Reporting Mike Fisher
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DALLAS (105.3 THE FAN) – It was 19 years ago when Jason Kidd and Grant Hill were to be named “co-Rookies of the Year’’ and the two of them were guests on my radio show as we made the nation-wide announcement. Now, suddenly the two of them are retired. And in Dallas, Mavs watchers are already calling for Kidd to be commemorated here. We should slow our roll.
Kidd’s Monday morning statement: ”My time in professional basketball has been an incredible journey, but one that must come to an end after 19 years. As I reflect on my time with the four teams I represented in the NBA, I look back fondly at every season and thank each every one of my teammates and coaches that joined me on the court.”
That statement was released through the Knicks – the team Kidd jumped to last summer after Mark Cuban believed Kidd and the Dallas Mavericks had formed a bond (nearly contractual but not quite) for the future Hall-of-Famer to remain a Mav.
Kidd was going to help recruit Deron Williams to Dallas. They would be a package deal. Kidd would get a contract extension, building on the legend he’d created that was complete with his role in the Mavs’ 2011 NBA title. And then Kidd, now 40, would retire and be a fixture with the organization. His jersey would be lifted to the ceiling. He would work in the front office alongside Cuban and Donnie Nelson, or maybe on the floor alongside Rick Carlisle.
But when Deron didn’t come to Dallas, Kidd opted to flee as well. Cuban was miffed … and I believe, remains so.
The decision to go to New York ended in postseason, when he did not score in any of his final nine playoff games with the Knicks. It doesn’t mar his legend, which began when he was the No. 2 overall pick by the Mavericks in the 1994 draft and was named co-Rookie of the Year, continued in Phoenix and then in New Jersey where he led the Nets to back-to-back NBA Finals appearances, and came full-circle when Dallas re-acquired him in February of 2008.
Kidd is the singular reason we coined the phrase, “BBIQ.’’ It fit us and it fit him.
But Kidd in the Dallas front office or in the rafters? Folks at Mavs HQ don’t believe that quite fits. Not yet.
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