(Long Island, NY) The explanation was that All-Star point guard Jason Kidd missed Wednesday night’s 100-93 defeat at the hands of the Knicks due to a migraine, but the Nets front office is going to have the headache if the rumors are true. The player that basically single-handedly put the Nets back on the NBA map is said to be looking to leave the Garden State.
At around 2 pm the day of the game, Kidd, 34, spoke with Nets head coach Lawrence Frank on the telephone and essentially called in sick, and did not bother to show up for the game at the Izod Center. The following day, Kidd insisted that he did in fact miss the game due to the migraine and denied that it was a one-day strike to either force a trade or receive a contract extension.
“I didn’t miss a game due to unhappiness, that’s the first thing to clear up,” Kidd told reporters during a news conference that he called at the Nets’ East Rutherford headquarters on Thursday. “I am having one of my best seasons. Why would I want to be traded? As a team, we are doing better than last year.”
Last February, Kidd was almost traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, who balked when the Nets wanted them to include young center Andrew Bynum during talks. So it is not out of the realm of possibility that the Nets have again revisited the idea of moving Kidd.
Perhaps seeing Vince Carter re-signed and having his own one-year, $13 million contract extension denied has made Kidd a little miffed and feel unwanted. Back in November, he did not exactly adhere himself to the franchise by making a few quotes that could not have made team president Rod Thorn happy.
“Right now, there is no light at the end of the tunnel,” he said to reporters back in November. “We get to the playoffs and everything disappears. The same thing happens year after year.”
The team fell back below the .500 mark (9-10) with the loss to their rivals. With all of the things combined, is it any surprise that Kidd may be on the move once again? With all his talent, he has been traded out of Dallas and Phoenix before coming to New Jersey. In his six previous seasons with the Nets, Kidd has been an incredible on- the-court addition, but has had a few bumps regarding his actions away from the game. There was the entire Byron Scott scenario and his domestic trouble with his ex-wife became much too publicized for a private matter. Kidd has always been viewed as a defiant and selfish person, which is the exact opposite of the way he is on the floor, often called the quintessential pass-first point guard.
His contract runs through next season, with $19.7 and $21.3 million due to him in the next two years. His recent comments about one day playing with LeBron James and Kobe Bryant were not meant to be taken as a trade request or demand, according to what Kidd said. Following the Nets’ recent game in Cleveland, Kidd and James were seen conversing, which gave fuel to the fire that he was looking to join LeBron in Ohio. An unnamed Eastern Conference source speculated that the two Team USA teammates from the summer have been communicating often about options that could put them together on the Cavs.
For all the knocks on Kidd’s attitude, he may have a valid point in at least some of the statements he made. If the then-Continental Airlines Arena had empty seats during the 2002 NBA Finals against the Shaq and Kobe-led Lakers, a strong fan base is still being looked for and may never be found. Kidd may have taken this team as far as he can, and if the right package is offered, a trade may benefit both parties.