They came into the league together, they are leaving at the same time and they both share acting credits in a signature ESPN ad campaign.
Jason Kidd and Grant Hill were co-winners of the 1994-95 NBA Rookie Of The Year award.
Now, nearly 20 years later, they are again linked as both have announced retirements over the past few days. The duo will forever be linked in another way: both have had roles in ESPN’s This Is SportsCenter catalog of commercials.
In the debut spot of the long-running This Is SportsCenter spot (above), Kidd (then with the Mavericks) and boxing great Roy Jones Jr. affer cameos as anchor Bob Ley provides a 30-second tour of ESPN’s studios, circa 1995. (Kidd may be harder to spot, but keep watching, you’ll see him.)
Hill’s TISC moment of fame came as a piano player in a memorable spot (below).
Created in 1995 with advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy, ESPN’s This is SportsCenter is a tongue-in-cheek campaign that transcends mere tune-in, and in the process helped build a programming franchise, crystallize a brand, and define a place where, each night, sports and popular culture converge.