In what really wasn’t an unexpected move, New York Knicks guard Jason Kidd has called it a career after 19 terrific NBA seasons.
Even since the All-Star break, there were rumors that the 2013 campaign could be the final one for the future first ballot Hall of Famer and on Monday afternoon that became a reality.
Kidd goes down as one of the best passing and rebounding guards of all-time. He was a 10-time All-Star, led the NBA in assists five times and finished second all-time in assists and steals behind John Stockton. In addition to his individual accomplishments, he won a championship with the Dallas Mavericks and two Olympic Gold medals as a member of Team USA.
“I think it is the right time,” Kidd told ESPNNewYork.com. “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 averaged 12.6 points, 8.7 assists, 6.3 rebounds and 1.9 steals in 1,391 regular-season games, but it was his ability to make teammates better and his knack for turning teams around that made him special. He retires making the playoffs in 17 consecutive seasons.
He signed a three-year deal to come to New York last offseason and leaves with two years remaining at $3 million per year.
In his only season in the Big Apple, Kidd averaged 6.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.6 steals per game and in usual Kidd fashion, his impact went well beyond the box score. However he struggled with his shot big time, shooting only 37.2 percent from the floor and 35.1 percent from behind the arc. Those struggles became even bigger during the postseason as Kidd went scoreless in his final 10 games and missed his final 18 shot attempts of his career.
Who knows if his struggles impacted his decision, but one thing is for sure- Kidd will be missed, not only in New York, but around the entire NBA.
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