With the news of Grant Hill and Jason Kidd’s retirements from the NBA, all that is left to be unseen is to the extent that each of them has engraved their names in the history books. It is only fitting that the two future Hall-of-Famers exit the league at the same time after entering together and sharing the 1994-1995 Rookie of the Year award.
Now that both have wrapped up their careers, I will try to do what nearly every fan of the NBA has done for the past nineteen years. Comparing the two is comparing apples to oranges, cats to dogs, Michael Jordan to Michael Jackson; both were great in entirely different ways, but nevertheless, both were great.
Jason Kidd will finish his career second in NBA history in both assists and steals with 12,091 and 2,684 respectively. Over his 19-year career, he managed to average 12.6 points, 8.7 assists, 6.3 rebounds, and 1.9 steals per contest. Kidd played 1.391 games for four NBA teams over his career, the New Jersey Nets, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, and New York Knicks. The 10-time All-Star and 6-time All-NBA team selection finally captured the ever-evasive championship in his seventeenth season with the Mavericks. Kidd will go down third all-time in triple-doubles with his incredible 107. Basically setting a precedent for point guards, he was a threat to pick one up every night.
Kidd also had a very impressive international career. He captured two Olympic gold medals in 2000 and 2008 and five total gold medals while compiling an insane 56-0 record.
Grant Hill played only seventeen seasons due to injury. Despite an injury-riddled career, he mustered up an impressive stat line of 16.7 points, 6 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game on 48.3% shooting from the floor. Hill’s best years as a professional came with the Detroit Pistons. Basically the late-90’s version of LeBron James, Hill posted averages of 25.8 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 5.2 assists in the 1999-2000 season. Just a few years prior, in 1996-1997, he finished with 21.4 points, 9 rebounds, and 7.3 assists per night. Hill was a 7-time All-Star and 5-time All-NBA selection.
Immediately, Kidd’s numbers may look impressive. However, Grant Hill was more of a scoring threat than Kidd, who was the ultimate pure point guard. Hill’s prime was cut short in large part to various leg injuries, while Kidd managed to stay relatively healthy. Now that both have said there farewell to the game that will miss them so deeply, let the debate begin.
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