Few athletes have meant as much to a franchise as Jason Kidd has meant to The Nets. Only a long, suffering Nets fan can truly understand and appreciate the imprint Kidd left on this team. He single handedly put the Nets on his back and carried them up to relevance. It is no coincidence that his era of Nets basketball is the only one that can honestly be considered successful. When he left town he took what was left of the teams soul with him. So, it should go without saying that the mere hint of a possible return to the Nets would be enough to send the team’s modest but faithful fan base into a frenzy.
It was not the first time Kidd hinted at the possibility of returning to the Nets, but with free agency only a couple months from now it certainly feels like more than just a Nets fans dream. Kidd’s current team, the Dallas Mavericks, were just swept by the Oklahoma City Thunder when he made his most recent comments that have given some hope of a reunion to fans of the Nets. Nothing is set in stone, but he did reiterate his desire to back up Nets point guard Deron Williams next season.
“That works,” he said. “What’s wrong with that? That’s not a bad guy to help out. If it comes to that, that would be not a bad situation.
“Like I told Dirk, I would go to war with him and go through another season and try to help him win. Being here would be very nice. But at the same time, business comes into play. We’ll see what the Mavs are talking about first and go from there.”
If you were to ask anyone in the Dallas/Fort Worth area about next season, they would all have you believe that Deron Williams already has his bags packed for Big D. That is definitely the popular answer among writers and analysts from around the league, don’t count Jason Kidd among them though. Kidd had a few things to say about Brooklyn and the Nets current outlook.
“I think going to Brooklyn brings a lot of attention,” Kidd said. “The last professional team there was the Dodgers, so I think they’re going to be very excited. And then with the Russian owner (Mikhail Prokhorov), I mean, he’s not short on money so I think they’re going to go out and make a splash.”
It seems like a bad move for Deron Williams to sign with Dallas. The reality is that there are not many quality free agents set to become available in the near future. In fact, he is the cream of the free agency crop himself. We have seen what the Dallas Mavericks roster is capable of when pushed to the limit, an embarrassing blowout and opening round sweep in the playoffs. How much better does Deron make that team? Would losing to OKC in 6 be considered a big enough leap in the right direction to justify signing with Dallas in July? Not if you ask me.
We have not seen this Nets team play together at full strength though. We have had glimpses of what could be possible at times, like Brook Lopez erupting back to form and dropping 38 on the Mavericks to lead the Nets to an impressive win. We’ve seen enough from Gerald Green and Wallace to know that combining what they bring to what a healthy Brook Lopez brings would surely amount to something dominant. How high is that team’s ceiling? That remains to be seen. It’s pretty hard to argue that Dallas has a brighter future, or even a bright future at all.
So those on court prospects combined with the unimaginable off court opportunities only Brooklyn can provide make D-Will’s decision seem as close to a no-brainer as you can get. Is there room for Jason Kidd in Brooklyn though? The roster currently has Sundiata Gaines and Jordan Farmar backing up Williams at point guard. There would have to be some shuffling if this return were to become a reality.
Do the Nets even want a Kidd return? They have not commented but I would have to imagine the answer to be “yes”. The Nets are all about Brooklyn and marketing right now. This would create a gripping storyline that fans of the sport in general would likely enjoy watching. The old vet returning home to pair up with the young phenom. What’s not to love?
Roughly one decade earlier, Jason Kidd took the Nets franchise and made them into perennial contenders. Leading them to back to back trips to the NBA Finals. Each time they fell short against a juggernaut team that belonged to a dynasty, the Shaq and Kobe Lakers and the Duncan, Parker, Ginobli led Spurs, respectively. Now Kidd would be home to say his final “goodbyes” and motivate his heir apparent, Deron Williams, to finish the job he began after taking the reigns of the franchise. Ideally, Deron would lead the Nets to a championship while Kidd is still an active player on the roster behind him.
Will Jason Kidd be Deron Williams’ backup point guard next season? Where will they play next season? These questions will be answered by mid July. No one is awaiting that date more than the Nets and Mavericks organizations though. What I wouldn’t give to hear Jason Kidd’s name announced during pre-game introductions as a member of the Nets one more time though.