It’s been two years since current New York Knicks Tyson Chandler and Jason Kidd won the NBA championship wearing a Dallas Mavericks uniform.
Since that time, the Mavericks broke things up, which allowed Chandler to come to the Big Apple. The story of how Kidd made his way to New York was much more dramatic as all signs pointed towards the future Hall of Famer re-signing with the Mavericks as many outlets reported that deal was done.
But at the last minute Kidd had a change of heart and signed a three-year deal with the Knicks, a move that really upset Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban.
“I was more than upset. I thought he was coming. I was pissed,” Cuban said in late August. “J-Kidd is a big boy; he can do whatever he wants. But you don’t change your mind like that. That was … yeah. 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.”
Kidd however took all of that in stride and responded to that comment this week, telling ESPN’s Ian Begley:
“I don’t play for the jersey. I play for my teammates,” he said earlier this week. “Cuban owns the team so he has every right to his opinion, but the one thing he can’t take away is a championship ring.”
Cuban broke up the 2011 championship team with the thought of clearing enough cap space to lure Deron Williams, Dwight Howard or possibly both to Dallas. That obviously didn’t work out the way Cuban had planned and left a bad taste in both players’ mouths as many people felt that the Mavericks may have had a chance to repeat last season had they kept their core intact.
“I’m very happy with this situation, but to speak past tense I definitely think that we had an opportunity to go back-to-back and unfortunately things were blown up,” Chandler said on Thursday. “But that’s the business side of it; that’s something the players can’t control.”
We know how things panned out for the Knicks as they rebuilt their team with Chandler and Kidd being a big reason of why the Knicks are the only unbeaten team in the NBA.
But the Mavericks have also rebuilt and are off to an impressive 4-1 start to the season, even without the injured Dirk Nowitzki in the lineup.
The Mavericks are averaging over 108 points per game, led by a reborn O.J. Mayo, who is averaging 21.6 points per game to start the season.
But that will be tested by a Knicks defense who has allowed an NBA-low 85.3 points per game.
As far as Chandler and Kidd are concerned, they are happy wearing a Knicks’ uniform, but even so you would think they would be a bit emotional as tonight’s game nears tip-off.
Kidd more so than Chandler.
The reigning Defensive Player of the Year got a taste of playing against his former team last year, but this will be Kidd’s first opportunity to do so. However many of the same faces they won a championship with are no longer in Dallas as this is a brand new Mavericks team.
But while Kidd may have some emotion before the game, once the ball is thrown up, it will be all about winning.
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