It is many years removed from 2003, from smack dab in the middle of his prime, and this time against an attrition-hit Spurs team a shadow of its championship-past self, but Jason Kidd - this time as a Dallas Maverick - finally beat the San Antonio Spurs in the playoffs. He would rather of taken them six years ago, a series win which would have given him his ring, but this will probably give him some semblance of contentment as he and the Mavs move forward to the second round.
Kidd is no longer the top guy on his team, as he nears the final weeks of his maximum level $100 million plus contract, but he is still integral and is completely driving the ship, always providing the intangibles and is still as competitive as any player in the league. He averaged 10 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.6 assists (to .6 turnovers), 2.4 steals, and hit 10 of 23 from deep (43.5 percent).
The problem I am having with him is that, with this triumph in five games, he is leaving the trap door open. Yes he is being asked and he can play dumb and say he is just answering a question honestly, but why is he even entertaining questions of leaving Dallas at this point. This was the place for which he nearly held a franchise - the Nets - hostage to get to.
"I'm going into it with an open mind and see what comes up," he said to NBA.com. "There could be some great situations again, so maybe this time I'll think with my mind and not my heart."
In New Jersey, he says he thought with his heart. As for the potential of staying with Dallas, THE TEAM WHO HE JUST ADVANCED PAST THE SPURS WITH, he said:
"I can't (put odds on it right now)," he said. "I wouldn't even know how to handicap it, but I like it in Dallas."
A leader needs to do better than that and not even talk about it at this time. You can't hold it against him for leaving Dallas, who frankly as it stands are not a championship team. Kidd, at 36 years old, wants to be the quarterback of a team with uber-talent (remember: he loved his set up with Team USA). With Dallas, he still has to scrap and go pedal-to-the-metal more than he'd like. Unless the Mavs blow him away - like the Nets had to do to retain him - he probably won't return. While he says he will think with his mind this time, and not his heart, the truth will still remain and held true back in 2003 with the Nets: there's no romance without the finance.
The issue at hand with Kidd comes to this: why are we talking about this after his team just dismantled the once-great Spurs?
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