Wednesday, February 20, 2008

It’s Official: JFK Returns to Dallas

Mavericks President of Basketball Operations Donnie Nelson called it, “hands down the most unique transaction that I’ve even been involved in…Ever.” Mavs Majority Owner Mark Cuban added, “it’s been the most interesting, unique trade we’ve ever done, and we’ve done some doozies.”

And was it ever.

With the trade between the Dallas Mavericks and New Jersey Nets FINALLY completed yesterday, Jason Frederick Kidd (JFK) makes his return to the team that he spent his first three-and-a-half seasons with—the Dallas Mavericks.

The modified deal still featured Jason Kidd and Devin Harris as its main pieces (along with New Jersey’s Malik Allen and Dallas’ DeSagana Diop, Maurice Ager, their first round selections in 2008 and 2010, and a cool three million in greenbacks). But dropped Jerry “loose lips” Stackhouse and Devean George in lieu of Trenton Hassell and the unofficially retired Keith Van Horn. New Jersey swingman Antoine Wright was also been added to the Kidd-Harris deal instead of the originally proposed separate deal for a future second-round pick.

In this deal, the Nets got what they wanted in this eight-player deal (without the baggage of Stackhouse and George), a combination of expiring contracts, draft picks, cash, and a promising young player in Devin Harris. As for the Mavericks, Kidd gives them a veteran presence at the point guard position—one that the team has not felt since Steve Nash was allowed to sign with the Phoenix Suns in the summer of 2004.

In an interview with, Kidd shared that he will be sporting jersey #2—his old number is currently being worn by forward Josh Howard—and “wasn’t about to ask Howard to change numbers.” Kidd’s new number also oddly resembles his old number (when reversed, #2 looks like #5) as well as symbolizes his second chance with the Dallas Mavericks.

Below are some of the questions and answers thrown at the Mavericks new court general:

How do you feel physically at this point of your career?

“Coach asked me and I said I feel great. Mentally and physically I feel that I can do the things I did when I first came into the league. People may feel that I’ve lost a step, you have good days and bad days, but the biggest thing is just understanding my teammates. I’ve never had to score a lot of points for us to win. I always tried to make the game as easy as possible for my teammates to score. I’ve always been on a team with scorers, so they’ve been happy. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve understood to help the big guys rebound. I still love the challenge. The gamesmanship of going out against the other guys who might be faster, who might score a lot more, but taking that challenge and trying to slow them down. Also showing that you don’t have to score to be successful.”

This move was done with an eye on a championship.

“We’re in the elite group. They’ve had a lot of success the last couple years. I feel what I can bring is some mental toughness to show that you can bend, but not break. There’s always is a lot of basketball to be played, so I feel I can help them win. There are so many pieces – Josh, Dirk, Stack and the other guys on this team – and the two other guys – Antoine and Malik. Antoine brings something to the table defensively and can score. Malik brings his toughness and can score. I’m excited about this opportunity because the Mavericks have their eye on winning a championship. If you think that way, it spreads throughout the team and that’s the one thing that everybody is concentrating on.”

That’s the one thing you want in your career.

“That’s all I want – to win a championship. It’s not guaranteed, but you want to play for it. When you take the floor with the Mavericks, you’re on that path to win a championship.”

Would you describe your career as successful or unfulfilled or a bit of both?

“It’s been a successful career. Everybody feels that they are measured by championships, and you are, and I’ve been to the Big Dance twice, so I’ve had that opportunity and that’s the best feeling. There are 30 teams and only two teams at the end of the day. There is no bigger stage than that. To be able to do that is great. Unfortunately, there is only one winner. Nothing is promised, but when you have other guys on your team that are in the same fight, it makes coming to work a lot easier.”

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