|After all the great years (and two Finals appearances) Kidd had with the Nets, it's about time they honor him with a jersey retirement ceremony|
When: 8:00 pm; Thursday, October 17th, 2013
Where: Barclays Center; Brooklyn, NY
TV: TNT and YES Network
The Brooklyn Nets and Miami Heat are playing a nationally-televised game tonight, but the real event to watch on Thursday night is not the meeting between two Eastern Conference contenders; it is the jersey retirement ceremony honoring current Nets head coach and former Nets All-Star Jason Kidd. The 40-year-old played in the NBA from 1994 until earlier this year in 2013, when he was on the rival Knicks, and was on the Nets for seven seasons from 2001 to 2008.
Hired in June by Brooklyn fresh out of his retirement as a player, Kidd was a mainstay on the New Jersey Nets in the early 2000s, an era marked by back-to-back NBA Finals appearances in 2002 and 2003 (both series were lost by New Jersey, to the Lakers and Spurs respectively). Although he never won a title with the Nets, and later won one with the Dallas Mavericks, Kidd is widely remembered as one of the best players in team history as he dazzled players and crowds with instincts, trick passes, and clutch shooting that is rarely seen from one player.
The ceremony (according to this schedule on the Nets' website) is slated to start at around 7:38 pm, which is pushing back the projected tip-off for the game to around 8:19 pm. 31 minutes for Jason Kidd to go from honored former player to focused head coach. Will be an interesting and quick transition.
For the Nets, the same players that were out for Tuesday's win over the Celtics are out again tonight, save for Kevin Garnett, who didn't face his former team (rest) but will start this evening. The Heat are expected to have their full complement of players available to play, which should give the game a bit of regular season flair and feeling, even if the starters for both squads only play around 20 minutes.
MIA- Mario Chalmers (PG), Dwyane Wade (SG), LeBron James (SF), Chris Bosh (PF), Udonis Haslem (C)
BKN- Shaun Livingston (PG), Joe Johnson (SG), Paul Pierce (SF), Kevin Garnett (PF), Brook Lopez (C)
It doesn't count in the standings, but tonight is Brooklyn's first head-to-head meeting with the defending back-to-back NBA champion Heat so its a chance to make a statement against the NBA's best team.