Jason Kidd wants to go out swinging
July, 6, 2012
By Jeff Caplan | ESPNDallas.com
Jason Kidd took a look at the two rosters and decided only one gave him a legitimate chance to contend.
That's why Thursday the 39-year-old point guard walked away from the Dallas Mavericks' three-year, $9 million offer and agreed to a similar deal with the New York Knicks.
|Jason Kidd talks about how close Deron Williams was to playing in Dallas, how he can help the Knicks next season and more.
Kidd said he talked to Dirk Nowitzki, who is touring Europe, to seek his blessing.
"Dirk, I talked to him and he totally understood," Kidd said, "which helped me make my decision."
Kidd expects the Knicks match the Houston Rockets' offer for restricted free agent Jeremy Lin. Kidd said he told coach Mike Woodson that he is open to coming off the bench, just as he planned to do if he had joined forces with his first preference, Deron Williams.
"I talked to coach and I told him whatever he needs," Kidd said. "He doesn’t have to worry about it. I’m not 25 years old and I don’t need the fireworks when my name is called for the starting lineup. I just want to be in there at the end of the game to try to help the team win, understanding that the last six minutes in an NBA game is where you make your name. So hopefully I’m in there trying to help my guys win."
As for his buddy Williams, who spurned the Mavs' four-year, $75-million max offer to re-sign with the Brooklyn Nets for five years, $98 million, Kidd reiterated his belief that Williams was torn and at one point said he was leaning toward his hometown team. But, Kidd said, the Nets' roster moves, in particular the trade for Joe Johnson, convinced him to stay.
"If he had to make the decision after he had an eagle at Atlantic Country Club he would have signed with Dallas. That’s how close it was," Kidd said. "He really wanted to go back home and that’s when I asked him after he had an eagle. That was the best time to ask; he was in a great mood so it wasn’t like he was upset or anything, so he said, 'Look, if I had to make this decision it would be Dallas today.' I think when he saw the roster, I think he felt if Dirk went down, it would be a long season."