This is the kind of play that got Golden State Warrior coach Don Nelson to thinking that Kidd could skip college and play in the NBA right away. "Second round, maybe," is where Nelson guessed Kidd would have been drafted this year.
The nature of a passer—who's a giver, not a taker—is such that he rarely boasts about his exploits. Kidd is no exception. He does have a few big-time affectations, though, Bo-Speak being one of them.
"When I get older," he says, reflecting on the recruiting process, "maybe I'll understand what Jason went through." On the attention he has received, he says, "Beginning in my sophomore year, there was this need to see Jason play basketball." His individual goal is to get 26 assists in a game. Beyond that, he's all team talk.
And what are 26 assists, after all, but 52 points for his teammates? When it comes to the team, he permits himself a little boasting. "Cal, Final Four, two years," he says. "Realistic goal."
The Bears' two recruiting classes before Kidd's were both pretty good, which he knew from hanging around Berkeley's gym, where he played pickup games with many of the varsity players. Those summer experiences probably had more to do with his signing with the Bears than anything else. At Cal, Kidd found players "who can handle the passes and finish," he says.
In fact, a passer never really knows how good he can be until he is surrounded by complementary talent. That's a lesson Kidd learned at various all-star games and summer basketball camps, particularly the McDonald's All-America Game in April in Atlanta, where he teamed up with Harrington. "It was a thrill to play with someone like Othella, who could dominate the game every minute he was in," Kidd says, 'I told him he'd have the ball a lot, and he just laughed. But he did get the ball a lot."
Harrington also enjoyed their brief meeting, and he took the opportunity to outshine Kidd in the McDonald's game, scoring 19 points, grabbing 21 rebounds and winning the MVP award. Of the two, though, Kidd will probably continue to create more headlines—"just because we're entering an era when the role of the big man is less important," says Southern Cal coach George Raveling. "The game is being dominated more by the guards." Then again, what if Harrington only becomes as well-known as Patrick Ewing, Dikembe Mutombo or Alonzo Mourning, his three most illustrious predecessors at Georgetown?
Like Kidd, Harrington will soon get his chance. Nobody at either school pretends that these two freshmen will have to work to earn their positions. "He's got to fit in," says Georgetown coach John Thompson, who ordinarily likes to oversee the gradual development—social, academic and athletic—of a wunderkind. "We have a need at Georgetown, not just a want. There is a large vacancy here [since Mourning's departure]."
Nonetheless Thompson has coached enough heralded big men to be a bit cautious about Harrington. He knows that being big is not the same as being grown up. Upon signing Harrington, Thompson said, "I'm going to have to use the trick I first learned with Patrick. I'm going to have to write '18 years old' on a piece of paper and keep it in my pocket to remind myself that this is only a youngster. I haven't seen any freshmen that have not acted like freshmen. You know what I mean?"
At Murrah High in Jackson, Miss., Harrington averaged 29 points, 25 rebounds and six blocked shots last season to lead his team to its second straight state Class 5A championship. What's more, he is driven to improve himself. In seventh grade, says Harrington, "I just wasn't that good."