Jason Kidd won't back up just anybody
|Mavs GM Donnie Nelson gives us an inside look at the team's summer plans as the franchise has financial flexibility for the first time in over a decade. |
The lockout-compressed season was rough on the 39-year-old Kidd’s body. He dealt with a variety of nagging injuries while averaging career lows in points (6.2), assists (5.5) and rebounds (4.1).
But Kidd, whose numbers ticked upward to 11.5 points, 6.1 rebounds and 6.0 assists during the Mavs’ brief playoff sprint, is confident he can help a team next season. He’s entering free agency looking for a good fit and a decent deal with a contender, not a bench to ride.
“I’m going campaigning for Most Improved Player next year,” Kidd deadpanned. “You guys are laughing. I’m serious.”
Kidd is completely serious in his belief that he can still contribute to a contender. If that means serving as a backup to an All-Star, Kidd said his ego can handle it.
However, Kidd admits that it would be a major adjustment considering his competitive fire.
“I would probably have to talk to Don Kalkstein a lot,” Kidd said, referring to the Mavs’ sports psychologist. “He helped me get the sportsmanship award, so he can definitely handle that job.”
On a serious note, Kidd said: “If I was young, it would probably be hard. But understanding and making adjustments, as a professional, you have to accept your role, and that's what I've done as I've gotten older, and so if that means coming off the bench, then I can handle that. That's just another challenge, and that's the way I would look at it.”
The challenge for the Mavs’ front office is recruiting a point guard good enough for Kidd to back up.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast ESPN NBA analyst Jalen Rose joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to talk about the NBA playoffs.
Play Podcast Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle gives his take on the contrasting styles of the Pacers and Knicks, Carmelo Anthony, Bulls-Heat, Tom Thibodeau, the state of the West and more.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to talk about who he would rather have if forced to choose between Dwight Howard and Chris Paul.
Play Podcast Tim MacMahon joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the possibility of Chris Paul joining the Mavericks and break down what kind of pitch Mark Cuban would have to make to the NBA's best point guard.
Play Podcast ESPN.com senior NBA writer Marc Stein joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to touch on the storylines in the NBA playoffs and offer a Mavs perspective.
Play Podcast Rick Carlisle joins Chuck Cooperstein and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Mavericks' disappointing season and what needs to happen for them to get back to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Donnie Nelson joins Chuck Cooperstein and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Mavericks' season and the importance of this summer.
Play Podcast Rick Carlisle joins Galloway & Company to discuss the Mavericks playing after being eliminated from playoff contention, whom he wants to keep for next season and much more.