Jason Kidd hung up the sneakers on Monday after 19 successful seasons in the NBA. He retires 2nd all time in both assists (12,091) and steals (2,684). He averaged a stat line of 12.6 points, 8.7 assists, 6.3 rebounds, and 1.93 steals in 1,391 career games. He played in 158 playoffs games, highlighted by a championship ring won with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011. The 10 time All-Star also played for the Phoenix Suns, New Jersey Nets, and New York Knicks in his career.
Kidd burst onto the scene in 1994 with the Dallas Mavericks when he earned Co-Rookie of the Year honors. Some of his best seasons came in the late 90s when he averaged a double-double in points and assists between 1997-1999 with the Phoenix Suns.
Kidd arguably had the most success in his career when he played alongside Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson with the New Jersey Nets. The Nets had their first 50 win season in franchise history during the era, as Kidd led them to two consecutive NBA Finals appearances. In 2002, Kidd averaged 18 points per game, the most in his career, and 9 assists.
Although considered one of the best passers in NBA history, Kidd was criticized for his lack of a consistent jump shot early in his career, earning him the nickname “Ason Kidd.” However, Kidd continued to work and get better at it. The hard work would pay off as he shot a career high 84% from the free throw line in 2002. The 3-point shot would also improve later in his career when he shot 38% from three in 2007, 40% in 2008, and 42% in 2009.
Kidd is a sure-fire Hall of Famer who will most likely join when first eligible. In his early days, he was such a quick point guard who could create so many open shots for others. He was also quick with the hands as he averaged two steals a game for his career.
His resume was complete when he won the 2011 championship with the Mavericks. Kidd averaged 9 points, 7 assists, and 2 steals per game in the championship run to earn his only ring. Kidd spent his final season with the New York Knicks; mostly coming off the bench in 76 games. It was the first time in his career he failed to average at least eight assists in a season. That just speaks to how committed Kidd was to assisting others. The NBA lost a legend Monday, as Kidd will be remembered as one of the best point guards in NBA history.