Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Jason Kidd fans hype of Deron Williams pairing
By Jeff Caplan
Jason Kidd is certainly making it difficult to believe that he and fellow free-agent-to-be Deron Williams won't join forces come early July.
The idea was talked up heavily by the 39-year-old future Hall of Famer as the season came to a close, and he reiterated Monday his desire to play with -- and back up -- the younger perennial All-Star point guard.
Jason Kidd seems intent on playing with Deron Williams, but where that might be remains a question mark.
The only question seems to be if the backcourt partnership will occur in Dallas or Brooklyn.
Kidd brought up both clubs Monday when he took questions during a teleconference to promote the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament at Lake Tahoe in mid-July, when he and Williams will surely know their NBA homes.
Kidd, who shares agent Jeff Schwartz with Williams, said his return to a Nets franchise he guided to consecutive NBA Finals appearances in the early 2000s hinges on Williams re-signing with the Brooklyn-bound club.
"He is the key," Kidd said.
Williams is also the key to arguably the Mavs' most critical offseason of Mark Cuban's ownership. In Dallas, Williams could join not only Kidd, who said he's open to signing a one-year deal with Dallas even though he wants to play two more seasons, but also Kidd's good buddy and fellow champ Dirk Nowitzki.
Kidd made it clear that he believes Cuban's plan to clear cap space to lure a big fish in free agency will result in a quick and successful reload back to contention.
"I really think Cuban is going to put the pieces together to give us an opportunity to get back to win it," Kidd said. "He put himself in position to go get two more studs."
That's to be seen, but there's no doubt that Williams, a local product out of The Colony, is job No. 1 for a club that could see sweeping changes to its roster after its title defense fizzled in a four-game sweep to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round.
The Mavs and Nets, who continue to express confidence in re-signing Williams, will have competition for both players if the two don't opt for the same uniform. Kidd said serving as a mentor to New York Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin, a Bay Area youngster who grew up idolizing the Oakland native and Cal star, would be intriguing.
Kidd has long loved playing at Madison Square Garden and he could certainly help ease a puzzling dynamic there centered around Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire. However, the Knicks might not have the funds to chase Kidd.
"That would be a lot of fun to help a player like that," Kidd said of Lin. "Just share the things that helped me be successful in this league."
Still, Kidd's repetition when it comes to pairing with Williams, with whom he became friends during their time on the 2008 U.S. Olympic team and then through their love of golf, makes it seem like the two know what they want.
"My days of playing 38 minutes are over," said Kidd, who averaged 6.2 points and 5.5 assists in a career-low 28.7 minutes last season. "For me, it’s the backup role to give him time to rest, but also coming down the stretch to have the chance to play alongside Deron, I think we can be successful."