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Jason Kidd was one of the greatest point guards of all time, and will undoubtedly be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame the moment he is eligible.
Emmanuel Mudiay is just 19 years old, and in his first season with the Denver Nuggets, has played in only eight NBA contests. But Kidd, now the head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks, already has seen enough to make him believe that Mudiay will one day be better than he was.
“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 is averaging 13.1 points, 6.3 assists and 4.1 rebounds in 30.8 minutes, but he's also turning the ball over an average of 4.4 times per contest. Kidd's rookie year numbers were similar, and he finished his first season averaging a little over three turnovers per game himself.
It's obviously a little early to start penciling in Mudiay for the Hall of Fame, but it's got to feel good for him to hear such high praise coming from one of the best to ever play his position.
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