Jason Kidd Retires After 19 Seasons

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New York Knicks’ point guard Jason Kidd has officially announced his retirement.  The news comes, coincidentally, just days after Grant Hill, with whom Kidd was the Co-Rookie of the Year in 1995, also announced his retirement. Kidd lead the league in assists 5 times, and ranks second all-time in total career assists with 12 091 (behind only John Stockton, who has 15 806).  Kidd lead the New Jersey Nets to back-to-back finals appearances (though they failed to win a game in either series), and finished second in MVP voting after leading the Nets to a 26-game improvement in 2002.  He would go onto win an NBA title with the Dallas Mavericks when he returned to the team that drafted him via a trade.  In his final season, Kidd opted to play alongside for Mavericks teammate and Defensive Player of the Year, Tyson Chandler, and though the Knicks went deeper in the playoff than they had in over ten years, the season was ultimately a disappointment.

 

According to some, Toni Braxton was the reason Kidd and Jackson didn't get along, though both players deny this.

According to some, Toni Braxton was the reason Kidd and Jackson didn’t get along, though both players deny this.

Kidd’s career was marked by both brilliant play on the court, and controversy off the court.  Drafted by the Dallas Mavericks, the franchise seemed to have a bright future ahead with a talented young trio referred to as the “Three J’s” featuring: Kidd, Jamal Mashburn and Jim JacksonToni Braxton soon broke up the bromance, or so the media would have us believe (though Kidd and Jackson both deny it).  The singer allegedly had a date with Kidd one evening but left with Jackson.  Regardless of the legitimacy of this rumour, what is true is that Kidd and Jackson simply did not get a long and Kidd demanded a trade eventually being moved to the Phoenix Suns.

 

Jason Kidd (right) with Grant Hill, co-winners of the Rookie of the Year award.

Jason Kidd (right) with Grant Hill, co-winners of the Rookie of the Year award.

Kidd played some great ball in Phoenix, but off-court behaviour did not bode well for him.  Though Kidd helped the team to a 16-game improvement in his first season with the club, and his leadership was instrumental to getting the Suns to the conference semi-finals in 2001, where they lost to the eventual champions, the good news did not extend off the court.  In January of 2001 though Kidd was charged with and plead guilty to domestic abuse.  His image in Phoenix was tarnished and the team eventually moved Kidd, many believe because they saw Kidd as a public-relations nightmare.  After reconciling, Kidd would eventually file for divorce with his then wife, claiming cruelty on the part of his wife who he alleges threatened to lay false accusation of domestic abuse against him; she would lay a counter claim that she had in fact been abused.  Though his days in court were few for the decade following the incident, Kidd would again find himself in trouble with the law shortly after signing with the Knicks for driving under the influence.

Whilst playing for the Sun, Kidd was charged with and plead guilty to domestic abuse.  Perhaps the peroxide was seeping too deep into his scalp and impairing his judgment.

Whilst playing for the Sun, Kidd was charged with and plead guilty to domestic abuse. Perhaps the peroxide was seeping too deep into his scalp and impairing his judgment.

Kidd’s Hall of Fame status seems certain.  He came closer than any player since Larry Bird and Magic Johnson to averaging a triple-double, lead a lottery team to the NBA finals, was a ten-time All Star, made the All-NBA Team six times, five of which he was on the first team, and also finished on either the first or second All-Defensive Team nine times.  The only blemish with Kidd’s on-court performance was his woeful field goal percentage, which rests at a meager 40%.  Kidd is clearly a first-ballot Hall of Famer, but his off court behaviour will likely cost him some votes.  Still, as a basketball player, Kidd was a rare talent who knew how to motivate teammates and lead by example, chasing every loose ball and always looking to make the best play for the team.

 

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  1. […] and they haven’t even started their second season yet.  It was announced today that the recently retired Jason Kidd, who served as the team captain of the Nets during the franchise’s most successful […]

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