DALLAS -- With tonight's tipoff between the Dallas Mavericks and New York Knicks less than an hour away, folks are still talking about whether or not the Mavs' fans will boo Knicks guard Jason Kidd.
Kidd was extremely instrumental in the Mavs capturing the 2011 NBA title. And when he became a free agent this past summer, Kidd verbally agreed to sign a three-year, $9 million contract to return and finish out his stellar NBA career with the Mavs.
But Kidd created a stir when he suddenly changed his mind and decided to sign a three-year, $9 million contract with the Knicks. Despite the reversal of fortunes by Kidd, the Knicks believe Mavs fans will welcome Kidd with open arms tonight.
Knicks center Tyson Chandler, a teammate of Kidd's on that Mavs' championship squad noted that he wouldn't be surprised if Kidd got booed when tonight's game at American Airlines Center tips off at 7:30.
"You never know what to expect,'' Chandler said. "But what Jason gave to this city -- he gave his all every time he stepped on the floor, so that in itself you have to respect.
"But fans being fans and being loyal, it can go either way.''
Knicks coach Mike Woodson is standing by Kidd and hopes the Mavs' fans respect what he has meant to the Mavs' organization.
"He should get a standing ovation,'' Woodson said. "I know (owner Mark) Cuban has put a lot of work to get to that point when they won the title, and Jason was a big part of it as well as Tyson.
"So I would think he would get a nice standing ovation for that.''
Knicks forward Kurt Thomas, who grew up in Dallas, graduated from Hillcrest High School and was a standout basketball player at TCU, was adamant about what type of reception Kidd will receive tonight.
"That won't happen,'' said Thomas, when asked if he'd be surprised if Kidd got booed tonight. "He brought this city a championship, there's no way he'll get booed out here.
"Him or Tyson.''
-- Dwain Price
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