Jason Kidd retires, following in footsteps of Grant Hill


Jason Kidd made his last appearance in the NBA in the Knicks’ playoff series against the Indiana Pacers. (Darron Cummings / AP)

Jason Kidd has made up his mind. He’ll follow Grant Hill, his 1995 co-Rookie of the Year, into retirement.

“My time in professional basketball has been an incredible journey, but one that must come to an end after 19 years,” Kidd said in a statement released by the New York Knicks. “As I reflect on my time with the four teams I represented in the NBA, I look back fondly at every season and thank each every one of my teammates and coaches that joined me on the court.”

“I think it is the right time,” Kidd, who had two years left on his contract, told ESPN NewYork. “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. It is time to move on and think about maybe coaching or doing some broadcasting.”

Kidd, a 10-time All-Star with the Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns, New Jersey Nets and Knicks, was the second pick in the 1994 NBA draft; Hill was the third pick. (Glenn Robinson was No. 1.) For his career, Kidd averaged 12.6 points, 8.7 assists, 6.3 rebounds and 1.9 steals a game and was a member of the U.S. team that won gold in the 2000 and 2008 Olympics. He was a member of the 2011 Mavericks team that won the NBA title and Nets teams that went to the NBA finals in 2002-03.

Kidd is second all-time in assists with 12,091, trailing John Stockton’s 15,806. Kidd, however, played in 113 fewer games.

Because of that shared Rookie of the Year award, Kidd will always be linked with Hill. And now the two of them go out together. Two days ago, Hill announced on TNT’s broadcast that he would retire after an injury-marked career in which he was a seven-time All-Star. Although he averaged over 20 points per game in his first five seasons with the Detroit Pistons, ankle injuries hobbled him and diminished his explosiveness during stints in Orlando and Phoenix. His announcement, coupled with Kidd’s on Monday, was a double jolt for hoops fans and players.

 

Perhaps one day they’ll go into the Hall of Fame together, too. Kidd seems assured of a spot; Hill is a little less certain, but note that he is one of only 17 players with over 17,000 points, 6,000 rebounds and 4,000 assists. Twelve of those players are presently eligible for the Hall of Fame and all 12 have been inducted.

Follow @CindyBoren on Twitter and on Facebook.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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Cindy Boren · June 3, 2013