Jason Kidd retired from the NBA Monday after an illustrious career. He was drafted in 1994 along with Grant Hill who retired Saturday and they shared rookie of the year honors that season.
Overall, Kidd played six seasons with the Dallas Mavericks (in two different stints), five years with the Phoenix Suns, six and half years with what was then the New Jersey Nets, and finally this last year a season with the New York Knicks to wrap up a legendary career.
The future hall-of-famer made All-NBA first-team five times and the second-team once, and made the All-defensive first or second team nine straight years. He averaged 12.6 points, 8.7 assists and 6.3 rebounds for his career, and those numbers are lower because of his last three years of sub-par production when he was 38-40 years old and not the main focus of the team.
Kidd made some finals appearances with the Nets in the early 2000’s, but finally got the job done in 2011 with the Dallas Mavericks.
The kid who went to college at Cal finished his career with some staggering numbers. He is number two all-time in assists and steals, showing how he was the quintessential point guard. He is third in minutes-played and seventh in games-played, which illustrates his ability to generally stay healthy and continue to play at a high level. Additionally, Kidd is third in three-pointers made, which is very surprising, seeing as when he entered the league he apparently didn’t have a three-point shot. Just goes to show you that hard work and determination will get you places.
Kidd was playing point guard for the Suns when I was just starting to get into basketball, but right before my family got season tickets, so I really enjoyed seeing him play. However, as I got older and saw him these last five years, I’ve seen why he is so special. His high basketball IQ and tenacity on defense, get in your head, force you to make mistakes even though these younger kids could probably jump twice as high (or more) and blow right by him in the twilight of his career.
Being such a smart guy, Kidd could be a coach or work on television (which he has already mentioned wanting to do) or he could work in a management capacity for a team. Any of these would be great choices, but the NBA isn’t having a good couple days since they lost the smart and classy players in Grant Hill and Jason Kidd. Both these players are the only ones to win the Joe Dumars sportsmanship award multiple times (Hill-3, Kidd-2). Kidd won both of his the last two seasons, being the first to ever win in back-to-back years.