Jason Kidd and 10 Players Who Should Have Their Number Retired by NJ Nets
The New Jersey Nets haven't exactly been blessed with talent in their history.
However, there are a handful of players of players that deserve to have their number retired by the team.
As the Nets move to Brooklyn, it's important to remember the journey in how they got there, and retiring some numbers would in that process.
Currently, the Nets have six retired numbers: Wendell Ladner (4), Bill Melchionni (25), Julius Erving (32), John Williamson (23), Drazen Petrovic (3) and Buck Williams (52).
Though some of the following players are still active, mainly Jason Kidd, they deserve to someday have their jersey hang from the rafters of the Barclays Center.
Here are 10 players whose number should be retired by the Nets.
10. Mike Gminski, Center, No. 42
Mike Gminski wasn’t a starter for New Jersey until later in his Nets tenure.
He provided solid minutes off the bench in the mid-1980s before coming into his own his final three seasons with the Nets.
Gminski averaged over 16 points and eight rebounds per game those last three years.
He ranks second in franchise history in game played, fourth in rebounds and third in blocks.
He was a consistent player who rarely missed a game. However, the Nets never advanced past the Eastern Conference semifinals with Gminski on the roster.
9. Kenny Anderson, Point Guard, No. 7
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The Nets used their second overall pick in the 1991 NBA Draft to select Kenny Anderson, a point guard out of Georgia Tech.
Anderson played parts of five seasons for the Nets, in which he averaged over double digits in points each year.
He was known more for his passing ability, and ranks third on the all-time Nets list with 7.8 assists per game.
Anderson’s best season came in 1993-94. As a 23 year old, he started all 82 games and averaged 17.7 points and 9.0 assists per game.
The Nets made three playoff appearances with Anderson as their point guard, but lost in the first round each of those years.
Anderson was an impact player, though his Nets career was rather brief.
8. Kendall Gill, Shooting Guard, No. 13
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Kendall Gill arrived to the Nets in 1995 after five seasons with the Charlotte Hornets and Seattle Supersonics.
The Nets relied on him to be a major scoring force, and he fit the bill his first season. Gill averaged 21.8 points per game during the 1996-97 season.
It looked as if Gill’s career would blossom in New Jersey, but injuries took their toll. Gill was a productive player while on the court, but wasn’t on the court enough to make the Nets a contender. New Jersey only made the playoffs once during Gill’s tenure, and was ousted in the first round.
Gill ranks fifth in franchise history with 652 steals.
7. Keith Van Horn, Small/Power Forward, No. 44
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Keith Van Horn quickly became a fan favorite in New Jersey due to his energetic style of play.
He was a great inside scorer, whose three-point shooting ability increased over time. He averaged over 19 points per season in his first three years with the Nets.
Van Horn was an integral part of the Nets run to the NBA finals in 2001-02. He started 81 games that season and averaged14.8 points and 7.5 rebounds per game.
He ranks fifth on the Nets all-time three-point field goals made list with 335.
Though he only played five seasons in New Jersey and experienced injury troubles, Van Horn was a gamer who the other players thrived off of.
6. Chris Morris, Small Forward, No. 34
Chris Morris played seven seasons for the Nets, and not once did he average less than 10 points per game per season.
He was a strong rebounding presence, who was part of the Nets three straight playoff appearances in the early 1990s.
There were few nights where Morris didn’t score at least 10-15 points and pull down 5-10 rebounds. This consistency has placed him in the top-10 on many Nets all-time stats categories.
Morris ranks third in games played, third in offensive rebounds and ninth in points.
5. Kerry Kittles, Shooting Guard, No. 30
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Kerry Kittles was the perfect complement to Jason Kidd. He was always open on the outside when Kidd was looking to dish the ball out, and Kittles routinely knocked down the shot.
Kittles spent seven of his eight NBA seasons with the Nets, and was a major factor in the team’s back-to-back NBA Finals appearances in the early 2000s.
He was never the team’s main scoring option, but he still seemed to score 10-15 points each night. These totals were aided by his deadly three-point shooting stroke. He averaged over 35 percent from the beyond the arch as a Net.
He ranks second in three-pointers made, seventh in games played, third in steals and seventh in points.
4. Vince Carter, Shooting Guard/Small Forward, No. 15
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Vince Carter was supposed to be the final piece that would lead the Nets an NBA Championship.
Though he did his part during his five-year Nets tenure, the team just wasn’t strong enough to contend with the top teams in Eastern Conference.
Carter averaged over 20 points per game in each of his five Nets seasons. He was durable and provided leadership to a relatively young Nets team.
Carter is second in field goals made and points, trailing only the great Buck Williams in both categories.
While images of his powerful dunks as a member of the Toronto Raptors will always follow his career, Carter had some of his most productive years as a Net.
3. Richard Jefferson, Small Forward, No. 24
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Richard Jefferson spent the first seven years of his NBA career with the Nets. Though he is currently a member of the San Antonio Spurs, he will always be remembered as a scoring machine for the Nets.
Jefferson averaged over 22 points per game per season twice and over 16 points five times.
RJ can basically do anything on the basketball court. He shoots the ball well from downtown and can finish monstrous dunks.
It was tough to see RJ go, but he’s the type of player that Nets fans will continue to root for. He made two NBA Finals appearances with the Nets, but that total will likely increase if he remains a Spur for awhile.
He ranks third in total points with 8,507 and ninth in minutes per game with 35.8.
2. Derrick Coleman, Power Forward, No. 44
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If only the Nets could have held onto to Derrick Coleman.
The Nets used the No. 1 overall pick to select the 6’10” forward out of Syracuse.
He was an immediate impact player for New Jersey. Coleman averaged a double-double in four of his five years in New Jersey.
Three times he averaged over 20 points per game per season for the Nets.
Though he was a Net for only five years, he still ranks third in franchise history in total rebounds and eighth in points.
Injuries caught up with Coleman after he left the Nets, but he was still a forceful player for the remainder of his 15-year career.
The Nets would have to make a decision on whether to retire Coleman’s No. 44 or Keith Van Horn’s. Both were productive Nets players, but Coleman holds the upper hand.
1. Jason Kidd, Point Guard, No. 5
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Though he was originally unhappy after his trade to the Nets, Jason Kidd quickly became the face of the franchise.
He was the catalyst that propelled the Nets to back-to-back NBA Finals appearances in his first two years with the team.
Kidd constantly set up his teammates with easy buckets, and was always aware of what was going on at all times.
He is the franchise leader in three-point field goals, steals and assists.
Kidd revolutionized Nets basketball, and thus deserves to have his jersey retired as a Net.