Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The One J

Mark Cuban was bound and determined to pull this deal off, and he finally did it. Jason Kidd is making his debut in a Mavericks uniform tonight, after the Mavericks gave up five players, two first round draft picks, 3 million dollars, a bag of basketballs, and dinner at Bob's Steak and Chop House in Dallas in exchange for Kidd and two others. Kidd returns to Dallas, where he began his career 15 years ago. In his first go-round, he was known as one of the "Three J's", along with Jim Jackson and Jamal Mashburn. Kidd is the only one of the Three J's still in the league.

What is Cuban doing here? Kidd is still an All-Star point guard, at least in the Eastern Conference, but is on the back side of his career at age 35. Cuban is trying to keep up with Western Conference teams that have made recent big deals such as Phoenix (Shaq) and the Lakers (Pao Gasol). The Mavs find themselves struggling to keep up with the Spurs and the George Shinn Hornets, not to mention the Suns and the Lakers. Let's don't forget: the Mavs lost in the first round of last year's playoffs to Nellie and the Warriors.

Mark Cuban will never live down his decision to not sign Steve Nash to a long-term contract, allowing Nash to go to Phoenix to win multiple MVP awards. At the same time, the Mavs had a short window of opportunity to win a championship that is quickly going away. Their golden opportunity came two years ago. It may never return.

At least Jason Kidd comes to a better team than he played on in his first tour in Dallas. How much better remains to be seen.


Zee said...

Jason is happy, Cuban is happy and Dirk is happy. Word on the street is that Dirk really wanted this to happen. Jason is excited about playing on a decent team and probably living in an area that's way more affordable so it's all good. Cuban can afford it.

My problem is how Kidd worked out last time he was here, which was not good. I don't have fond memories of his time here ... but maybe it was the other J's who were squirreling away their time here and making Kidd look bad.

HSO's on demand. ;)

John said...

I think it was the other J's that were the problem the first time around. Something about Jim Jackson and Toni, those were the 90's!

Yeah, going to the Mavs is a move up from playing in the Jersey swamps. It sounds like everyone is happy with it.

The Western Conference is so rugged. It'll be an accomplishment for some of these teams just to get out of the first round.