Jason Kidd announces his retirement

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He had an amazing, 19-year NBA career. A Hall of Fame career.

But it is over — Jason Kidd has announced he has retired from the NBA.

The New York Knicks made the announcement, via their Website manager Jonah Ballow.

“My time in professional basketball has been an incredible journey, but one that must come to an end after 19 years,” Kidd said in a statement. “As I reflect on my time with the four teams I represented in the NBA, I look back fondly at every season and thank each every one of my teammates and coaches that joined me on the court.”

Kidd was the No. 2 pick in the 1994 NBA Draft and went on to be co-Rookie of the Year with Grant Hill, who just announced his retirement last Thursday. Kidd went on to play in Phoenix, with the New Jersey Nets, back to Dallas and then spent this last season with the Knicks.

“Jason’s value to the Knicks and the National Basketball Association cannot be quantified by statistics alone,” Knicks coach Mike Woodson said via the twitter feed. “Jason provided an incredible voice inside our locker room and I considered it an honor to say I coached him. (His) Veteran leadership on and off the court was a huge factor for our team that recorded 54 [wins] and an Atlantic Division crown.”

Kidd won a championship as part of the 2011 Dallas Mavericks (when he actually covered LeBron James for stretches and did well), was a 10-time All-Star, five time All-NBA First Team, nine-time NBA All-Defensive team player (five times first team), and he was a two-time Gold Medalist, in 2000 in Sydney and 2008 in Beijing.

Those are Springfield first ballot numbers.

He was an old-school, pass-first point guard (he led the league in assists five times) but could score when needed, averaging 18.3 points a game with the Nets back in 2003. He averaged 12.6 points, 8.7 assists. 6.3 rebounds and 1.93 steals a game over the course of his career.

Even this past season, well past his prime, the Knicks offense just flowed better when he was on the court thanks to his smart decisions.

It might have been time, but he will be missed. He is one of the games great point guards ever.

LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim

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Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.

But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.

He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.

LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.

Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?

Hawks’ DeAndre’ Bembry out with fractured wrist

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In their season opener Wednesday, Atlanta second-year man DeAndre’ Bembry came off the bench and played 17:45, scored six points and was +13 on the night. It was a good start to his career.

But now he is going to miss some time with a fractured wrist.

Bembry underwent an MRI, which revealed a fracture in his right wrist, the Hawks announced Friday. He will return to Atlanta with the team (the Hawks lost to the Hornets Friday night) and will meet with team doctors at the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center on Monday. His status will be updated after that.

“We just may play some other guys more, we may use some of the young guys,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer told the AP before Friday night’s game. “We’ll just figure it out tonight and as we move forward. I don’t think there’s anything guaranteed for anybody, it’s unfortunate for DeAndre’ and for us.”

 

Danny Ainge says Celtics will apply for Disabled Player Exception

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It’s not likely Gordon Hayward returns this season. His agent said as much, although a return in March is not out of the question. (It’s better PR wise for the Celtics to say he is out for the season, then if he returns early great, it’s better than setting a deadline he doesn’t meet.)

With that, the Celtics are going to apply for the Disabled Player Exception, which could help them land a replacement player, Danny Ainge told Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.

President of basketball operations Danny Ainge told the Globe on Friday the club is applying for the Disabled Player Exception, which would provide the Celtics $8.4 million to pursue a player to fill Hayward’s roster spot.

“We’re in the process of doing that,’’ Ainge said. “We have a while to do that. There’s no urgency, but we will apply for that.”

There are limits to what that money can get the Celtics. The money is the same as the mid-level exception, the Celtics can go over the cap to use it, and the player can be obtained via free agency or trade. However, the player must be in the last year of his contract.

It gives the Celtics options. It also does not mean Hayward cannot return, it only means NBA-approved doctors determined he is not likely to return before a mid-June deadline.

Kings hire former WNBA Seattle coach Jenny Boucek as assistant

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The NBA now has a third female assistant coach.

The first was Becky Hammon, who has been part of Gregg Popovich’s Spurs staff for several years (and has coached their Summer League team). The second was Nancy Leiberman, who has been on the staff in Sacramento for a couple of seasons now.

Now the Kings have hired former Seattle Storm coach Jenny Boucek as an assistant coach on Dave Joerger’s staff. She will work as an assistant player development coach.

A former WNBA player in the league’s inaugural season, the past three years she has coached the WNBA’s Seattle Storm (she was fired midway through the last season), and prior to that had been the head coach of the Sacramento Monarchs from 2007-09.