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A YouTube screengrab of Jason Kidd jersey retirement ceremony (with Rod Thorn)
( NBA | YouTube )
Jason Kidd, Brooklyn Nets’ new coach, had his No.5 jersey retired by the Nets in a 10-minute ceremony.
On Thursday, October 17, before the Nets’ game against the Miami Heat began, Kidd’s No.5 jersey was hung in the Barclays Center rafters.
In a stoic ceremony, Kidd – who has the distinction of being the greatest player in the franchise’s NBA history – avoided displays of emotion and tears as the crowd gathered to pay homage to the player.
The banner was the red, white and blue one of the New Jersey Nets’ and not the black and white of Brooklyn. The ceremony was attended by Kidd’s family members and few former teammates.
The rookie coach spoke briefly on the mic saying “When I go up there today, I take my teammates with me,” as he watched his jersey retire.
“I don’t know if anyone has had their number retired and had to go to work,” said Kidd.
Kidd led the Brooklyn Nets to two consecutive NBA finals in 2002 and 2003. In the seven seasons he played for the Nets, Kidd made it to five All-Star teams, six All-Defense selections and three All-NBA selections. Kidd also has the distinction of being the Nets’ all-time leader in steals, three-pointers and assists.
“He’s one of the best point guards to ever play the game, from my perspective. His leadership, when he first came into the league, his quickness, his passing ability. … You just look at his numbers, from 3-point shooting to assists and steals and rebounds. He would rebound the ball and then go to coast-to-coast,” said Miami Heat’s LeBron James and NBA’s reigning MVP.
“He was the catalyst that made us what we were,” said NBA president Rod Thorn, who was Nets’ GM when the team had obtained Kidd from Phoenix.
Kidd joins the August company of other Nets players like Buck Williams, Julius Erving, John Williamson, Bill Melchionni and Drazen Petrovic, who have had their numbers retired.
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