|Birthplace:||San Francisco, CA|
|Draft:||First round, second overall|
|Mavs Tenure:||1995-1997, 2008-2012|
Jason Kidd (born March 23, 1973, in San Francisco, California) was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the 1994 NBA draft. He played two-and-a-half seasons with the Mavericks but after stints in Phoenix and New Jersey, rejoined Dallas in February of 2008 and was the team's starting point guard when the Mavs won the NBA Championship in 2011.
Kidd is considered to be one of the best players of his generation, one of the greatest playmakers in NBA history and also one of the greatest point guards in NBA history. His on-court versatility also makes him a regular triple-double threat, and he is in third place all-time for triple-doubles in the NBA with a career total of 100 (as of April 16th, 2008).
After graduating from St. Joseph Notre Dame High School in Alameda, California, where he also led his team to back-to-back California Division 1 state titles, Kidd attended the University of California. His successful collegiate career as a star point guard was topped off by his selection as a First Team All-American during his sophomore year, after which Kidd subsequently opted to enter the NBA Draft in 1994.
He was selected as the second pick overall by the Dallas Mavericks, behind Glenn Robinson of Purdue. In his first year he averaged 11.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 7.7 assists, sharing 1995 NBA Rookie of the Year honors with Grant Hill of the Detroit Pistons. He was a member of the "Three J's" in Dallas along with Jim Jackson and Jamal Mashburn, and many hoped that the trio would lead Dallas to success for years to come; however, that plan did not come to fruition, as all three found themselves playing for other teams shortly thereafter. Kidd was traded to the Phoenix Suns along with Tony Dumas and Loren Meyer for Michael Finley, A.C. Green, and Sam Cassell during the 1996-1997 season. In 2001, after five seasons in Phoenix in which the team made the playoffs each year under Kidd, he was traded to the New Jersey Nets for Stephon Marbury.
The 2001-02 season saw Kidd lead the Nets to a surprising 52-30 finish, and marked one of his best all-around seasons as he finished second to the Spurs' Tim Duncan in MVP voting. Many have argued that Kidd deserved to win the award because of his impact in New Jersey—transforming the Nets from perennial league doormats into championship contenders seemingly in the space of a single training camp. His contribution to the Nets during his first season in New Jersey was huge, and resulted in one of the greatest turnarounds in NBA history. He was also fortunate to join the team when he did, as the team reaped the benefits of the newly healthy Kenyon Martin and Kerry Kittles, and the trading of Eddie Griffin for Richard Jefferson and Jason Collins.
Under Kidd's guidance, the young Nets team prospered through the playoffs and ended up advancing all the way to the Eastern Conference title and the franchise's first-ever appearance in the NBA Finals. However, New Jersey's season would end without an improbable NBA crown, as Kidd and the Nets were swept in four games by Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant's Los Angeles Lakers. However, New Jersey enjoyed another stellar season under the helm of Kidd's leadership in the 2002-03 NBA season, during which the team finished 49-33 and reached the NBA Finals once again, only to succumb to Tim Duncan's San Antonio Spurs in six games.
On July 1, 2004, Kidd underwent microfracture surgery to repair a damaged knee. He made a full recovery and returned to the court in December of that year, during which the Nets acquired star swingman Vince Carter from the Toronto Raptors. With the Nets hanging on the prospect of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2001 and with Jefferson injured, Carter and Kidd combined to fuel the team to a late regular-season surge that enabled them to inch past the Cleveland Cavaliers for the eighth and final playoff berth in the East. However, their season would come to an end early as they fell in four games to top-seeded Miami in the first round.
In the 2005-06 NBA season Kidd averaged 13.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 8.4 assists (5th in the league). Although he has gained in age, the 33-year old Kidd's skills don't appear to be diminished, especially on the defensive end. This is evident as he continues to hold some of the NBA's premier point guards to well below their respective performance levels.
On February 18, 2006 as a reference to the NBA's 60th anniversary, TNT aired the "Next 10", a program consisting of the network's sixteen NBA analysts that selected 10 players who, in their minds, merit inclusion into the NBA's 50 all-time greatest players list. Kidd was chosen at #9.
On February 19, 2008, the Mavericks and Nets agreed on a trade that sent Devin Harris, DeSagana Diop, Maurice Ager, Trenton Hassell, 2 future first round picks, $3 million dollars in cash, and Keith Van Horn in a sign and trade to the New Jersey Nets in exchange for Kidd, Malik Allen, and Antoine Wright. This deal followed a protracted effort to make the deal happen after several failed attempts.
Kidd moved into second place on the all-time assists list with a dish (the 10,335th career) to Rodrigue Beaubois with 10:52 to play in the 3rd quarter against Houston on November 25, 2009. He recorded the 11,000th assist of his career on November 12, 2010 in a 99-90 Mavs victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.
With his contract up following the 2011-2012 campaign, Kidd left Dallas to sign a free agent contract with the New York Knicks.
Kidd played one season with the Knicks and retired following the 2012-2013 season. Retirement, however, lasted all of about a month as Kidd was named head coach of the Brooklyn Nets in June of 2013. In his first season at the helm of the Nets, Kidd led them to the second round of the 2013-2014 playoffs.
After only one season in Brooklyn, Kidd reportedly came out on the short end of a move to gain more power in the organization and was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks for two second round draft picks. He was introduced as the new Bucks coach on July 2, 2014.