Not very many people are more qualified to speak on the subject of point guards than Jason Kidd. The Bucks’ coach is the NBA’s second all-time leaders in assists, a first-ballot Hall of Famer and one of the best ever to play the position. After the Bucks’ 103-102 loss to the Nuggets, Kidd had some strong words about Denver’s 19-year-old rookie point guard Emmanuel Mudiay, saying that he may end up being a better player.
From the Denver Post‘s Christopher Dempsey:
“At 19 years old, he’s very talented,” Kidd said. “He’s running the team, he’s not afraid to take a big shot. Some people have said that he can’t shoot, but he finds a way to put the ball in the basket. I think he enjoys to play the game, and I think for me, watching the tape on him is exciting. To see a 19-year old being able to run a team with his poise, and then also his skills. He has skills at the age of 19.”
Asked if Mudiay compares favorably to him when he first broke into the NBA back in 1994, Kidd smiled again.
“He’ll be better,” Kidd said. “He’s better already. Being able to run an NBA team at 19 is not easy. You look at some of the greats — Magic (Johnson) was able to do it. And you’re looking at this kid Mudiay, who has the opportunity to do something special. So, I would encourage him to be better than me, and I think he will be at the end of the day.”
Mudiay had 16 points and 11 assists against the Bucks, and he’s cut down considerably on his turnovers since his NBA debut, when he coughed up the ball 11 times. It’s already obvious that he’s a special talent, and an all-time great like Kidd comparing him to himself and Magic Johnson only reinforces that.