After 19 seasons as one of the best point guards to ever play in the NBA, Jason Kidd announced his retirement today from the game of basketball.
“I think it is the right time,” Kidd told ESPN New York. “When you think about 19 years, it has been a heckuva ride. Physically, I want to be able to participate in activities with my kids so it has taken a toll.”
Before his prolific career in the pros, Kidd was hooping it up in the Bay Area in high school and college.
He attended St. Paschal Baylon school in the Oakland Hills, where he received accolades such as the Niasmith Award as the nation’s top high school player and being named an All-American.
“He was a man amongst boys,” said Jon Barry, who played against Kidd in high school.
Kidd went on to play for the Cal Bears, etching himself as perhaps the greatest player to ever step on campus. He almost single-handedly turned a 10-18 team the previous year into a team that advanced to the Sweet 16 in his freshman season.
After two years at Cal, Kidd declared for the 1994 NBA Draft, and was selected second overall by the Dallas Mavericks. He would go on to play for four teams, and the rest is history.
Kidd’s numerous achievements include:
- 10-time All-Star
- Co-Rookie of the Year in 1995, which he shared with Grant Hill (who also retired a few days ago)
- 5-time NBA First Team
- 4-time All-Defensive First Team
- Led the NBA in assists for five seasons
- Second all-time in assists with 12,091 (first was John Stockton)
- Most defining award — 2-time NBA Sportsmanship Award
Sportsmanship was Kidd’s greatest characteristic, and everyone, from teammates to opponents, can attest to that.
“Jason’s value to the Knicks and the National Basketball Association cannot be quantified by statistics alone,” Knicks general manager Glen Grunwald said. “Everyone here in New York saw first-hand what a tremendous competitor he is and why Jason is considered to be one of the best point guards, and leaders, the game has ever seen.”
I couldn’t have put it any better.
Jason Kidd has retired — a true legend in the Bay Area and the NBA, leaving behind a long and lasting legacy.