USA Basketball: Jason Kidd “Interview”

Published: July 27, 2008

So Team USA has begun exhibition play in preparation for the Olympics, destroying Canada 120-65.  The team fielded this year is crazy strong, and I would be astonished if they didn't trash the competition. 

One thing, however, has irritated the hell out of me in the coverage of this team:  Jason Kidd is being pushed as the savior of the team and at the same time being given the lion's share of the credit for Team USA's win in the Tournament of the America's last year.  Some of the articles about him are downright fawning.

At this point, I'd love to get through one USA Basketball article that doesn't mention his record, gold medal, and "steadying, veteran presence".  Just one.  The guy is old, slow, can't shoot and completely self-absorbed.  Deron Williams and Chris Paul are BOTH better choices to start over him.

Here's a recent interview:

Jason Kidd:  So we're all here after I dominated that Canadian team.  That makes me what, 46-0 for Team USA.

Reporter: That's including exhibitions, right?

Jason Kidd: Sure, yeah.  Guess I didn't need to bring my gold medal along, huh?  I left that medal at home, you know.  I figured I don't need it because I never lose.

Reporter: So what do you think about the team this year?  Going to guarantee a win?

Jason Kidd: Well, I am 46-0 now, so what do you think?  The team is pretty good, and of course, it's got me.  You know, a veteran presence and an actual pass-first point guard.  Because I'm all about the team and not personal stats.  All about the passing.

Reporter: Well, you got 0 assists tonight, but that's because of the team being unselfish and moving the ball a lot, right?

Jason Kidd: Absolutely.  I set the tone, passed the ball, and of course they had to pass the ball.  They need to follow me because I'm a veteran presence.  And I don't shoot much, you know?

Reporter: Yeah – you didn't take a shot tonight in 16 minutes.

Kidd: See?  I'm all about sacrificing my game.  Passing.  Playing hard defense.  I do the little things, that's why I've got 100 triple doubles, man.

Reporter: Speaking of defense, your back-ups came in and really changed the defensive intensity.  Generated turnovers, got the team flowing offensively.  Coach K said they really made a difference and they played 23 and 21 minutes each. What do you think of Deron Williams and Chris Paul?

Kidd:  Well, you know Deron's pretty good.  Not an all-star like me.  Not 46-0 like me.  Maybe he'll be that good sometime, but not now.  That's why he's not starting.

Reporter: Well, what about Paul?

Kidd: C'mon, he's alright.

Reporter: Really? That's all?

Kidd: Of course, he can't defend.  He's small. Not like me.  Didn't you see the playoffs?  I posted his butt non-stop.  He couldn't stop me.  Just took him apart.

Reporter: Oh?  I don't actually remember you scoring that much in the post in the playoffs . . .

Kidd:  I told you man, I'm not about scoring.  I'm about the little things.  I got a couple assists a game out of posting him up, and he couldn't do a thing to stop it.  Posting up isn't only about scoring, man.  It's about rebounding and passing.  That's why I've got 100 triple doubles and am 46-0 with USA Basketball, and he's got a bronze medal.  I know how to defend and play the game the right way.

Reporter: That's great.  There had been some concerns, you know, about the microfracture surgery you had on your knee and worries that you may have lost a step on defense.  You are 35 now, and won a gold when you were 27.

Kidd: No way.  I'm tough, man.  My knee is fine, and I wouldn't let a little pain stop me anyways.  I'm hardcore.  Tough as nails.

Reporter: What do you mean?

Kidd: *Laughs* C'mon, you just said you saw the playoffs.  You start pushing me, I'm going to make you pay, man.  I'll give you a hard foul.  Gave Pargo a hard foul.  Do you think LeBron would do that?  Carmelo?  Dwight?  No way.  That punk thought he was so bad, scoring all those points.  Stopped him cold.

Reporter checks paper: But Pargo outscored you 73 to 43 in that series.

Kidd: Exactly, he was getting all full of himself, you know?  So I gave him that foul.  Showed him who the all-star was.  I don't let anyone show me up, man.  No one, not Pargo, not that bitch Jouma . . . er . . . Jamal.  Crawford.  Yeah.  Uh, what was I saying?

Reporter: That you're a tough defender.

Kidd: Right!  It's that kind of toughness thats let me get a gold medal in 2000.  I thought about bringing that medal you know.  To show these guys what its like, that they could maybe be as good as me.

Reporter: That's great.  Thanks for your time.

Kidd: No problem!  Hey, remind me sometime to show you my gold medal when we are back stateside, okay?

Reporter: Sure.  Great. Thanks.

True story.  Really

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