Jason Kidd was voted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. What are your favorite memories of J.Kidd? At Cal? In the pros?
TwistNHook: It has got to be the time he took the Nets two 2 straight NBA Finals. This was a team that started Kerry Kittles! Unfortunately, he was not able to beat either the Lakers or the Spurs (both in dynastic forms). But look at the Nets history otherwise. Right now, they are the laughing stock of the league. In general, they are the laughing stock of the league. So, to take this historically terrible franchise with minimal talent surrounding him to the finals seemed huge to me.
Rob Hwang: I never got to watch Kidd play at Cal, heck I didn't even know he went to Cal until I got to Berkeley and saw his jersey in the rafters. So my best memory of him is the big 3 squad of him, Richard Jefferson, and Kenyon Martin in the NBA finals against my beloved Lakers. Ultimately he fell short but that big 3 from New Jersey was very fun to watch. High-Flying, dunking, fast paced, It was an early version of Steve Nash’s Suns.
Who do you hope is the next Cal Basketball alum to make it into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame?
Ruey Yen: With Jason Kidd entering the Hall in 2018 following former coach Mike Montgomery in 2016, I would venture the next Cal affiliated Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame inductee being Layshia Clarendon. Layshia is the most prominent Cal alum in WNBA right now, who has become a starter since moving over to the Atlanta Dreams two seasons ago. More importantly, Layshia has been a great ambassador for the LGBT community. It is for her work using the platform of basketball to advance social causes that I think can get her in the Hall as a “contributor”.
Other potential future Hall of Famers are Jaylen Brown, if he continues his meteoric rise both On and Off the court and Kristine Anigwe on the women’s side (if her late season health issue is only short term). I also would not be shocked if recent former head coach Cuonzo Martin makes the Hall quite awhile from now after he collects 700 victories or so.
TwistNHook: Me, for going to SO many Cal basketball games this past season. And now I am renewing my tickets. I may be either the smartest man ever or the dumbest man ever. A lot to unpack there.
As far as actual players, I would echo that Jaylen Brown seems very promising. However, there are two other players to look at. One is Ryan Anderson. I do not believe he has the credentials right now, but he continues to put up solid seasons. If he is able to take a next step in his last 5-10 years, that could shift. He is 29 now, so he is in the prime of his career. It is not unreasonable that he could take off. Also, the shift to more 3 point shots plays exactly to his strengths.
The other potential is Allen Crabbe. Sadly, he is now buried on a meaningless Nets. We know how explosive he can be. He is only 25 and he potentially 10-15 more years ahead of him here. Either he will help take a Nets team to the promised land (a la Kidd before him) or he can get out of there and get to a good team where he can flourish.
Rob Hwang: Best shots? I’d put it with Jaylen Brown, Layshia Clarendon, and Kristine Anigwe. 2 are pro. 1 is still at Cal. Those 3 for various reasons have the best chance. Kristine is the most dominant post player I’ve seen in women’s basketball. Devanai Hampton had sheer force of will, Kristine had that and finesse to her game. It will be very intriguing to see her in the pros. Layshia Clarendon of course is a Cal favorite, the starting PG on the Final Four squad, but its her work as a pro along with her TV work. Her work to create awareness for the LGBQT community cannot be understated as well. Then there is Jaylen Brown. Arguably the most athletic player Cal basketball has ever seen, Jaylen is playing for one of the best coaches in the league, on one of the best teams in the league. He’s constantly learning from to one of the NBA’s best finishers in Kyrie Irving, and one of the best all around forwards in Gordon Hayward. The sky is the limit for the 21-year old.