A CAREER IN PICTURES
On Monday, June 3, 2013, Jason Kidd announced his retirement from the NBA after a 19-year career in which he became one of the greatest point guards to ever play the game. Take a look back at Jason’s career through high school, college and five NBA stops in images.
At St. Joseph’s High School in Alameda, California, Jason won two state titles and received the Naismith Award his senior year.
Though he was courted by national powerhouse programs, Jason stayed home for college at Cal and led the Bears to two tournament appearances, including a memorable upset of defending champion Duke in 1993.
NBA DRAFT (1994)
Following two years in college, Jason entered the 1994 NBA Draft and was selected No. 2 overall by the Dallas Mavericks.
In Jason’s rookie year, the Mavericks experienced a 23-win turnaround from 13 wins the year prior to 36 victories in 94-95. And after averaging 11.7 points and 7.7 assists per night for the resurgent Mavs, Jason was named co-rookie of the year with Detroit’s Grant Hill.
The following season, Jason was selected to his first All-Star game on his way to averaging 16.6 points and 9.7 assists per game.
In the midst of his third season in the NBA, Jason was traded to Phoenix, where he led the Suns to a playoff berth by winning 20 of their final 26 games of the regular season.
OLYMPIC GOLD (2000)
In the summer of 2000, Jason was selected to the U.S. Olympic basketball team, and helped the squad to a gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Games.
The 2000-01 season was Jason’s final year in Phoenix. He led the league in assists for a third straight year, and took the Suns to the playoffs for a fifth straight time.
NEW JERSEY (2001-02)
In the 2001 offseason, J-Kidd was traded to New Jersey, where he sparked the resurgence of a previously hapless franchise. The Nets went on to win 52 regular season games in Jason’s first season, then pushed to the Eastern Conference Finals, where they defeated the Boston Celtics in six games for the franchise’s first NBA conference title. In his first NBA Finals trip, Jason’s Nets ran into the Lakers led by Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. Though New Jersey was swept by LA, which won its third straight title, the Finals appearance was a big step for the Nets franchise.
The Nets returned to the NBA Finals the following season, and lost a grueling six-game battle with the San Antonio Spurs.New Jersey didn’t make it back to the Finals after Jason’s first two years, but in Jason’s six-plus seasons as a Net, the franchise experienced a resurgence as an Eastern Conference power. Jason went to the All-Star game five times as a Net, including the 2008 game, which happened to be his final game as a member of the franchise.
TEXAS TWO-STEP (2008)
During All-Star weekend 2008, Jason was traded from the Nets back to his original team, the Dallas Mavericks.
OLYMPIAN AGAIN (2008)
After sitting out of the 2004 Olympics, Jason returned the USA Basketball team and helped the “Redeem Team” to an undefeated gold medal run at the 2008 Beijing Games.
After playing the final 29 regular season games and five postseason games with the Mavs in 2008, Jason remained a Maverick and signed a three-year deal in 2009 to keep him in Dallas through the 11-12 season. In 2010, Jason appeared in his 10th and final All-star Game, which was played at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas. After a few consecutive years of early playoff exits, the Mavericks won the Western Conference in 2011 with a four games to one win over Oklahoma City in the conference finals. The Mavs went on to the NBA Finals for the second time in franchise history and third time in Jason’s career, where they were challenged by the vaunted Miami Heat. Though the Heat had three of the best players in the game, the Mavs proved that team basketball could prevail by beating Miami in six. For Jason, the 17-year wait made his first championship taste that much sweeter. After the championship win, Jason spent one more season in Dallas, where he will forever be known for helping the franchise win its first title.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK (2012-13)
Following the 2011-2012 season, Jason became a free agent and opted to sign with the New York Knicks. J-Kidd helped the Knicks to a 50-win season, and Atlantic Division crown and the team’s first playof series win in more than a decade.
A HALL OF FAME CAREER
Jason completed his 19-year NBA career second all time in assists (12,091) and steals (2,684), third in three-pointers made (1,988) and minutes (50,111) and sixth in games played (1,391).