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Monday, May 2, 2011
Jason Kidd recalls, briefly, Finals vs. L.A.

By Jeff Caplan

LOS ANGELES -- The Dallas Mavericks haven’t faced the Los Angeles Lakers in the playoffs since 1988, more than a decade before most of today’s players entered the league – including Jason Kidd.

It doesn’t mean that all of the Mavs are facing the Lakers in the playoffs. Peja Stojakovic and the Sacramento Kings suffered heartache in a seven-game battle with Lakers in 2002. Shawn Marion and the Phoenix Suns took pleasure in knocking out the Lakers in five games in 2007.

Kidd had his run-in with the Lakers, too. His came against those mighty three-peat Lakers in the NBA Finals. Kidd’s New Jersey Nets faced the 2002 Showtime squad that dispatched Peja and the Kings.

It lasted four games.

“That was a quick Finals,” Kidd said after Sunday’s practice as the team prepared to fly to Los Angeles. “They did what they had to do. We were just happy to be there.”

That Lakers team was headlined by a young Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal, and a younger Derek Fisher. Kidd’s Nets included Richard Jefferson,  Kerry Kittles and Keith Van Horn.

Kidd has said that this Mavs team is the most talented squad he’s played on during his 17-year career. He hopes this series lasts a little longer.

“They’ve won plenty of rings and they understand what it takes to do that,” Kidd said. “We’re hopefully going to give them a push and see what we can do.”