NEW YORK -- Jason Kidd said Friday's game between the Dallas Mavericks and New York Knicks was just another game for him.
The Knicks' point guard also said when his team comes to American Airlines Center to play the Mavs on Nov. 21, that too will be just another game on the NBA's marathon 82-game schedule.
Only Dirk Nowitzki, Shawn Marion, Rodrigue Beaubois and Dominique Jones are the lone Mavs players remaining from the team's 2001 championship squad which Kidd helped the Mavs win. So there's not much left for Kidd to get misty eyed about.
"Again, this is a team that only has a couple of players left from that chanpionship team, and the coaching staff,'' Kidd said after the Knicks beat the Mavs, 104-94, Friday night at Madison Square Garden. "The fans were great to me down in Dallas, we had a great run, and the business of basketball, it changes,
"And so I'm here in New York and I had a great run in Dallas.''
Kidd spent the past four years with the Mavs and, when he became a free agent on July 1, had verbally agreed to sign a three-year, $9 million contract so he could finish his career with the Mavs. However, Kidd had a chance of heart and crushed the Mavs' heart in the process when he decided to sign a three-year, $9 million free agent contract with the Knicks at the 11th hour.
So what changed for Kidd?
"I had family decisions, but that was one of the biggest things,'' Kidd said. "And I felt coming here that I could help this team get better.''
Kidd, who had six points, three assists and three steals in 15 minutes Friday, believes the Mavs could be a factor in the Western Conference, even without his services. He likes what the front offcie did over the office in acquiring some quality talent to surround Dirk Nowitzki.
Kidd also can't wait to see how the Mavs will develop when Nowitzki returns from arthroscopic right knee surgery sometimes next month.
"They're playing well, they're playing a lot faster -- nothing against Dirk,'' Kidd said while laughing. "But they've got some very good pieces in a sense that (OJ) Mayo is playing great, (Darren) Collison, he's a solid point guard.
"And with Elton (Brand) and (Chris) Kaman, they're going to be fine.''
-- Dwain Price
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