- (Photo: Reuters / Lucy Nicholson)
New York Knicks point guard Jason Kidd retired after 19 seasons in the NBA in what is most definitely a Hall of Fame career.
Kidd will go down as one of the greatest players to ever play the game, but in the last few seasons, most notably this past one, he went through some of the worst stretches of play in his career.
"Everybody will probably say that [it did]," Kidd said regarding his poor play in a statement. "But I didn't come into the league as a shooter or scorer and I guess I won't be leaving as one. I just tried to play the game the right way. As you get older, Father Time is undefeated. The ball just wouldn't go in for me at the end. I thought I had a great season."
A few weeks ago Kidd told the media he was coming back, but said today he really began considering retirement this weekend at a wedding.
"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."
"Jeff [Schwartz] and I and my family had been talking this past weekend. We talked a lot and we felt it was the right time to move on and so we notified the Knicks. They were kind of taken aback. We told them [earlier] that I wanted to come back and play. But this weekend was when we got a chance to relax [and really think about it]. It is the right thing to do."
Coming to the Knicks this year, Kidd was important as a team leader and a veteran who could help the youngsters craft their games.
"Veteran leadership on and off the court was a huge factor for our team that recorded 54 victories and an Atlantic Division crown," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said reports CBS Sports. "Jason provided an incredible voice inside our locker room and I considered it an honor to say I coached him."
Kidd seems to have followed the path of fellow NBA player Grant Hill. Both players won Rookie of the Year in the 1994-95 season, and now both have retired at the age of 40 within the same week as each other.
The 40-year-old leaves the NBA as a 10-time all-star, one-time NBA champion in 2011 with the Dallas mavericks, two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, second all-time in assists only to John Stockton, third in three point field goals, third in triple-doubles, and is the only player in NBA history with at least 15,000 points, 10,000 assists, and 7,000 rebounds.
"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]," he told ESPN.
Kidd was drafted in 1994 by the Mavericks as the No. 2 pick.
His career averages are: 12.6 points a game, 8.7 assists, 6.3 rebounds, and 1.9 steals per game.