Chris Paul and Deron Williams are better than Jason Kidd

Chris Chase

It's widely-acknowledged that Jason Kidd is the third-best point guard on Team USA's roster. This makes it all the more baffling that nobody seems to mind that the 35-year old will be starting over both Chris Paul and Deron Williams in the Olympics.

Point guards aren't wine or Heather Locklear, they don't get better with age. Kidd's time has passed, as evidenced by Paul's dismantling of him in this year's NBA Playoffs. He's still a fine point guard and a worthy member of Team USA, it's just that Kidd is probably suited better to a "veteran leader" role rather than a starring one.

"International experience" is listed as Kidd's main asset to Team USA, namely in the form of the gold medal he won at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. That's all well and good but:

a) that was eight years ago;
b) Team USA barely escaped a terribly under-matched Lithuanian team in the semifinals that year;
c) Vin Baker was also on that team, so he's presumably just as experienced as Kidd.

Kidd hasn't played in a major international competition since Sydney - missing all three Team USA debacles in the World Championships and Olympics since 2000 - which makes his discretion just as big a factor as his experience.

This is not to diminish the success Kidd has had in the past. It's just hard to see how a 35-year old is a better option than two of the brightest stars in the game simply because he's been there before.

Maybe Coach K is starting Kidd because the only thing he remembers about the guard was that as a freshman at Cal he torched Duke in the second-round of the 1993 NCAA Tournament when the Blue Devils were two-time defending champs. Krzyzewski probably only thinks of Kidd as that 19-year old phenom who dethroned his mighty Dukies. And in Coach K's eyes, anybody who can out-duel Bobby Hurley must be a basketball genius, even 15 years later. Scoff at the theory if you must, but you have to admit it sounds entirely more plausible than a great basketball man like Krzyzewski thinking that the present-day Kidd is a better option than Paul or Williams.