Nets GM Rod Thorn had a press conference
to announce the Jason Kidd trade today, and he made reference to Kidd losing
interest in the team in December. Thorn didn't say it, but Kidd missed a game
against the Knicks with a migraine headache, and team officials told reporters
privately they thought it was a Kidd protest.
Anyway, here are some excerpts from Thorn:
Q: Were you prepared to go the rest of the season with Kidd in NJ?
Thorn: If we didn’t make a deal last night we would have practicing with the players who are going to Dallas right now today. If we couldn’t make a deal that I felt we could live with I was prepared to do it, yes. Was I concerned? Yes. But I was prepared to do it. I was concerned about the morale of the team. I was concerned about the players you’ve traded coming back. How’s that going to work? Those two things.
Q: Can you describe Devin Harris?
Thorn: He’s got good size, great quickness, good defender, he can push the ball.
Q: What happened to make the deal work?
Thorn: Mark and I kept talking. Nothing specific, we were rehashing things we had already been over and finally agreed.
Q: Do you have any regrets that you couldn’t make Jason happy?
Thorn: From a professional standpoint and a personal standpoint, I’d always considered that Jason would play his career out and be part of the Nets for a long time. Other than Dr. J back in the ABA days, he’s the best player this franchise has ever had. That’s the way that I always thought about it. He’ll play it out and if he wants to still be with the Nets he’ll still be with the Nets. But things don’t always work out the way that you think they’re going to work out. But that’s part of it. It’s unique in that it took so long. To have a deal and the deal break down when you’re already in the league office and then to have it go on as long as it did, that’s the uniqueness of it. Otherwise, it happens. It happens. And you see it happen in different sports every year basically, so it’s not unique from that standpoint.
Q: Could you have gotten more for Kidd?
Thorn: That’s a good question. I couldn’t say if you could or you couldn’t. I think anytime you’re trading a player who is 35 years old and making that kind of money there has to be a lot of different elements in the deal, unless you’re just trading him like Miami basically traded Shaq for Marion because their contracts weren’t that much different. Here, in most of the teams we talked to it was going to include a whole bunch of different pieces. I think that was the biggest deterrent if you will to concluding something had more to do with the size salary Jason has it takes a lot of different elements to make a trade.
Q: Was this something that had to be done for the health of the franchise?
Thorn: Yes. It just wasn’t going to work. I know Jason probably as well as anybody. Over the course of time it became very evident that his heart wasn’t in it. With him, the kind of player he is, if his heart’s not in it then he’s not the same player. And it became evident to me that his heart wasn’t in it here anymore over the course of this season. And it’s not to denigrate his play at all because obviously he made the All-Star team, he had a whole bunch of triple-doubles, but the element to Jason Kidd that separates him from most is the intensity and the heart. That’s what separates him. There are other players that may have skill set, but that’s what separate him. And when he’s playing with that then he’s at another level and when he’s not playing with it he’s at a lower level. If you look at our team and look at where we’re trying to do it was obvious to me that if we could we should look to do something.
-- Jan Hubbard