Jason Kidd retired this week, which gives him more time to focus on the “rap game”.
HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: Would the NBA ballers of today put their ego’s aside long enough to record “B-Ball’s Best Kept Secret: 2013”?
The year was 1994. Nancy Kerrigan was clubbed in the leg by an unknown assailant. Lorena Bobbitt was found not guilty by reason of insanity of, ahem, mutilating her husband John Wayne Bobbitt. Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain was found dead from a single gunshot wound. And, somewhere on the west coast, Jason Kidd was recording his rap debut, “People Wanna Know What The Kidd Did.”
The song was on an album called “B-Ball’s Best Kept Secret” whcih featured NBA players of the day trying their hand at rap. J Kidd rapped alongside rapper “Money B” of the infamous rap/funk group Digital Underground. Considering the song is almost 20 years old, it’s as good as any Lil’ Wayne song to date.
Kidd was a tender 21 years young when the song was released, and focuses on the pressures and stresses of a successful NBA stud as he returns to the streets of his old neighborhood.
I used to love this album and listened to it incessantly, as I cruised around town with a tape deck in my 1980 orange Buick LeSabre. That was back when if you were lucky enough to have a portable CD player, you had to buy the adapter for the tape deck, that looked like a casette tape with a long cord than ran to the CD player. Needless to say, the ladies were impressed.
Kidd was fresh off of his Rookie of the Year season (An award he shared with recently retired Grant Hill; are they not the Magic/Bird tandem of this era, careers inextricably linked?) where he dazzled NBA fans with an all-around game that rarely relied on scoring. It seemed like every other game Kidd was recording a triple double, a category he would finish third in NBA history in, and dominating games without putting up double figures in points; he was literally the first player I ever saw who was regarded as “cool” who wasn’t putting up 20+ ppg.
With lines like, “More steals than Ricky Hen from the Pac-10”, a reference to baseball great Ricky Henderson, and, “St. Joe’s, the whole street had me diff’rent/But I was good on the dribble, like an in-fant,” Kidd’s flow is indisputable in the current era of rap where rappers no longer even have to have flow.
I invite you to listen to the song, and love it. Just as you loved a 19 year career that featured 10 All-Star appearances, five All-NBA First Team selections, four first team All-NBA selections and the third most three-pointers made in NBA history. And, three NBA Finals appearances, with his lone championship coming as a member of the Dallas Mavericks in 2011.