In what promises to be a landmark season for the Brooklyn Nets, they've tabbed another night for celebration.
“This is a very humbling honor and one that I will always cherish,” Kidd said in a press release. “There can be no greater recognition of an athlete’s time with any team than to have his number retired, and this gesture by the Nets organization validates a very significant portion of my career that was spent as a player with this franchise.
Two trips to the NBA Finals highlighted Kidd's six-plus years with the then New Jersey Nets. They marked the first in Nets history. Kidd enjoyed a place among the NBA's elite with the Nets, landing on the All-NBA first teams, All-NBA defensive teams, and emerging as the top assist distributor.
Kidd is the seventh Net to have his number retired. The list is as follows:
Drazen Petrovic (3)
Wendell Ladner (4)
"Super" John Williamson (23)
Bill Melchionni (25)
Julius "Dr. J" Erving
Buck Williams (52)
General manager Billy King, who gambled on Kidd as a head coach, said the honor is "richly deserved."
“Jason is firmly established in the Nets’ record books as the greatest player in the team’s NBA history, and the retirement of his No. 5 is a fitting conclusion to his legacy as a Nets player," King added in a statement.
The Nets curiously selected a preseason game in which to honor their coach. There are several schools of thought as to why. Stefan Bondy of the Daily News reported that Kidd did not want the ceremony to serve as a distraction from his head coaching duties. Another possibility is a looming suspension targeted at the new coach due to his guilty plea in a drunk driving case.
The DWI case stems back to July 5, 2012, but Kidd could face NBA discipline.