Jason Kidd has decided to end his playing career and has retired, the Knicks officially announced today (Twitter link). The veteran point guard still had two seasons and $6.18MM remaining on his three-year contract with New York.
"[Agent] Jeff [Schwartz] and I and my family had been talking this past weekend," Kidd told Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPNNewYork.com. "We talked a lot and we felt it was the right time to move on and so we notified the Knicks. They were kind of taken aback. We told them [earlier] that I wanted to come back and play. But this weekend was when we got a chance to relax [and really think about it]. It is the right thing to do."
As recently as last Thursday, we heard that Kidd remained undecided about his future, though it sounded as if he was leaning toward returning next season with the Knicks. While the 40-year-old played a key role for the Knicks during the regular season, he struggled mightily during the playoffs, making just three baskets overall and going for 0-for-17 from the field with no points in the team's final 10 games.
For his career, the future Hall-of-Famer averaged 12.6 PPG, 8.7 APG, and 6.3 RPG in nearly 1400 total contests. He was named to 10 All-Star teams, won a championship in 2011 with the Mavericks, and also earned co-Rookie of the Year honors back in 1995 with Grant Hill, who also retired this week. As Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com notes (via Twitter), Kidd currently ranks second overall among the NBA's all-time assists and steals leaders, and ranks third in career triple doubles.
Kidd's retirement could slightly reduce the Knicks' luxury-tax bill, depending on whether or not his full annual salaries of $3.09MM remain on the team's books for each of the next two seasons. However, the club will now have a hole to fill at the point — with Pablo Prigioni facing free agency, Raymond Felton will be the only point guard still on the roster.