His longevity was outstanding, allowing him to have 19 years of NBA experience. With his retirement, Kidd leaves the NBA as second all-time in assists, topped only by John Stockton. His longevity also allowed him to amass more total assists than Magic Johnson, Oscar Robertson and Bob Cousy. He also grabbed more rebounds than hall of fame snub Spencer Haywood.
His greatness is not only defined by his ability to play for a long period of time, but his ability to sustain excellence throughout his entire career, starting when Kidd was drafted in 1994 by the Dallas Mavericks.
He quickly showcased his talent his rookie season when he won the Rookie of the Year award alongside Grant Hill. Kidd averaged 12 points, eight assists, and five rebounds during his first season in the league.
Kidd may be most remembered for his years in New Jersey. The Nets were a perennial punching bag for opposing teams. The seven years before Jason Kidd, the Nets averaged only 29 victories per season.
Then Jason Kidd arrived.
Under his guidance, Kidd helped propel the Nets to two consecutive NBA Finals appearances. The 2001 New Jersey Nets finished with a record of 26-56, the 2002 Nets with Jason Kidd went 52-30. The 2003 Nets finished 49-33. The Nets jumped seven spots up in offensive rating with the acquisition of Kidd.
He was a constant triple double threat, his ability to pass, rebound and score made him a nightmare for opposing defenses. While with the Nets, Kidd led the league in assists per game twice and led his team in scoring once. In 2004 he posted a 16/9/6 statline as he showed off every facet of his game.
Even under the leadership of Jason Kidd, the Nets fell short. The Shaq and Kobe-led Lakers and the Tim Duncan-led Spurs managed to overpower New Jersey.
On February 13, 2008, Jason Kidd was traded to his original team, the Dallas Mavericks. In 2011, at the age of 37, Kidd finally won a much deserved championship ring in a victory over the Miami Heat. Even at the age of 37, Kidd was a valuable part of the team. He averaged eight points, eight assists and four rebounds.
Kidd is such a great locker room leader that he is actually already being considered for coaching jobs, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. His style of play and leadership on the court makes many think he will have a smooth transition to the sideline.
Even if Kidd finds himself on the sidelines with a team soon, one thing is certain. We will always miss him being on the court.