Of the 107 triple doubles Jason Kidd recorded over his NBA career, a few stand out, and one against his first team ranks high on that list.
J-Kidd was traded from the Dallas Mavericks to the Phoenix Suns in December of 1996 and the two teams met three times in the months that followed. But it wasn’t until the following season that Jason had some of his strongest performances against his former team. He sandwiched two of them around the All-Star break, and his second career All-Star appearance.
The second of those came on March, 15, 1998. J-Kidd was leading a talented Phoenix Suns team, who at the time boasted a 42-21 record. Although the Mavericks were struggling that season, Michael Finley, who had been the big piece going the other way in the trade that sent Jason to Phoenix, and the rest of the Mavs wouldn’t lay down for the Suns.
The game was close throughout, with the Suns ultimately prevailing 100-90 thanks in large part to an incredible triple-double performance from J-Kidd. In the win, Kidd scored 20 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and dished out 12 assists. Plus, No. 32 left his mark on the defensive end of the floor as well, notching five steals and two blocks.
Ultimately, J-Kidd’s efficiency made the difference in the game, including his 3:1 assist-to-turnover ratio and his 9-16 shooting performance. And as always, his passing ability kept the ball moving and allowed other teammates to be involved in the flow of the offense.
Antonio McDyess chipped in 17 points and nine rebounds, while Cliff Robinson, Rex Chapman and Danny Manning all scored in double figures as well.
The 1997-98 season was one in which J-Kidd really emerged as a force in the NBA. His versatility on both ends of the floor was on display on a nightly basis, and that season began a seven-year stretch where Kidd was selected to six All-Star Games.
The season culminated with the Suns earning the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference before ultimately falling to the San Antonio Spurs in the playoffs.