Jason Kidd Has His Ring, at Long Last

by June 13, 2011
25

Seventeen years after stepping onto an NBA hardwood, the great Jason Kidd is finally a champion. In the process, Kidd vindicated himself, his squad, and the man who signs the checks in Dallas. Yahoo! Sports takes a look: “It’s not real right now,’ he’d later say, and who could blame him. This second act, this renaissance, wasn’t supposed to happen. Not at age 38, not when so many of his peers had long ago left the game. The NBA had been turned over to Chris Paul and Deron Williams, Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook, those of the younger legs and fleet feet. He’d had his two cracks at a championship, and missed. Through it all, Kidd never stopped grinding, and this is part of his brilliance. Eyes wide, shoulders squared, he’s forever rushing the ball up the court, searching for the next opportunity. This season, he found it amongst a motley collection of Dallas Mavericks. He looked around the locker room at all these veterans, not a single title among them, and proclaimed something that would continue to resonate in the months ahead. ‘This team could be special.’ These Mavericks grew into a championship team because Kidd helped Dirk Nowitzki make them so. Three seasons earlier, Mavs owner Mark Cuban had gambled a talented young point guard, Devin Harris, and two first-round draft picks to pull Kidd from the rubble of the New Jersey Nets. Cuban knew that Kidd could serve as a guide for Nowitzki, help him lead in ways he never had. Even at Kidd’s age, he could still manage a game as well as anyone in the league. ‘Do you think we won that trade yet?’ Cuban barked early Monday morning. He’s long been sensitive to the criticism he absorbed for giving up so much for his aging point guard.”