When the subject came up recently of the possibility of retiring Jason Kidd’s number in Dallas, Mark Cuban had a few choice words to say about that idea and Kidd’s sudden change of heart which led him to signing with the New York Knicks:
“He’s a good guy, but I just thought that was wrong. You can’t put a guy’s number in the rafters when he decides he doesn’t want to be there.”
Cuban devoted a full hour to ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM’s Ben and Skin Show to explore various issues surrounding the Mavericks including detailed defense of blowing up the championship team (a topic I’ve broached a time or two) and Kidd’s exodus.
Regarding Kidd, Cuban went on to say “J. Kidd is a big boy; he can do whatever he wants. But you don’t change your mind like that…I’m sure I’ll get over it at some point, but as of now, I wouldn’t put J. Kidd’s number in the rafters.”
Of course, which came first, the chicken or the egg? While it’s true that Kidd had apparently made a commitment to return to the Mavs, albeit initially in the hopes of backing up Deron Williams and changed his mind, was he really out of line? It isn’t as if the Mavericks hadn’t made business decisions resulting in Kidd chances of getting another title shot horribly slim.
After the Championship team dissolved and the team struggled to an early first-round exit in 2012, followed by starting the offseason by failing to sign Deron Williams, things weren’t looking too rosy.
Still, even with the Jet taking off for Boston, Kidd was the only one who had a solid offer on the table and opted to bail.
If karma was any indicator, it appears he may have received a couple of messages from the cosmos. First, he slammed his car into a telephone pole and how will have to come to grips with backing up Raymond Felton instead of mentoring Jeremy Lin.
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Despite two tours of duty with the Mavericks and making the most of his time in Dallas, even fans don’t seem compelled to lobby for Kidd’s jersey in the rafters. Although he garnered Co-Rookie of the Year Honors along with Grant Hill and helped engineer the biggest turnaround in the NBA that year, along with making the All-Star game in 1996, he was traded to the Phoenix Suns in 1996 and continued to have a stellar career including taking his next team, the New Jersey Nets, to the NBA Finals 2002 and 2003.
Returning to the Mavericks and winning a championship, however, apparently won’t be enough to get his number retired.
The rafters in the American Airlines Center aren’t exactly crowded with only the jerseys of Brad Davis and Rolando Blackman currently inhabiting. With Dirk, the greatest player in franchise history a shoe-in upon retirement, more positive discussion about Jason Terry and possible voids where the numbers of Mark Aguirre and Derek Harper should probably be, Kidd probably wouldn’t be on the priority list anyway. Now with Cuban resentful about his departure his chances have seemingly gone from slim to none.
In fact, incoming point guard Darren Collison wore the same number “2” while playing for the Hornets and Pacers, so it’s even likely that Kidd’s number not only won’t be retired but will be recycled as early as this season.
Ah well. Ever since Jerry Jones bought the Cowboys there’s been more drama in Dallas than just “Dallas.” For Jason Kidd I guess that championship ring and an induction into the Hall of Fame will just have to suffice.