19 years is a heck of a run for a professional athlete.
The NBA’s 1995 co ROY, Grant Hill and Jason Kidd, have officially announced their retirements. Kidd retired this afternoon (E. Coast time), while Hill announced his over the weekend. These guys had careers that are polar opposites, but their imprint is definitely left throughout the modern, post-Jordan/Magic Johnson era.
After Jordan and Penny Hardaway, Grant Hill is in my top 5 favorite players of the 1990s. After winning 2 championships at Duke and an Olympic gold medal in Atlanta, Hill was slated to be Jordan’s successor. In my opinion, he set the mold for the type of all-around player that Lebron James is now. Hill’s career is marred by injuries that nearly took his life. He was resurrected in Phoenix and we saw remnants of the old Sprite commercial Grant Hill. However, I think we’ll always be left to wonder “what if he’d stayed healthy..?” He’s given us great sneakers, great dunks, and has always remained a consummate leader on and off the court. It’ll be interesting to see him in the analyst’s chair very soon.
Jason Kidd has a career that’s reflective of what you’d expect out of a point guard. He lead a young Kenyon Martin to the top of the Eastern Conference back to back years. He then lead a talented Dallas team featuring Tyson Chandler and Dirk Nowitzki to the NBA finals, beating Miami’s big 3. He’s been at the top of the league’s ranks in terms of steals and assists. He’s often been pitted against Steve Nash with fans and the analysts alike in the question of “who’d you rather have?” Kidd has a Championship ring, 2 Gold Medals, and was a huge part of the Knicks surge in the 2012-2013 season; ironically with former teammates Chandler and Martin.
Both men have had careers of which they can be extremely proud of. As a fan, I look forward to their Hall of Fame speeches.