Darren Collison, the Mavericksâ new point guard, is following in the footsteps of Jason Kidd. But donât expect him to play anything like Kidd.
While Collison has the utmost respect for Kidd, his game is nothing like the future hall of famerâs. And while he doesnât have the vast wealth of experience Kidd had, Collison will begin his fourth season in the NBA knowing that heâs the starter for the Mavericks. And that he also has a different sort of experience, which cameÂ from a player who often lit up Kidd and a lot of other NBA point guards.
âThat experience playing behind Chris Paul is probably the best thing that could have happened to me,ââ Collison says. âJust the way he controlled the game, managed the game, the things you want a point guard to do, I try to bring that a little bit to my game. And my speed and quickness speaks for itself. I like to attack the basket anyway I can, especially in transition.ââ
Collison played behind Paul in New Orleans in his rookie season and started 37 games when Paul was injured. The Hornets werenât very good in those games (14-23), but it was invaluable experience for Collison. At the time, some people in New Orleans thought Collison was a close second to Paul in terms of ability to run a team.
In Indiana the last two years, Collison was a full-time starter until George Hill asserted himself late last season. Collison is extremely grateful for the change of scenery.
âIâve been on some teams that play hard but didnât have the experience,ââ Collison said. âThatâs the difference between this team and other teams Iâve been on. We have the experience and we have the talent.
âIt was mixed feelings (leaving Indiana). Youâre leaving a city you helped rebuild (in NBA terms), but your coming to a city with great fans, a great organization and great players. I canât tell you how happy I am to be here.ââ