When Jason Kidd left the Phoenix Suns to join the New Jersey Nets at the end of the 2001-02 NBA season, many believed that the addition of a steady and dynamic playmaker would elevate a team that had missed the playoffs to a higher overall standing. tables.

That’s how it turned out. Kidd’s arrival, along with Richard Jefferson, Kenyon Martin and Kerry Kittles, turned the Nets into a championship contender. They lost in the NBA Finals the year he arrived, then lost again in the Finals the following year.

Some basketball fans believe that Jalen Brunson is the missing piece on a Knicks team that has made just one playoff appearance since 2014, that the Knicks already have a cast of Arjay Barrett and Julius Randle, and that Brunson – a consistent point guard who could usher in a new era of competitive basketball in Mecca.

“I love Brunson,” Kidd said, somewhat jokingly, before Thursday’s game between the Nets and Mavericks. “But you can’t compare me and him.”

Kidd believes Brunson can make a positive impact on the Knicks. He noted Brunson’s remarkable run that led Villanova to the 2018 NCAA Championship. He noted Brunson’s steady year-to-year improvement in Dallas, where he was the second offensive line last season alongside MVP candidate Luka Doncic.

In his first four games with the Knicks, Brunson averaged 20 points, 8.5 assists, 4.5 rebounds and a steal.

“I think Brunson makes an impact on any team he plays for,” Kidd said. “He’s a true professional, and so I hope he makes the same impact I had when I came (to the Nets). Even bigger (in terms of influence than Kidd), it’s great for a person like that to have that kind of influence. With its dimensions, a lot of the time we measure height and weight, but you just don’t know what’s inside. He has a big heart and a high IQ. They don’t measure up sometimes, but he’s a winner and the Knicks are lucky to have him.”

You can tell, though, that Kidd and the Mavericks can still feel hurt by Brunson’s decision to leave Dallas for New York. When initially asked how his former point guard would fit with the Knicks, Kidd said, “I saw zero. I wish Brunson the best of luck, but I don’t have time to look at him right now.”

And after the loss of the starting guard, the ex-Net fills the void.

The Nets traded Spencer Dinwiddie to the Wizards two summers ago, and when that didn’t work out in Washington, the Wizards traded him to the Mavericks.

“Losing Jalen for nothing, it doesn’t add anything,” Kidd said. “But we have depth, fortunately, with Spencer potentially starting or not starting, because we can go in different directions with our lineups.”

Dinwiddie played a key role in providing depth to last year’s Mavericks team. He’s a Swiss army knife in Dallas as he is in Brooklyn.

“It’s only been three games, and at some point we’ll probably bring him off the bench to look at (Tim Hardaway Jr.) or somebody else in the starting lineup, just to see what that looks like and check the box.” said Kidd. “But we’re lucky we have Spencer because he’s dynamic and the things he can do like get to the rim and shoot threes and we also ask him to run because sometimes he has other guys , who want to also score with Timmy and (Christian Wood), so the balance of being able to do it sounds simple, but it’s not.”