Jason Kidd wants to go out swinging

July, 6, 2012
7/06/12
7:08
PM CT

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.

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"It was a tough decision," Kidd said Friday during an appearance on The Michael Kay Show on ESPN Radio in New York. "I looked at the roster and I felt I could go quietly and retire or I felt like I can compete and help a team win. So, I saw the pieces of the Knicks and I thought that I could help them out."

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."

Source: Rockets in play for Ramon Sessions

July, 6, 2012
7/06/12
6:44
PM CT
The Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets, Southwest Division rivals in need of a starting point guard, are both in discussions with Ramon Sessions.

A source said the Mavs had a second round of talks with Sessions' agent and that the Rockets are now in play for the 6-foot-3 guard seeking a starting job and the security of a multiyear deal.

Dallas failed to bring Deron Williams into the fold in the first week of free agency and watched Plan B, Steve Nash, go to the Los Angeles Lakers in a trade. On Thursday, Jason Kidd decided not to re-sign with the Mavs after coming close to a three-year agreement and instead chose to head to the New York Knicks, leaving Dallas with the vacancy in their starting lineup.

The Rockets lost Goran Dragic in free agency to Phoenix and then traded Kyle Lowry to the Toronto Raptors. Houston made a lucrative offer to Knicks restricted free agent Jeremy Lin, but the Knicks are expected to match.

Sessions, 26, was traded from Cleveland to the Los Angeles Lakers in March. He opted out of the final year of his contract that would have paid him $4.55 million next season.

With Steve Nash out, will Jason Kidd waver?

July, 4, 2012
7/04/12
10:49
PM CT
Deron Williams was close to choosing Dallas but is staying in Brooklyn. Steve Nash is on his way to L.A. to play with Kobe Bryant. As the Mavericks scramble to make up ground well down the list of their offseason alphabet planner, will Jason Kidd add to a mounting nightmarish offseason by fleeing to the New York Knicks?

It is positively a legitimate question now that the Knicks' hopes of trading for Nash are dashed. Earlier Wednesday, Kidd said his priority was to work out a deal to stick with Dirk Nowitzki and the reshuffling Mavs. But that was when signs pointed heavily to Nash landing in New York.

But with Nash stunningly going Hollywood (and here's the real kicker: The Lakers slide Nash into the trade exception created when they traded Lamar Odom to the Mavs), the Knicks will absolutely match any offer made to restricted free agent and Mavs target Jeremy Lin (they were expected to, even with Nash in play) and push hard to bring in the 39-year-old Kidd.

Here's what Kidd must weigh: Re-sign with Dallas and a roster that now only includes Dirk, Shawn Marion, Brendan Haywood and spare parts Rodrigue Beaubois and Dominique Jones from the 2011 title team, or finish out his career at Madison Square Garden setting up Tyson Chandler, Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire, and mentoring Lin, a fellow Bay Area native.

It's not clear if the Mavs are offering Kidd more than one year, but the Knicks most certainly will.

Kidd's vision of teaming up with friend Deron Williams next season was dashed with Williams' five-year commitment Tuesday to the Nets. Meanwhile, Kidd is hoping to have a deal wrapped up with the Mavs in a day or two. He was not available Wednesday night to respond to the rapidly shifting landscape and the potential ripple effect.

While Western Conference teams around the Mavs get stronger, Dallas has yet to add a single player in free agency and declined to match the Boston Celtics' three-year, $15 million offer to Jason Terry.

Meanwhile, the next point guard of interest around the league, Goran Dragic, is being hotly pursued by the Suns, and reports have the Charlotte Bobcats ready to make an offer.

If Kidd opted to leave Dallas for New York, where he could set up shop at his recently purchased house in the Hamptons, the Mavs would be staring at a point guard position made up combo guards Beaubois, Jones and last week's draft pick, Jared Cunningham. Delonte West remains an option to re-sign.

As the Knicks are sure to ramp up their efforts to land Kidd, so too will Dallas, which simply can't afford to lose him now if simply from a morale factor that threatens to leave Nowitzki looking around and wondering what just happened.

If he isn't already.

Sources: Steve Nash, Jeremy Lin top Mavs' list

July, 3, 2012
7/03/12
7:43
PM CT


The Dallas Mavericks' point guard priorities are now shifting to 39-year-old former Mav Steve Nash and one-time Mavs Summer League hand Jeremy Lin, according to ESPN.com's Marc Stein.

SportsNation

With Deron Williams staying with the Nets, which point guard would you most like to see the Mavs acquire in free agency?

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    23%
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    11%
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    32%
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    34%

Discuss (Total votes: 2,208)

Sources, Stein reports, say the Mavs will pursue Nash and the New York Knicks' Lin, a restricted free agent, but that they are undecided regarding Houston Rockets free agent Goran Dragic, who visited the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday and could command a starting salary of $10 million. The Knicks can match any offer made to Lin.

It appears the Mavs are set to lose shooting guard Jason Terry to the Boston Celtics, who have offered the veteran a three-year deal for more than $15 million. Terry's departure and Deron Williams' decision to re-sign with the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday could open the door for combo guard Delonte West to re-sign with the Mavs.

West, who played in Dirk Nowitzki's charity baseball game Saturday and held a basketball camp in Fort Worth on Tuesday despite not being under contract, said he does not know what other teams might have interest in signing him. West said he is seeking a multiyear deal after playing on one-year, minimum contracts the last two seasons.

"Looking for a team to pay me what I'm worth, not a cent more," West said.

FanSpeak: Beat the Heat?

May, 8, 2012
5/08/12
1:25
PM ET



It’s getting warmer and the question of the day is: How can you beat the Heat? The New York Knicks are going back to Miami looking for a way to do just that.

From Hot Button: Should Jeremy Lin play in Game 5?:

"No. Lin should not play in Game 5 for these reasons:
1. He has not completed the targeted rehab that is needed to level of conditions required for the intense physical playoff games. 2. Coach's ability to effectively insert him to the current offense format/stratefy is questionable. 3. Lin doesn't even have a contract for next season and any further injury that may risk ending his hard fought NBA career should be avoided."
- GPT607

Ed.'s note -- 4. It's extremely unlikely the Knicks can win this series.

From Baron Davis out for about a year:

"Knicks fans will never be able to say you didn't give it your all! Speedy recovery, will always be rooting for you."
- algocrazy

"Please all KNICKS fans read this, and I mean DIE-HARD Knicks fans. Do you want the injuries of Iman Shumpert and Baron Davis to go down in vain? If the Knicks don't win the series, yes, I mean if they don't win the series, they won't ever win a championship (assuming the Heat begin a dynasty with only the Thunder and Spurs as their opposition). The Knicks will be back next year wasting very FORMIDABLE players that can contribute. So unless they win this series, and get something out of it, they will waste the energy of Baron (who was playing well until he got hurt), and Shumpert with his defense as always."
- nbalegend87

Ed.'s note -- It's safe to say Knicks fans are pretty united in WANTING them to win the series.

From Video: A look ahead to Game 5:

"A comeback will b so sweet given the circumstance and how the knicks was given no chance to beat the heat by analysts!!"
- ReLL881220

Ed.'s note -- A comeback would be epic. But does anybody see it happening?

From Jeremy Lin long shot for Game 5:

"E-Lin-mination"
- cggw

Ed.'s note -- That's a stretch.

"Anytime you have a game left, you have a shot.......Underdogs are great for sports."
- chiwadog

Ed.'s note -- True, just make sure you keep a firm grip on reality as well.

"Does it really matter? The Heat have this series in the bucket!"
- peterdipersio84

"The award for best comedy of the year goes to......... the knicks. Pretending to be an NBA team. Pathetic at its best. How pathetic that they were celebrating after winning one game in the playoffs. Total joke. Hey knicks fans did you guys have a parade after the game?"
- wolfdc85

Ed.'s note -- It was more of an expression of relief than it was a celebration. What do you guys say: how do you evaluate this season? Use the comments section below to let us know. Hey, at least you know we're paying attention.

Game 1 tickets less coveted than Linsanity

April, 28, 2012
4/28/12
11:46
AM ET
Haberstroh By Tom Haberstroh
ESPN.com
Archive
How crazy was Linsanity during this regular season? Consider this:

Tickets for Game 1 in Miami are selling for half as much as the February 23rd matchup tickets, which occurred during the height of Linsanity.

A representative from TiqIQ.com, a ticket information company that tracks online ticket prices on the secondary market, sent over the following results as of 11:30 a.m. ET:
  • The average price for Game 1 Saturday is $226.13, which is the 12th highest average priced home game for Miami this year
  • Compare this to their game in Miami on 2/23....Average price was $523.55 with a get in of $93
  • The current get in price is $28
  • The average price for the series is $510.71
  • The average price for Heat home games is $339.15, which is 43.02% lower then the average at MSG ($595.21)

What's more stunning: that Game 1 tickets are selling about $200 less than Linsanity tickets, or more than 10 regular season games were more coveted than Game 1?

Rose finds success against Lin

March, 13, 2012
3/13/12
10:36
AM CT
By ESPN Stats and Info
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
Rose/LinMike DiNovo/US PresswireDerrick Rose outscored Jeremy Lin 32-15 in their first matchup on Monday.
Derrick Rose admitted he was looking forward to playing against New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin before Monday night's game, and it showed.

Rose thrived when being guarded by Lin on his way to 32 points in the Bulls' 104-99 victory. It was the fourth straight game in which the Knicks have allowed an opposing point guard to score at least 25 points.

Rose was aggressive and attacked the rim, making seven shots within five feet of the basket, tied for his second most of the season. When Rose makes more than five field goals within that distance this season, the Bulls are undefeated.

Style vs. substance

March, 13, 2012
3/13/12
12:18
AM CT
Isaacson By Melissa Isaacson
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
CHICAGO -- Derrick Rose, Taj Gibson and a bunch of other players most self-respecting New York fans couldn’t pick out of a lineup, defeated two superstars and a global sensation Monday night.

Except for the global sensation, it wasn’t a whole lot different than most nights for the Chicago Bulls this last year and a half.

Read the entire column.

Writers' Q&A on Bulls, Knicks

March, 12, 2012
3/12/12
7:24
PM CT
By ESPNChicago.com
ESPNChicago.com
ESPNChicago’s Nick Friedell and ESPNNewYork’s Jared Zwerling had a few questions for each other before Monday’s Bulls-Knicks game.

Three questions about the Knicks


[+] EnlargeCarmelo Anthony
AP Photo/Seth WenigCarmelo Anthony and the Knicks have lost five straight games.
NF: What is the biggest reason why the Knicks have lost five in a row?

JZ: Offensive and defensive lapses, especially in the third quarter. In fact, in their past three games (all losses), they've had the worst average third-quarter scoring margin in the NBA (-10.3 points). Against the Sixers on Sunday afternoon, they got outscored 38-24 in the period. The Knicks start off strong with their patented pick-and-roll play featuring Jeremy Lin, but then the added pressure and defensive traps cause him to lose focus and commit turnovers. From there, the offense breaks apart. That's also because his teammates didn't come to his aid very well. On defense, they have effort breakdowns, especially guarding the pick-and-roll, and they react late to reads, not jumping out on shooters quickly enough. That definitely can't happen tonight with Kyle Korver on the court.

NF: Will Mike D'Antoni be back next year?

JZ: No. There is clearly a discrepancy between D'Antoni and Carmelo Anthony, no matter how much those two say they can work together. D'Antoni wants to run the pick-and-roll centered around his point guard, and the Knicks played extremely well doing that with Lin and Tyson Chandler before Anthony and Amare Stoudemire returned to the lineup. Now, the Knicks are back to more isolation basketball. That's not just on Anthony; that's on a revamped Knicks' roster trying to complete the puzzle quickly without much practice time during the shortened season. But in a league centered around individual superstars, Anthony will win out over D'Antoni, who's in the last year of his contract.

NF: 3. Can Carmelo and Amare produce together on the floor?
JZ: Points-wise yes, but it remains to be seen how they can fit in the offense that D'Antoni is trying to build through Lin and the pick-and-roll. The Knicks are one of the deepest teams in the league, but Anthony and Stoudemire haven't made the sacrifices yet to play within the system. That means less shots, but more passing, screens and intangibles -- more of the little things. As I mentioned, isolation basketball is taking over the team right now and that can't happen. Stars making sacrifices in their prime is not easy to do, but they both have to make them for the Knicks to be successful this season and beyond.

(Read full post)

Derrick Rose respects 'humble' Jeremy Lin

February, 25, 2012
2/25/12
4:02
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Derrick Rose likes what he's seen from Jeremy Lin and he's looking forward to facing the New York Knicks' phenom in the next few weeks.

"Lin's been good, man," Rose said on Friday afternoon. "Playing good ball. Playing with a lot of confidence. All you need is confidence in this league and that's what he's definitely playing with. I like him as a player, like him as a person, where he's very humble."

From a distance, Rose, the reigning MVP, also respects the way Lin has handled himself off the floor.

"I love the way that he plays," Rose said. "The fame or whatever, he's brushed it off. He's not paying too much attention to it. Turning things down. And that's the way that I think you're supposed to be."

Rose and the Chicago Bulls take on Lin and the Knicks on March 12 and then follow that up two more times in April. Rose, who has always talked about how much he loves playing in New York City at Madison Square Garden, is ready to see all the hype for himself. With the way the Knicks have improved, he knows the Bulls may see them later in the playoffs.

"It's going to be fun," Rose said. "[Carmelo Anthony’s] back. Lin is playing great. You can tell they're playing with a little more juice when they're out there running the ball. That's a team that we definitely have to deal with."

Rose was asked if he felt he could slow Lin down. In typical fashion, the 23-year-old superstar downplayed the question.

"I really don't know," he said. "We'll have to see."

TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Carmelo Anthony
PTS AST STL MIN
24.1 3.1 0.9 36.1
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsA. Stoude... 7.0
AssistsJ. Calderon 4.4
StealsS. Larkin 1.3
BlocksL. Amundson 1.6