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Nets to honor Jason Kidd with jersey retirement

Jason Kidd Jason Kidd led the Nets to back-to-back Finals appearances from 2002-03. (Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images)

The Nets announced Monday that Jason Kidd, one of the franchise's greatest players and its current coach, will have his No. 5 jersey retired. The ceremony will take place before Brooklyn's Oct. 17 preseason game against Miami at the Barclays Center.

“This is a very humbling honor and one that I will always cherish," Kidd said in a statement. "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."

Kidd, a sure-fire first-ballot Hall of Famer, announced his retirement from basketball in June after 19 seasons.  Regarded as one of the greatest all-around point guards in NBA history, Kidd ranks No. 2 all time in assists and steals, trailing only Jazz Hall of Fame guard John Stockton in both categories. He captained the New Jersey Nets to the 2002 and 2003 Finals and won the 2011 championship with the Mavericks.

“My warmest congratulations to Jason as we commemorate his outstanding career as an NBA player and his unparalleled contribution to the Nets franchise,” Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov said.  “As one chapter closes, another will soon be written and I know that we are all looking forward to Jason’s continued successes.”

The No. 2 pick in the 1994 draft earned All-America honors as a sophomore at Cal and went on to a lengthy NBA career that includes stops with the Mavericks, Suns, Nets and Knicks. Named the 1995 co-Rookie of the Year, Kidd holds  career averages of 12.6 points, 8.7 assists, 6.3 rebounds and 1.9 steals, and made the All-NBA first or second team six times and the All-Defensive team nine times. Kidd also won a gold medal with USA Basketball at the 2000 and 2008 Olympics and he received the NBA’s sportsmanship award twice.

Kidd played for the Nets from 2001 until 2008 and ranks first in the franchise's NBA history in assists and steals, and fourth in points and rebounds. He is the Nets' postseason leader in points, assists, rebounds and steals.

"This honor is richly deserved," Nets GM Billy King said. "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."

Kidd's No. 5 will go into the rafters alongside Drazen Petrovic (No. 3), John Williamson (No. 23), Bill Melchionni (No. 25), Julius Erving (No. 32) and Buck Williams (No. 52). The Nets haven't retired a jersey since 1999.

Less than two weeks after Kidd announced his retirement, he signed on to coach the Nets.
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