Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Cuban: ‘As of now, I wouldn’t put J-Kidd’s number in the rafters’
More than a month after free agent point guard Jason Kidd opted to sign with the Knicks when it looked like a return to the Mavericks was imminent, Mavs owner Mark Cuban is still holding a grudge.
In an interview on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM’s ‘Ben and Skin Show,’ Cuban addressed several topics, including how his team may be better off having not added Nets point guard Deron Williams in free agency. Cuban noted that adding the Dallas native and three-time All-Star would have created problems in terms of the salary cap and trying to put a championship-caliber team around Dirk Nowitzki.
Williams eventually agreed to return to the Nets for five years and a reported $98.7 million. That deal is one year and roughly $25 million more than Cuban could offer.
Cuban holds no ill-will toward Williams, but when it comes to Kidd, that is a different story.
Kidd appeared set to rejoin the Mavs, but in a stunning reversal, opted to go to the Knicks, reportedly for the mini-midlevel exception of three years and $9.7 million. That reversal did not sit well with Cuban then, and apparently doesn’t sit well with him now.
“I was more than upset, I thought he was coming, I was pissed,” Cuban said. “J-Kidd is a big boy, he can do whatever he wants, but you don’t change your mind like that. That was…yeah. I’m sure I’ll get over it at some point, but as of now, I wouldn’t put J-Kidd’s number in the rafters.”
Kidd has had two stints with the Mavericks over an 18-year career. He burst onto the scene in Dallas in 1994-95, averaging 11.7 points and 7.7 assists on his way to co-Rookie of the Year honors with Grant Hill.
After successful stints with the Suns and Nets, who he led to back-to-back NBA Finals in 2001 and 2002, he was traded back to Dallas in the middle of the 2007-08 season. Kidd was a key piece off the bench when the Mavs won their first in NBA title in 2010-11.
Over 18 seasons, Kidd is averaging 13.0 points, 9.0 assists and 6.4 rebounds for his career, has 107 career triple-doubles and is undoubtedly bound for Springfield and the Hall of Fame.
Kidd is expected to come off the bench for the Knicks as part of a point guard trio that includes fellow-free agents Raymond Felton and 35-year-old Argentinian rookie Pablo Prigioni.
“It hurt my feelings, period, because I felt that we had developed a relationship, and I thought that he was committed to the organization,” Cuban said. “It sure seemed that he was. I mean, J-Kidd was active in going out there and talking to Deron Williams the whole time. I guess it was more shocking and surprising than anything else.”
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