Jason Kidd, the former start of Alameda’s St. Joseph Notre Dame High, Cal, the U.S. Olympic Team, Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns and finally the New York Knicks retired on Monday, June 3.
“You just knew it then how special a player he was going to be,” Jon Barry, who played at rival De La Salle High, said on ESPN. “As a ninth-grader, he was chiseled, he was a man among boys already.”
The 40-year-old played 19 seasons and is considered the most accomplished basketball player to come out of the Bay Area since Bill Russell (in the 1950s) and one of the best point guards in NBA history, experts say.
“Amazing career,” tweeted Dirk Nowitzki, with whom Kidd won an NBA championship on the Dallas Mavericks in 2011. “He always put the team and winning first.”
Among Kidd’s achievements:
• 10-time All-Star, a five-time first-team All-NBA selection and a nine-time first- or second-team all-defensive selection.
• Finished his NBA career No. 2 in assists (12,091) and steals (2,684), and No. 3 in 3-point field goals (1,988) and minutes played (50,111).
• All-time leading rebounder among NBA guards (8,725).
• 107 career triple-doubles
• Two Olympic gold medals
While at St. Joe’s, Kidd led the team to back-to-back state titles; he stood 6-foot-4 and weighed 200 pounds as a high schooler. His skills made the Alameda so popular that some of its games were played at Cal State Hayward and the Coliseum Arena.
Kidd also helped the Bears win back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances. With Cal’s upset of Duke in 1993, the former St. Joe’s star appeared on the cover of “Sports Illustrated.”
“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. “As I reflect on my time with the four teams I represented in the NBA, I look back fondly at every season and thank … every one of my teammates and coaches that joined me on the court.”