Ethnicity can be hard to discern. Sometimes, it’s as easy as looking at someone or knowing their background, but some people (especially pro athletes) are much more nebulous. While many NBA players appear clear cut right away, there are a few who aren’t as straightforward.
To exemplify that point, the following guide breaks down Jason Kidd’s background by looking at his upbringing, his parents, as well as his different ethnicities. That will reveal, not just where the hall of famer came from, but how his background shaped his illustrious career.
A Sum of His Parts
Kidd may appear fully white at first glance, but the allstar is actually half white and half black. That makes him biracial in the same way as players like Blake Griffin, Mike Bibby, Klay Thompson, and Lonzo Ball. He just stands out due to his lighter complexion.
Where most biracial NBA players look mixed, Kidd gets almost all of his skin tone from his mom. His dad is on the darker side of the spectrum, but that’s not something most people would know by looking at Kidd. He’s the sum of two parts, each one as important as the other.
I’ve come a long way! #TransformationTuesday pic.twitter.com/Yk1lLXNIUw— Jason Kidd (@RealJasonKidd) September 18, 2018
Two Loving Parents
Kidd was born in San Francisco and comes from an upper middle class part of Oakland. His dad (Steve) was African-American, while his mom (Anne) is Irish-American. That combination helped create the player/coach he became, and greatly shaped his basketball career.
That’s because, despite his lofty dreams, both of his parents were incredibly supportive. They both came from humble beginnings, but had big dreams for their son. They truly believed he could make it to the NBA, and they did so by pushing him in every way that they could.
Not only did they think that he could defy the odds, but his dad always believed Kidd had what it took to lead a championship team. While his premonition came true, he never got to see it, as he passed away in 1999. Even so, he did see his son make it all the way to the top.
Where Kidd’s dad was African American, Kidd’s mom is Irish. That heritage is a big part of his life. He went to St. Joseph Notre Dame High School in Alameda, California, which was a nod to that ethnicity, and she’s been a huge influence in his life.
Unlike many pro athletes, Kidd’s parents never played sports. His dad worked several middle class jobs, while his mom was a programmer. That makes his run to the big leagues even more impressive.
Two Halves Make a Whole
Kidd may not be obviously one race or another, but his biracial background puts him into a special category within the NBA. When he played, the player-turned-coach was a part of the 12.5 percent of the league that comes from mixed race marriages.
That number may seem like it’s on the low side, especially compared to the number of high profile mixed athletes in the spotlight, but it’s pretty in line with past decades. In total, 81.1 percent of the league is African American, 17.9 percent is white, and 1 percent is other.
Kidd is part of one of the smaller groups in the league, and it’s something he’s always embraced. He loved his background, grew close to his parents, and succeeded time and time again.
Kidd was a truly unique player, and he’s a truly unique person. He’s a mix of two different backgrounds, both of which influenced his life. While they didn’t have any impact on his basketball game by themselves, they did affect the player and coach he is today.