It seems that actually leaving your profession at the perfect point in time is an impossible art to master. Jason Kidd could have let the NBA as a champion two years ago, but remained in the league and pretty much embarrassed himself for a couple of seasons before deciding it’s actually time to quit.
The numbers? On his last season with the Dallas Mavericks and another one with the New York Knicks, Jason Kidd averaged 6.1 points and 27.6 minutes a night, shooting an embarrassing 36.8% from the field, attempting 5.5 field goals per game.
Everyone’s a genius through hindsight, but you always expect more from hall of fame destines players, and despite Kidd being a vital part of the Dallas Mavericks winning the NBA title in 2011, mostly through his defense on the choking version of LeBron James, it seemed like his part of the NBA’s upper echelon was over the moment he left the Nets for the Dallas Mavericks.
And so, after winning the NBA title, there was nothing in that series that suggested that Kidd is anything more than a role player, at best, at his current ability in the NBA. But you can’t blame players for wanting to stay in the league, even if their presence shames their past, and he is probably one of the five greatest point guard of all-time. The way outsiders view this is something the player sees in a completely different manner, and it’s hard for someone who has been to three NBA finals and was one of the best passers the league has ever seen to admit he can’t do it anymore.
So Kidd stayed on for two more years, in which he reached the playoffs twice with the Mavs and the Knicks. In Dallas last season it looked very bad already. Kidd had lost any shred of speed he had left, and except for putting his body on players and hitting open three pointers, had no way of assisting the offense that had to deal with a non-mobile and hardly scoring point guard for 28.7 minutes a night.
Some thought Kidd would retire once the season is over, but the geriatric project opened by the New York Knicks was too intriguing to pass up. Kidd began the season as a starter as the Knicks hit it off with their two point guard ensemble, but game savvy and experience only gets you this far. Kidd hit open three’s at a satisfying rate, but hardly did anything else on both ends on the floor to merit him the 26.9 minutes he got each night.
So Kidd retires, because he got messages from the Knicks that he wasn’t really someone they were hoping to see again next season. There’s no room for sentimentality in a business of million of dollars going to waste when someone doesn’t get told enough is enough. Jason Kidd stopped being a superstar almost a decade ago, and it’s hard for us to accept Great players suddenly becoming something that’s a lot less. The moment you stop being relevant on the court, which has been the case for the last couple of years, it’s probably time to go.