Nets raise Jason Kidd’s No. 5 to the rafters at Barclays Center

Jason Kidd jersey retirement
Jason Kidd is the first player to have his jersey retired at the Barclays Center.
Credit: Getty Images

Jason Kidd stood at the 3-point arc and watched his No. 5 head to the Barclays Center rafters while music and fireworks blared.

The motivation to become someone worthy of such an achievement started way back in high school.

Kidd, whose 12,091 assists are second most in NBA history, saw that vision come to fruition before Thursday night’s preseason game with Miami when the Nets made him the sixth player in franchise history to have his number retired.

During the brief ceremony, Kidd was honored in speeches by former general manager Rod Thorn and partner Dmitry Razumov. Thorn marveled at acquiring a player who transformed a 26-win team to an Eastern Conference champion while Razumov recalled meeting Kidd during a party at the 2010 All-Star Game as Mikhail Prokhorov was preparing to buy the team.

Kidd mentioned motivation drawing all the way back to St. Joseph’s Notre Dame high school in Oakland when he saw Calvin Byrd get his jersey sent to the rafters. Byrd did not have the professional career Kidd had but was a McDonald’s All-American in 1989 and had a solid career with Villanova before playing in Switzerland. Like Kidd, Byrd is now coaching.

“It was amazing because his jersey is now hanging in the rafters and I was like, ‘Man, I hope one day I can do the same thing,’ and just understand how special that means I guess no one will wear that jersey and I guess from the hard work and success that he had, it paid off and that was the reward,” Kidd said. “So I guess in the back of my mind that was the motivation to do the long hours in the gym, looking at that jersey hanging there.”

The ceremony marked the official closure to the New Jersey portion of his career which started with consecutive NBA Finals appearances. The Nets were swept by the Lakers dynasty in 2002 and took the Spurs to Game 6 a year later.

“I want to thank the Nets organization,” Kidd said. “As a player you talk about winning championships and this ranks right there with being able to have your jersey retired. I’ve said it all the time, it’s just not me going up. It’s my teammates, my coaches, the trainers, the doctors, the PR [public relations] people. It’s everybody that was there for that run and it’s a great honor.”

Kidd’s No. 5 jersey was the first to be officially retired in Brooklyn and Kidd couldn’t help but wonder what the success of 2002 and 2003 would have been like had the team been in the borough at the time.

“It probably would have been special,” Kidd said. “If everything went the same way, we would have had a good run in Brooklyn. Maybe we do win a championship but even if everything turned out the same, that would have been a great way to open up, having a Brooklyn team, for a pro franchise being in Brooklyn, get to the Finals the first time out and come back and validate it and get to the Finals and go to Game 6. I think it would have been really nice.”

Like many of his comments leading up to the ceremony, Kidd kept his comments brief and during the ceremony said he was humbled at the occasion. The Nets also played tributes to Kidd from former teammates on the video board during the game.

Follow Nets beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

NYPD: Suspect fleeing traffic stop shot by cop…

The NYPD said an officer temporarily reassigned for the Summer All Out program shot a suspect who slammed into two NYPD cars and hit a cop in Brooklyn.

Local

De Blasio and first family will travel to…

Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York City's first family will travel to Italy later this month for a summer vacation.

Local

TIPS: How to take great photos during 'Manhattanhenge'

Grab your camera and make the perfect picture this Saturday.

National

Seinfeld emoji cound be available next week

Get your puffy shirts and your marble rye ready, America. Seinfeld emoji could become available as early as next week.

Gossip

PHOTOS: Topless Cara Delevingne advocates for 'Free the…

Supermodel Cara Delevingne is never one to shy away from the gaze of social media. Yesterday, she chose to advocate for the 'Free the Nipple' campaign via Instagram, where she…

Gossip

PHOTOS: Axelle Despiegelaere AKA "most beautiful" fan gets…

Axelle Despiegelaere, the "most beautiful" soccer supporter of this year's World Cup, was fired by L'Oreal for a hunting photo on her Facebook account.

Television

Final season of 'Glee' will be only 13…

The final season of "Glee" will officially be only 13 episodes, instead of the usual 22.

Entertainment

Complex characters, juicy scripts boost Netflix's Emmy nominations

The unconventional approach to TV at Netflix netted 31 Emmy nominations, a major achievement after plunging into original programing just last year.

NBA

GIF: LeBron James returns to Cleveland so deal…

To anyone out there who is upset about his decision, this .GIF is for you. Enjoy.

World Cup

A game of two popes: Vatican plays down…

By Philip PullellaVATICAN CITY (Reuters) - With Argentina meeting Germany in the World Cup final, the Vatican on Friday brushed aside talk of soccer rivalry…

NFL

Which Jets player has the best odds at…

Metro New York asked Bovada.LV to rank the top three contenders for the NFL MVP on the Jets.

World Cup

Argentina prevails in penalties, advances to final

The drama never seems to subside as the World Cup finally has its final two.

Tech

Mesh sheds light on top 10 dating deal…

What are New Yorkers' top 10 dating deal breakers? Find out here.

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: Sexual headaches can be…

Sexual headaches: an under-discussed health issue Location: U.S. Results: If getting frisky brings on a headache, you’re not alone. Headaches associated with sexual activity represent a…

Food

Head to FiDi for free Chia Pods from…

They may have been last summer's darlings, but chia seeds have definitely not gone out of style. A great source of omega-3 fatty acids, they…

Wellbeing

Stop thinking your diabetes risk begins above a…

When it comes to diabetes research, a new study says black and Asian adults may be at risk for developing diabetes at a lower weight…