Guest Author - Carol Taller
Jason Kidd, NBA star and Olympic Champion, was born in San Francisco, California on March 23, 1973. His father Steve was African American and his mother Anne was Irish American, and he was raised in an upper middle class section of Oakland Hills.
His first sport of choice was soccer until he reached the second grade. He then learned to love basketball and he excelled at it. He learned to play in the gyms and later gained more and strength confidence by playing on the streets. It was while playing street basketball where he met Gary Payton, NBA All Star. According to Payton, Kidd learned a different kind of basketball while playing in the community playgrounds. Payton credits street ball to Kidd’s strong courage on the court.
While still in high school, Kidd attained national acknowledgement when he achieved the nation’s top player award from Naismith and High School Player of the Year from Parade and USA Today. He graduated high school at 6’4” and 200 pounds and had a highly publicized recruiting process for colleges. He had several offers from major college basketball programs and chose University of California so that he could remain close to home.
By his sophomore year he was selected as a First Team All-American. He was also named the Naismith and Wooden Awards college basketball’s top player. This convinced Kidd to enter the NBA Draft in 1994. He was selected as the second pick overall by the Dallas Mavericks, and ended the year sharing the Rookie of the Year Award with Grant Hill of the Detroit Pistons.
Kidd was traded to the Phoenix Suns and played there for five seasons. He was then traded to the New Jersey Nets. With Kidd’s assistance the team had one of the most dramatic turnarounds in NBA history. For the first time in the young team’s history they advanced to the NBA finals. By 2009 Kidd was traded back to the Dallas Mavericks.
Kidd participated on the 2000 and 2008 Olympic basketball team, and his team proudly came home as gold medal champions of both.
In 2001 Kidd was arrested for domestic abuse charges with his wife Joumana. Kidd pleaded guilty and was ordered to attend anger management courses for six months. It was reported that Kidd voluntarily continued counseling long after his six months were up, and he also gave up excessive drinking. Their marriage seemed to be reconciled until January 9, 2007 when Kidd filed for divorce. After one month, Joumana filed a counterclaim, and domestic abuse was mentioned. They have three children together: Tray Jason, Miah, and Jazelle.
Kidd also has one son with Porschia Coleman.