Click here for my latest story on Kidd’s retirement, plus a photo slide show of his career.
Here is columnist Monte Poole’s take on the timing of Kidd’s farewell.
The greatest player to wear a Cal basketball jersey, Jason Kidd announced Monday he is retiring from the NBA after a 19-year career in which he was a 10-time all-star and one of the greastest point guards in league history.
Kidd, 40, played 19 NBA seasons, finishing No. 2 in league history in assists (12,091) and steals (2,684), and No. 3 in 3-point field goals (1,988) and minutes played (50,0111). He is the all-time leading rebounder among NBA guards (8,725) and compiled 107 career triple-doubles — behind only Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson.
Kidd said he made the decision over the weekend, simply deciding the time was right.
Asked by ESPN.com to identify the highlights of his career, Kidd said, “The two things that are probably tied for first are winning a championship with the Mavericks and also being able to win a gold medal — two gold medals with Team USA,” Kidd said of what he’s most proud of in his career. “And then underneath that will probably be sharing Rookie of the Year with Grant (Hill).”
Hill, coincidentally, announced his retirement on Saturday.
A graduate of St. Joseph’s HS in Alameda, where was such a popular phenom that the Pilots played some of their games at Cal State Hayward or the Coliseum Arena, Kidd helped elevate Cal to heights it hadn’t enjoyed since Pete Newell coached the team four decades earlier.
As a freshman, Kidd powered the Bears to spectacular NCAA tourmanent wins over LSU and two-time defending champ Duke, earning a cover on Sports Illustrated. After his sophomore season, he declared for the NBA draft and was taken No. 2 overall by the Dallas Mavericks.
At Cal, Kidd averaged 14.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 8.4 assists.
In the NBA, those numbers were 12.6, 6.3 and 8.7.