DALLAS — Although he called it a wrap after finishing his 19th professional season in a New York Knicks uniform, future Hall of Famer Jason Kidd says he will always be a Dallas Maverick.
Kidd, who shared the 1995 Rookie of the Year Award with Grant Hill, spent his first 2 ½ seasons with the Mavericks before returning to Big D after the All-Star Break during the 2007-08 campaign. He then played a vital role in helping the Mavs capture their first NBA title in franchise history in 2011, before ending his illustrious career with one season in the Big Apple.
Still, after also suiting up for the Phoenix Suns and the then New Jersey Nets, it’s his time in Dallas that best defines his storied career, according to Kidd.
“I’ve been blessed to play for Dallas, Phoenix and New Jersey, and then the Knicks. Stat-wise, probably New Jersey stands out, but the team that drafted me will always be the team that I attached to myself with and that was the Dallas Mavs,” Kidd said Tuesday night in an interview with 105.3 FM The Fan. “They drafted me, they gave me the opportunity, and then they brought me back and we all fulfilled that dream of winning a championship.
“The blessing behind (the trade from the Mavericks to the Suns in 1996) was I got to learn how to win when I got to Phoenix, and I eventually got back to Dallas to win that championship.”
Kidd retires with both the second-most assists (12,091) and steals (2,684) in league history, ranking third all time in made 3-pointers (1,988) and triple-doubles (107) as well. He also appeared in three NBA Finals series, in addition to capturing two Olympic gold medals with Team USA.
Still, after getting a proper sendoff from Mavericks proprietor Mark Cuban following his retirement announcement Monday, Kidd says his greatest accolade would be seeing his jersey — be it the No. 5 he sported when he first came into the league or the No. 2 he later wore while bringing a championship to Dallas — hanging from the American Airlines Center rafters.
“Oh, whatever number he (Cuban) would like to put up, I’ll be there,” Kidd joked. “You know, I wish I would have got (No.) 5 when I came back the second time around, but I wouldn’t mind (either) just as long as my number went up. That would be just the best honor and the highlight of my career.”