On Saturday, June 1st, Grant Hill announced his retirement from the NBA while sitting in with the crew of TNT’s Inside the NBA during game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Two days later, Jason Kidd, who was a member of the same 1994 NBA Draft Class, and was Co-Rookie of the Year with Hill, retired also. Both men had 19 year careers.
Champions, All-NBA performers, All-Stars, Gold medalist; those are just a few of the accolades that Hill and Kidd accumulated during the course of their careers. While both had different paths, Hill and Kidd both finished with Hall of Fame worthy careers. Jason Kidd finished his career second all-time in assists and steals, and was one of the great floor generals in history. He will go down as one of the best point guards of all time with the likes of Magic Johnson and John Stockton.
Hill had a great start to his career, averaging 22 points, eight rebounds and six assists during the first six years of his career. But in the middle of his career, Hill suffered a series of debilitating ankle injuries, ones that almost ended his career prematurely. But he triumphed and made a return to the court, despite not being the same dynamic player before. He finished his career averaging nearly 17 points, six rebounds and four assists.
Hill and Kidd will forever be linked. Not only were they Co-Rookies of the Year, and members of the same draft class, they were picked back to back in that draft back in 94. Kidd was picked second overall; Hill third overall.
While there was only one championship between the two, both Hill and Kidd had great careers and will go down as two of the better players, and men, in the history of the league.