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SOURCES: 'ON-STRIKE' KIDD DECIDES TO SIT OUT
By FRED KERBER
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December 6, 2007 -- Jason Kidd was "on strike," last night several team sources claimed, and he essentially called in sick, perhaps in an effort to force a trade from the Nets or get a contract extension.
Coach Lawrence Frank said Kidd phoned him complaining of a migraine yesterday at about 2 p.m. Kidd never showed for last night's 100-93 defeat against the Knicks, also short-handed, in the Meadowlands.
Maybe it was the contract extension he sought and did not receive. Maybe it is the general state of the team. Maybe it is a desire for a trade. Whatever the reason, whatever the cause, Kidd chose a game against the division rival Knicks to state his case. And the Nets certainly proved how much they need Kidd, losing to the 6-11 Knicks who were without Eddy Curry and Stephon Marbury.
"He's on strike," on team source said.
Kidd's teammates were tight-lipped, though one claimed, "I can't picture Jason doing that. I would be disappointed if he did."
But another source said the Nets were planning on - if not already - talking to Dallas, the Lakers and perhaps Cleveland about a trade. Kidd nearly was traded to the Lakers last February.
Asked after the game about Kidd, Frank said, "Right now my thoughts are with this game."
The Nets (9-10, 4-7 at home) were drastically short-handed all evening and played the first half with eight available bodies. Josh Boone, down with a migraine - he has a history of the ailment - was on the bench for the second half but did not play. Jamal Crawford scored 29 and Zach Randolph had 25 for the Knicks. Richard Jefferson scored 31 points and Vince Carter had 19 for the Nets.
Kidd's absence immediately caused some consternation within the organization because of the All-Star's recent unhappiness over the Nets rejecting his camp's bid for a one-year, $13 million contract extension. Kidd vented about the team recently in Utah, claiming the club possessed a glass jaw while expressing doubts about the future. After a sit-down with team president Rod Thorn, Kidd backed off and proclaimed all was fine.
Which made last night's timing puzzling. Kidd loves beating the Knicks. The Nets are 23-2 including playoffs, against the Knicks with Kidd since he arrived. And Kidd has been durable. He hadn't missed a game since Feb. 14 last season, at Toronto when a back kept him out. That was the final game before All-Star weekend and Kidd returned after the break.
So when he didn't show, speculation was rampant. Kidd played 30 minutes Tuesday in Cleveland and chatting with LeBron James afterward.
There was a pretty good team in the infirmary or at home for reasons personal and medical last night. For the Knicks, Curry was lost to a sprained ankle and Mar bury was home with family, pre paring to bury his fa ther today. For the Nets, Antoine Wright (shoul der) sat a second straight game. Nenad Krstic has been shut down. Carter (strained calf) played after an MRI exam was negative.
So Eddie Gill (four points, fouled out) started for the ninth time in his career - first as a Net - at point for Kidd. With Wright out, the Nets were down to one perimeter player, Bostjan Nachbar, plus Jamaal Magloire and Sean Williams.
Without Kidd, the Nets struggled terribly on offense. Open shots were rare. Made shots even more rare - they had seven assists at halftime. That wasn't even one assist per player. With Randolph and Crawford getting out to quick starts and with the Knicks smothering Carter and Jefferson, the Nets trailed, 51-42, at halftime. The Knicks led by 14 in the fourth and the Nets got to within five, but stalled.
With their quick start, the Knicks led 20-10 before nine minutes expired. It was the eighth straight game and 9th time in 11 games total that the Nets trailed by 10 or more points at home.
As if the injuries weren't trouble enough, the Nets saw half of their available team - Malik Allen, Jason Collins, Gill and Williams - all saddled with three fouls by halftime.
Nets guard Marcus Williams (foot) worked out on consecutive days for the first time. He could practice Saturday.
It wasn't about being the team everyone loved, it was about beating the teams everyone else loved.
Division Champions 1955, 1956, 1988, 1989, 1990, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
Conference Champions 1955, 1956, 1988, 2005
NBA Champions 1989, 1990, 2004
Kidd is still very good and has at least a couple years left in him. I think this explains why the Cavs signed Varejao because they will have more pieces to trade for Kidd. If he wants to play for with another superstar, he isn't going to L.A because of Fisher. Cavs is really the only one who makes since. Lebron and Kidd could be dangerous.
THAT PLAYER SITTING AGAINST THAT TEAM? JUST DOESN’T MAKE SENSE
By PETER VECSEY
December 7, 2007 -- WHAT'S left of my mind boggles. What possessed a nameless Net official (or two?) to indict Jason Kidd on charges of withholding his services Wednesday night against the Knicks?
It's unimaginable to think an upstanding citizen of such stainless character would betray his team.
Since when is failing to provide a doctor's note automatic cause to conclude his migraine headache story is counterfeit?
We know for a fact Kidd was furious when Rod Thorn refused his request (“Please. Pretty please!") to be traded to the Lakers or the Cavaliers at the start of the Nets' west coast Thanksgiving trip, but angry enough to abandon Richard Jefferson, Vince Carter and Company?
Notions like that don't get any more slanderous.
Why now cop an attitude? It's not as if owner Bruce Ratner recently refused to extend his contract a year or two past next season. Contrary to widespread reports, that rebuff actually took place before the season began.
(By the way, Kidd will be three dozen years of age at the end of the current deal. The question is, where will the Nets franchise be - New Jersey, Brooklyn or Chavez Ravine?)
Somebody as worldly as Jonathan Supranowitz, the Knicks' male secretary, will have to explain to me how those two rejection notices translate into postponement-of-the-game vindictiveness.
Why would a monster the Nets joyfully completed the creation of since joining them July 18, 2001 go “on strike" two months after being told no for the first time in his 13-year career and two weeks after being told no for the second time?
Should we really accept that Kidd whose every wish and whim to now was the Nets' command, is capable of brandishing such an impure motive?
Why would someone who has always played hard and hurt, suddenly decide to stage a one-game sit-down?
It doesn't make sense.
Especially since Kidd had made the Knicks his personal pin cushion since showing up and had another chance to prick a sitting-duck squad without Stephon Marbury and Eddy Curry, not to mention get a road win.
Additionally, the depleted now 9-10 Nets (all of one victory against an above five hundred, Lakers in LA), urgently needed a confidence builder at home. This was a chance to go above equilibrium for the first time since winning four of the season's first five games.
The Nets had been so schizoid, Kidd had started to wonder if there was any light at the end of the Lincoln Tunnel.
Again, Kidd's unfaithfulness to his team and his teammates just doesn't make sense.
That's far too much selfishness than even I normally expect from a professional athlete.
What's more, Kidd categorically denied it at yesterday's hastily convened press conference. And Thorn avidly buys into the Excedrin Headache Number 1 excuse.
Does anything in their past suggest we shouldn't believe either person?
Whoops; the jury is hereby instructed to disregard the above question.
Maybe Kidd was holding out in hopes I'd return to the beat.
Maybe Kidd was protesting the major loss of Ed Stefanski to the 76ers (Pat Riley and I want to know why the Nets didn't get some form of compensation) and this was his way of nominating himself for the vacant GM gig.
Maybe Kidd simply was tinkering with the Nets' roster by making himself unavailable. Hey, we all can't be model disenfranchises like Camp Cablevision.
Upon further examination, I might've hit on something considering how many cronies of Kidd he placed on the Nets' payroll; Alonzo Mourning and Rodney Rogers are the first two which come to mind.
A hundred and four percent of the Garden's State's politicians are jealous.
I know what you're saying; this column leaves a lot of room for interpretation and you're correct. In the final analysis, I guess what I'm saying is, if you want to find peace and harmony in Jersey, visit the McGreeveys.
Why do people keep believing stuff written by the New York Post?
Because it is more fun that way.
Really though I do respect what Vecsey and I enjoy reading him. I don't believe every word he writes, but I do think he is gets a lot of good inside info that no one else does. I know a lot of people think he's scum and just makes things up - but at worst I think he's entertaining and there is a lot of triuth in what he writes.
Sam Smith on the other hand is pure entertainment and I raely beieve a word of what he writes - although I often get a good laugh out of it