Jason Kidd was already an established NBA star when the 2001 offseason rolled around, a four-time All-Star with three All-NBA and three All-Defensive selections to go with a share of the 1994-95 Rookie of the Year award along with Grant Hill.
What Kidd hadn’t had was much postseason success — five appearances with the Phoenix Suns had ended with five first-round exits.
More from Nothin' But Nets
- Nets star Mikal Bridges labeled top ‘trade target’ for serious title contender
- LAST CHANCE: Get $2,500 Bonus for Any NBA Draft Bet Before FanDuel Promo Expires Sunday
- Bet365 New Jersey Bonus: Bet $1, Win $200 GUARANTEED on ANY NBA Finals Bet Tonight!
- BetRivers NJ Promo: Bet $500 on the NBA/NHL Finals, Get a Bonus-Bet Refund if You Miss!
- DraftKings New Jersey Promo: Bet $5, Win $150 INSTANTLY on ANY NBA Playoff Game!
The New Jersey Nets, meanwhile, hadn’t enjoyed much postseason success either, with just one postseason series victory to show for 25 NBA seasons.
When the Nets traded All-Star Stephon Marbury along with Johnny Newman and Soumaila Samake to the Suns in July 2001 to get Kidd and Chris Dudley, the pairing created an Eastern Conference power for the next several seasons.
Kidd led the Nets to a franchise-record 26-win improvement in 2001-02, finishing second to Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs in the MVP voting — to date, still the best showing by a Net/
Over the next five seasons, Kidd would earn three All-Star bids, three All-NBA selections and be named All-Defensive five straight times.
He led the NBA in assists in 2002-03 and 2003-04, finishing second in 2001-02, third in 2004-05 and fifth in 2005-06. Kidd also finished in the top 10 in steals three times.
Over the five seasons from 2001-06, Kidd averaged 15.3 points, 6.9 rebounds, 8.9 assists and 2.0 steals in 37.1 minutes per game, shooting .399/.340/.810.
In 66 playoff games, Kidd stepped it up to 17.2 points, 7.7 rebounds, 8.8 assists and 1.8 steals in 41.8 minutes a night on .393/.270/.807 shooting.
Taken second overall by the Dallas Mavericks from California in the 1994 NBA Draft, Kidd was traded to the Suns in a blockbuster trade the day after Christmas in 1996.
He was traded by the Nets back to the Mavericks in February 2008 and played a final NBA season with the New York Knicks in 2012-13 before retiring.
Kidd didn’t stay out of the NBA long. Less than a week after hanging up his kicks, Kidd was hired to coach the Brooklyn Nets, going 44-38 in his lone season in 2013-14 and taking Brooklyn to the conference semifinals.
He was allowed to go to the Milwaukee Bucks to take their head coaching position after a reported front-office coup by Kidd aimed at deposing then-general manager Billy King failed. Kidd was fired by the Bucks in January 2018.