Carmelo Anthony poured in an amazing 45 points Tuesday night as the New York Knicks defeated the Brooklyn Nets, 100-97. It seemed all anyone wanted to talk about, however, was the continued amazing play of Jason Kidd, who nailed the game-winning three-point shot in the closing seconds.
Kidd had 18 points, six rebounds and six assists in 38 minutes that had to make you forget he is a 39-year-old role player who isn't supposed to impact games like that anymore. For that matter he isn't supposed to impact teams the way he has impacted the Knicks this season.
Kidd is averaging 9.1 points and 3.6 assists this season. His impact, though, goes far beyond that. He's too slow to defend anyone at this point in his career, and not explosive enough to drive the ball at the rim and create opportunities for himself or other players.
Yet he has remade himself into a three-point specialist, a team defender, a guy makes the basketball move and helps teammates get shots in the right places. He's also a leader who helps make his team believe a run at an NBA title is a possibility for the Knicks this time around.
Pretty amazing for a guy who is supposed to be a bit player at this point in his career.
Here is more reaction to Kidd's performance.
Jason Kidd, Knicks show no signs of slowing down in win over Nets - NBA - Chris Mannix - SI.com
Twenty-something-year-old players, take note: The secret to longevity in the league is one Kidd uncovered years ago. Most players on Kidd's level can't be bothered to adapt, can't be talked into changing. Allen Iverson could still be a contributing sixth man if he didn't find a reserve role insulting. Gilbert Arenas would be wearing an NBA uniform, not a Chinese one, if he better adjusted to his limitations. Few understand that when age catches up to you, you need something to beat it back.
"I've always taken pride in defense, in competing," said Kidd. "But at some point you have to be able to do something different. That's when I felt if I'm going to be around in this game for a little bit, I have to make a jump shot."
Veteran Kidd showing he can guide Melo and Knicks to championship - NBA - CBSSports.com News, Scores, Stats, Fantasy Advice
As the horn sounded and the curtain went down on another episode of basketball theater between the Knicks and Nets, a 39-year-old man stood near the 3-point line and drove his fist toward the herring bone-patterned floor at the Barclays Center. And in the locker room afterward, it was Jason Kidd who had a question he wanted answered.
Kidd makes his mark on cross-river rivalry - Knicks Blog - ESPN New York
After the game, Kidd, who has the third-most 3-point makes in NBA history, said he realized earlier in his career that he needed to further develop his outside shot in order to continue playing past his prime. That realization came when he was in New Jersey about 10 years ago, when he was "slowing down a bit." Now, he's the league's best 3-point shooter this season at 53.0 percent accuracy.
"I knew that if I wanted to play longer, I had to make a shot from the 3-point line," he said. "If I was going to play, I had to hit some shots. It's helped by working hard."
"He has a brilliant basketball IQ," Tyson Chandler said. "He makes shot after shot, play after play -- whether it's a steal, whether it's a 3, whether it's diving for a ball. He just makes play after play after play, and I don't understand it. That's the reason why he's a Hall of Famer."