Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
NEW YORK — Can it be long before Jason Kidd’s hockey helmet has its own Twitter account?
Kidd jokingly busted out the Rangers helmet during halftime of the Knicks 112-106 victory over the Denver Nuggets after he took yet another shot to the head, this one when Ty Lawson bit on a pump fake and landed on Kidd’s head in the second quarter.
“I thought the scouting report says I can’t shoot so I don’t know why everybody’s going for the pump fake,” Kidd joked after going for 15 points and seven assists while playing point guard down the stretch as the Knicks rallied to improve to 8-0 at home.
The helmet — and the overall play of the 39-year-old Kidd — was a huge hit with his teammates.
“If the league accepts it, he needs to just keep that helmet on,” joked Tyson Chandler, who added 15 points and 12 rebounds in the win.
On Nov. 18, Lance Stephenson of the Indiana Pacers bit on a Kidd pump fake and ended up banging a tooth on Kidd’s dome.
After leaving the game to get stitches, Kidd returned wearing a crooked headband.
Before the game had even ended, a Twitter account called JKidd’s Headband had already popped up on the Internet.
“I thought November was a bad month, but this is turning out to be a bad month as well,” Kidd said of the second head injury that left a welt next to his previous injury.
Asked which look was better, headband or helmet, Steve Novak didn’t hesitate.
“Helmet, helmet,” he said emphatically.
Head coach Mike Woodson opted to go with Kidd at the point in the fourth quarter with Raymond Felton having a sub-par game.
“I thought Jason settled us down and got us into a lot of good things and we played off him,” Woodson said. “Again, I expect that from him because that’s what he’s done his whole career.”
Carmelo Anthony, who came back from a two-game absence due to a finger injury to pour in a game-high 34 points, also applauded Kidd’s leadership.
“I’ve known him for years, I know what he’s about,” he said. “And at the end of the day once he steps on the court all that stuff [ his age] goes out the window. We kind of forget that he’s 40 years old.”
As for the pump fake, Kidd said he may have to reevaluate it going forward.
“I have to be a little more cautious of the pump fake because everyone is flying at it,” he said. “I have to protect myself.”
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.