Born in California in 1973, Jason Kidd has excelled at basketball since elementary school. He became one of the country's top players in high school and continued to thrive at University of California, Berkeley. In 1994, Kidd was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks. He later played with the Phoenix Suns and the New Jersey Nets. In 2012, Kidd signed with the New York Knicks. Over his career, he became a 10-time NBA All-Star and an Olympic gold medal winner. He announced his retirement from the sport in 2013.
Considered one of the best point guards in NBA history, professional basketball player Jason Kidd first discovered the sport in elementary school. He quickly developed an impressive set of skills on the court. At St. Joseph Notre Dame High School in Alameda, California, Kidd helped his team clinch two state championships. He was named the High School Player of the Year by both Parade and USA Today in his senior year.
At the University of California, Berkeley, Kidd continued to distinguish himself as a player. His first season with the university, he won the USBWA Freshman of the Year Award. Kidd picked up All-America honors the following year. After two years at Berkeley, he decided to go professional. Kidd was the second pick in the 1994 NBA draft, and he was selected by the Dallas Mavericks.
Kidd shared Rookie of the Year honors with Grant Hill during his first season. In 1996, he was traded to the Phoenix Suns. He injured himself in his first game with the Suns and had to miss more than 20 games. After this initial rough start, he helped his team make it to the NBA Playoffs for five seasons. While with the Suns, he was selected for the NBA All-Star team several times.
In 2000, Kidd joined the USA Olympic Basketball team. He played alongside fellow NBA stars as Gary Payton and Allan Houston. The team was undefeated in their quest for gold, winning eight straight games to win the top honor for their country. The following year, Kidd was traded to the New Jersey Nets. He led the team to their 2002 bid for the NBA Championship, but they lost out in the finals to the Los Angeles Lakers.
In 2004, Kidd returned to the U.S. Olympic basketball team at the Summer Games in Beijing, taking home a bronze medal, losing to Italy (silver) and Argentina (gold). In 2008, the U.S. team, again with Kidd, took home the gold.
Kidd returned to the Dallas Mavericks in 2008. With the team, he achieved a milestone that he alluded him his entire career so far. In 2011, Kidd and his teammates defeated the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals. He had finally won the NBA Championship, at the age of 38. It was also the Mavericks first championship victory.
In 2012, Kidd headed east to join the New York Knicks. He signed a three-year contract with the team that July, reportedly worth $9.5 million.
Kidd ended up in the headlines just a short time later, after crashing his car into a utility pole in Water Mill, New York. Apparently unhurt in the incident, he was charged with driving while intoxicated. Reports alleged that Kidd was drinking heavily before the accident. He refused to take a sobriety test at the scene, later pleading not guilty to the charge.
With two years still left on his contract with the Knicks, in June 2013, Kidd announced his retirement from the NBA. "My time in professional basketball has been an incredible journey, but one that must come to an end after 19 years," Kidd stated, according to a Knicks news release. "As I reflect on my time with the four teams I represented in the NBA, I look back fondly at every season and thank each every one of my teammates and coaches that joined me on the court."
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