Sunday, January 8, 2012
Injury won't keep Jason Kidd from White House
By Jeff Caplan
DALLAS -- A lower back injury might keep Jason Kidd from playing on the upcoming two-game road trip, but it won't keep him from making Monday's trip to the White House with the NBA champion Dallas Mavericks.
Kidd was on the practice floor Sunday, but only watched as he continues to rehab a back injury sustained Thursday night that he termed as back spasms. He said the injury occurred as he battled San Antonio Spurs center DeJuan Blair for position to corral a rebound. Kidd was waking stiffly and said he hopes to be ready for Friday's game when the Mavs return home to play the Milwaukee Bucks. Kidd will return to Dallas after the White House visit while the team heads to Detroit.
The Mavs left for Washington D.C. following Sunday's practice and have a late Monday morning tour scheduled at the White House followed by a visit with President Barack Obama.
The NBA did not schedule the Mavs to play at the Washington Wizards. The White House carved out availability Monday, before the team plays at Detroit on Tuesday and at Boston on Wednesday, to honor the Mavs as champions, an American sports tradition that dates back more than 100 years.
Delonte West, signed by the Mavs prior to this season, will not be able to join the team because of a criminal record that did not pass the White House's background check, the Mavs confirmed Sunday. In 2009, West was arrested after being pulled over riding a three-wheel motorcycle. Police found three guns stashed in a guitar case he was carrying. He later pleaded guilty to weapons and traffic charges.
West, who is from the D.C. area, will visit his home, which is located near the White House. The rest of the team will make the trip, including the nine remaining players from the title team. The six players that did not return, will not be present.
On the court, West has arguably been the most consistent player among the team's three key newcomers that include Lamar Odom and Vince Carter.
Brought in to back up Kidd at point guard, West moved into the starting lineup at shooting guard in the second game of the season.
Coach Rick Carlisle praised West's work, calling him the team's best defender. West is averaging 8.0 points and 3.1 assists in nine games.