I first starting to pay attention to basketball in 1993-94 (I was about 9) when the Knicks (my hometown team) went to the finals. After that season, the Magic led by Shaq, along with Penny Hardaway (remember him!), Dennis Scott, and Nick Anderson, took over the Jordan-less Eastern Conference, flummoxing my Knicks at every turn. I have fond memories of Shaq, and wish him a happy retirement.
Shaq, who announced his retirement today, was drafted in the 1992 draft. By my count, he was the longest-serving active player in the NBA at 19 seasons. The new leader is none other than Jason Kidd, who was drafted in the 1994 NBA draft. Kidd is the starting PG for the Mavs, currently in the NBA Finals. Also from the 1994 NBA draft is Juwan Howard, who is a reserve for the Eastern Conference Champion Miami Heat. Grant Hill, also picked in the 1994 draft, is on the Suns. Why do I count Kidd first? Well he was the #2 pick. Hill was #3 and Howard was #5. (And remember who was #1? Glenn Robinson!). So technically, Kidd’s tenure is longer, albeit by a few minutes between David Stern announcing the pick. That, and Grant Hill has missed so many games.
It’s funny how so many players from my early NBA memories are still playing.