No Kidding! Jason’s quadruple double
An era has passed: Grant Hill and Jason Kidd have both retired. For those of us who came of age in the early – late 1990s, these 1994-95 joint Rookies of the Year epitomized the future of the NBA. Sadly, Hill’s career was dampened by major, life-threatening injuries. On the other hand, Kidd flourished into the best big point guard since Magic Johnson.
As Kidd takes over the coaching reins in Brooklyn, I pause to ponder his career and legacy. Sure, basketball fans know about his accomplishments in dishing assists and almost single-handedly willing—yes, willing—the then-New Jersey Nets into the NBA Finals in back-to-back years. Some fans would argue that Kidd has been one of the most underrated players in the last 15 years and that he should have won an MVP title.
I won’t enter the fray here, but I will list one of Kidd’s accomplishments that few people know and even fewer have attained. Jason Kidd notched a quadruple-double. Let me repeat: a quadruple-double. Don’t believe me? Let’s check the stats.
Most NBA reference sources report that only four quadruple-doubles have been recorded in the NBA since steals and blocks were tallied beginning in the 1970s. Nate Thurmond (Chicago Bulls, 1974), Alvin Robertson (San Antonio Spurs, 1986), Hakeem Olajuwon (Houston Rockets, 1990), and David Robinson (San Antonio Spurs, 1994) are listed as the four outstanding players. Robertson stands alone as the only player to achieve this feat with a combination of points, rebounds, assists, and steals.
However, if we broaden the conception of quadruple-double, another recipient emerges: our hero of the hour, Kidd. One of the all-time greats and the NBA leader in triple-doubles until his recent retirement, Kidd’s prowess has been seen throughout his career. Crucially, Kidd’s large size for a point guard—6’ 4” and over 200 pounds—enabled him to garner rebounds in addition to points and assists.
When did he achieve the quadruple-double, one may ask? During the Phoenix Suns’ mundane years after Charles Barkley and before the run-and-gun era of Amar’e Stoudemire and Steve Nash, Kidd led the Suns. On a chilly New York City night in early November 2000, Kidd posted a shocking quadruple-double against the Knicks:
- 18 points
- 12 rebounds
- 10 assists
- 14 turnovers
Fourteen turnovers? How could this be possible? Kidd is arguably the best all-around point guard since Magic Johnson. As noted, his ability to score, dish, and scoop up rebounds positioned Kidd well for most positions on the floor. How did he lose his grip on the game so immensely?
Without speculating further into Kidd’s psychological state that night, it is interesting to learn that Kidd’s fourteen turnovers mark an NBA record for a single game.
What other players have achieved something similar? In 1987 against the Nets, the Round Mound of Rebound, aka Sir Charles, aka Charles Barkley, registered these statistics:
- 28 points
- 15 rebounds
- 10 assists
- 10 turnovers
- 5 personal fouls
Not only did Barkley match Kidd’s quadruple-double, he also upped the ante by bringing in a five-five, i.e., registering marks of five in five different categories.
Let’s look further into Kidd’s past. We actually find a hex-quint (in addition to a non-standard triple-double): Kidd achieved marks of five in six categories while playing for the Nets:
- 33 points
- 13 rebounds
- 10 turnovers
- 6 steals
- 5 assists
- 5 personal fouls
Kidd also missed 24 shots (9 of them 3-pointers), but as purists we shall exclude these from the statistical compilation.
As Kidd aged and retirement loomed, the quadruple-double prize slipped further from his grasp. Following Shaq’s retirement, Kidd was one of the oldest players in the league. While his performance with the Mavericks, the team that drafted him—see the earlier post on the Rapture for the significance of the “return”—was admirable, he struggled to raise his statistical game in the playoffs. In game 1 of the finals against the Heat, Kidd contributed through field goals made or assists to 9 of Dallas’ 25 converted attempts. However, he committed 0 fouls and only 3 turnovers. Kidd’s statistics are slipping. For example, since 2003, Lebron James’ entry into the league, Lebron has had ten games with at least 5 each of points, steals, rebounds, and turnovers; Dwayne Wade has had four; Kidd had only two. (Former teammate Shawn Marion had two such games, too.)
Jason, sadly, failed to notch a “real” quadruple-double in his last season with New York prior to his retirement. Alas, he will join the legion of near-misses. But there is a silver lining: in his first game as a coach, Kidd received a technical foul. An auspicious start to his new numbers regime. Good luck, Mr Kidd!
Many thanks to basketball-reference.com for its extensive statistics section.