It didn’t take long for Jason Kidd to find a new job. Less than 10 days after ending his 19-year playing career, Kidd was announced as the next coach of the Brooklyn Nets in June 2013.
Born on March 23, 1973, in San Francisco, Jason Kidd first discoveredbasketball in elementary school. He attended St. Joseph Notre Dame High School in Alameda, Calif., where he twice led his team to the state championship. As a senior, Kidd was named the High School Player of the Year by both Parade and USA Today.
Kidd’s success continued at the University of California, Berkeley. He won the USBWA Freshman of the Year Award in his first season, and the following year he received All-America honors. Following his sophomore year, Kidd decided to enter the NBA. The Dallas Mavericks chose him with the second overall pick in the 1994 draft. Kidd and Grant Hill shared Rookie of the Year honors for the 1994-95 season.
In 1996, Kidd was traded to the Phoenix Suns. His time there got off to a difficult start; he injured himself in his first game as a Sun and was forced to miss more than 20 contests. He rebounded from this setback and led the Suns to five playoff appearances. Kidd achieved another career milestone as a member of the USA Olympic basketball team in 2000. The team went undefeated on its way to the gold medal.
Kidd was traded to the Nets (then in New Jersey) in 2001. The Nets advanced to the 2002 Finals, only to have their championship hopes ruined by the Los Angeles Lakers. Four years after winning a gold medal, Kidd was a member of the U.S. team that finished behind Italy and Argentina to win the bronze medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Beijing. He once again played on the Olympic team in 2008 and won a second gold medal.
2008 was also the year that Kidd rejoined the Mavericks. It was in Dallas that Kidd would finally win a title. The Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat in the 2011 Finals to claim the first championship in franchise history. Kidd signed a 3-year contract reportedly worth $9.5 million with the New York Knicks in July 2012. After one season with the Knicks, Kidd announced his retirement. He finished with career averages of 12.6 points, 8.7 assists, 6.3 rebounds and 1.9 steals. A 10-time All-Star, Kidd had made the All-NBA first or second team six times and the All-Defensive team nine times. His total assists and steals both ranked second all-time to Hall of Fame guard John Stockton. Kidd had also won the NBA’s sportsmanship award twice and earned more than $187 million in contracts.
“Physically, I want to be able to participate in activities with my kids, so it has taken a toll,” Kidd said in a conversation with ESPNNewYork.com. “It is time to move on and think about maybe coaching or doing some broadcasting.” On June 12, the Nets announced Kidd’s hiring. Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov praised the first-time NBA head coach. “Jason Kidd has a long and legendary history with the Nets and with the city of New York. He has the fire in the belly we need, and has achieved as a player everything the Brooklyn Nets are striving to achieve. We believe he will lead us there. Welcome home, Jason.”