I’ll absolutely give Lonzo the edge over my dad is Lonzo’s music is much better.”
High praise and humor at the same time on the part of T.J. Kidd. Kidd, now an NBA Hall of Famer is a Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach under Frank Vogel. Kidd almost became Lonzo Ball’s coach had he not been part of the deal that shipped Anthony Davis to the Lakers.
The two never got a chance to go head to head on the basketball court. But Ball’s stat line hasn’t been bad for New Orleans this season. The UCLA product is averaging 12.4 points, 6.2 rebounds and 7 assists per game for NOLA.
A ten-time NBA All Star, a five-time All-NBA First Team member and a nine-time NBA All-Defensive teamer, Jason Kidd averaged 12.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 8.7 assists per game during his 19-year NBA career.
“He put in all the work,” Kidd’s former Nets coach, Byron Scott told me.
“Jason was a great player, unbelievable competitor, when there was a big shot to be made, as much as people would talk about how he wasn’t a great shooter; but he made big shots when the game was on the line. He had a lot to do with my career being successful as a coach in New Jersey, so yeah I’m extremely happy for him.”