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Jason Kidd: The Ageless Wonder

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Two years ago when the Mavericks traded for Jason Kidd at the trade deadline in exchange for what was essentially 24 year old point guard, Devin Harris and first round picks in the 2009 and 2010 drafts I thought that the Nets had fleeced Dallas.  I wasn't alone.  

On paper it made little sense and seemed more like an act of desperation on the part of Mark Cuban trying desperately to push the Mavs over the top in trying to land a playoff berth.  In doing so most believed that he had parted with a burgeoning star in Harris and was getting little more than a two-year rental from Kidd who was on the last legs of a Hall of Fame career.  

Initially that assessment didn't seem far off.  The Mavericks entered the 2008 NBA playoffs as the No. 7 seed and proceeded to get bounced out of the first round by the New Orleans Hornets with the enduring memory of that series of Chris Paul running circles around Kidd who looked in over his head attempting to stick with the Hornets' point guard.  

Fast forward two years and Kidd looks to have found a second wind with the Mavericks emerging as championship contenders, while Harris is busy trying to prevent the Nets from the worst record in the history of the NBA.  Sure Kidd has been helped with the presence of Dirk Nowitzki and the deadline acquisition of Caron ButlerDeShawn Stevenson and Brendan Haywood, but he is certainly the engine driving this train.

He is posting a career high true shooting percentage of 58.3 and is also shooting a career high 42.1% from three point range.  He's still dishing out 9.2 assists a night and while he is no longer the lockdown defender he once was, Kidd has become an exceptional team defender.  

Any doubts that remained about Kidd's ability to lead a team at his age were dispelled with his performance against the Hawks on February 26.  Kidd put up 19 points, 17 assists and 16 rebounds, the first player to have 15/15/15 game since 1996 when, surprise, Kidd did it at the age of 22.  Before that nobody had done it since Magic Johnson in 1989.  

Kidd is still not the playmaker he was in his prime, but he also doesn't need to be.  He's coming to the end of a legendary career and is playing on the best team he has ever been part of.  

The Mavericks probably won't win the championship once the Lakers start to care about playing again, but if you love basketball it's great to watch a player of Kidd's quality getting to play on a legitimate contender not just as a scrub off the bench, but as a leader on the court.  

Here's to you Jason, 37 years old and still playing the point guard position as good as anybody in the league.