Kidd remains one of NBA's best

191544.jpg

Kidd remains one of NBA's best

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

BOSTON Two of the NBA's greatest 3-point shooters were on hand during Boston's game against the Dallas Mavericks.

That's not a surprise.

The fact that one of those shooters is Jason Kidd?

Big surprise.

"That would probably be a good trivia question," Kidd told CSNNE.com. "Who were the top three, 3-point shooters? My name would probably never be mentioned. But I've worked hard at it, and I'm very proud to have made some."

He certainly did on Friday night, one of which would prove to be the game-winner for the Mavericks as they closed out the game with a 10-0 run to defeat the C's, 101-97.

Kidd finished with 10 points and nine assists, which included a 3-pointer with 2.5 seconds to play that was the game-winner.

On the game-winning shot, Kidd had the ball and hesitated enough to get Allen flying in his direction.

As Allen landed, Kidd raised up for the game-winner and hit nothing but net.

"I was actually afraid that when I jumped, he was going to jump into me, and I was going to foul him," Allen said. "I was trying to run him off the (3-point line), but he just stayed there. That was a tough shot."

Tough shots have been a part of Kidd's Hall of Fame-worthy resume for years, which is surprising when you consider shooting the ball was clearly his greatest weakness when he came into the NBA.

"I have a lot of opportunities because I'm open," said Kidd, who has made 1,742 3s which ranks third all-time behind Reggie Miller and Allen. "You just have to work at it. I've been fortunate to make a couple (3s). But I've taken a lot, too."

But none bigger on Friday night than the one with the game clock winding down, the kind of shot that shows the progress and improvement in Kidd's shot through the years.

Allen said Kidd's shooting skills are often overlooked because he has been such a dominant playmaker for the bulk of his career.

"He didn't really have to shoot, but that's what kept him around for so long as he's been around is being able to facilitate, being a great teammate, and knocking down the open shot, keep the floor spaced," Allen said. "It's just a message to all the young guys to just continue to hone your skills, and I think he's done that."

As far as Kidd being overlooked for his shooting prowess, Kevin Garnett doesn't buy that.

"If you look at his track record, he has hit big shots, he's put teams on his back, he's carried the load and responsibility for a long time," Garnett said. "He's no shag of a player, nothing like that. He's a respected player. Everybody in our organization and our locker room respects this dude."

After shooting a paltry 27.2 percent on 3s as a rookie in 1994-1995, Kidd shot 42.5 percent last season.

A career 34.8 percent shooter, Kidd has shot better than 40 percent on 3s in each of the last three seasons.

"Paul (Pierce) and I understand, we know he has been around a long time," Garnett said. "You don't just be around or in the league just because. He has hit big shots for tme from time to time. Tonight was no different."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Former Celtics teammates praise Garnett's passion and intensity

gallery_slide_7_kevin_garnett_062215_0.jpg

Former Celtics teammates praise Garnett's passion and intensity

WALTHAM, Mass. – Like so many players who have spent part of their NBA journey having Kevin Garnett barking in their ear words of encouragement or just telling them to get the hell out his (bleepin’) way, you can count Avery Bradley among those who will miss the man affectionately known as ‘Big Ticket.’

Garnett recently announced his retirement after 21 NBA seasons, leaving behind a legacy that includes an NBA title won with the Boston Celtics in 2008.

Among the current Celtics, Bradley is the only current member of the team who played with Garnett in Boston.

When Bradley got the news about Garnett’s retirement, he said he sat down and wrote Garnett a letter.

“To let him know how much I appreciate him, how special he is to me,” said Bradley who added that his relationship with Garnett was impactful both on and off the court. “Kevin’s just an amazing person.”

Leon Powe, a member of the Celtics’ championship team in 2008 with Garnett, echoed similar praise about his former teammate.

“As a teammate, as a player, KG meant the world to me,” Powe told CSNNE.com. “Intensity … he brought everything you would want to the game, to the practice field, he was just non-stop energy.”

And when you saw it time after time after time with him, pretty soon it became contagious.

“The intensity just motivated every guy on the team, including me,” Powe said. “It made you want to go out and lay it out on the line for him and the team. You see how passionate he is. You see he’s one of the greats. And when you see one of the greats of the NBA going hard like that all the time, you’re like ‘Man, why can’t I do that? It trickled down to me and every young guy on the team.

Powe added, “He brought that every single day, night, morning, it didn’t matter. He brought that intensity. That’s all you could ask for.”

And Garnett’s impact was about more than changing a franchise’s fortunes in terms of wins and losses.

He also proved to be instrumental in helping re-shape the culture into one in which success was once again defined by winning at the highest levels.

“KG has had as big an impact as anybody I’ve been around in an organization,” said Danny Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations. “The thing that stands out the most to me about KG is his team-first mentality. He never wanted it to be about KG, individual success to trump team success. He lived that in his day-to-day practice. That’s something I’ll remember about him.”