In 2003, the New Jersey Nets were one of the most exciting teams in the NBA. Led by Jason Kidd and a collection of other key players like Kenyon Martin, Richard Jefferson, Kerry Kittles, and even Dikembe Mutumbo, the team went all the way to the NBA Finals, where they ultimately lost to the San Antonio Spurs 4-2. It was their second year in a row being eliminated in the NBA Finals.
After two straight eliminations in the NBA Finals, the Nets’ star point guard almost walked away from the New Jersey franchise. The All-Star guard revealed on a recent episode of the ‘All The Smoke‘ podcast that he was “very, very close” to joining the Spurs following being eliminated by them in 2003.
Jason Kidd on Almost Signing with the San Antonio Spurs
On the podcast hosted by Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes, Jackson seemingly surprised Kidd with the question asking how close Kidd was to joining his Spurs team after the elimination.
“How close were you to coming the year after we played in the finals?” Jackson asked.
“I was in. So I meet with Tim and Pop, and I’m in,” Kidd said. “The one thing that was a hold up was, and it was a small thing was I was like ‘Man, I gotta sit here and watch you guys get the rings after just losing to you.’ That’s just one game, and we’ll get past it and we’ll have opportunities to win more. But then the loyalty of building something in Jersey and ‘I think we could get there,’ but not knowing the business side of what was coming down. They traded K-Mart that following year and things fell apart fast. But to be a Spur, that was very, very close.”
Kidd almost joining the Spurs after losing to them in the Finals is interesting when you compare it to Kevin Durant leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Golden State Warriors after losing to them in the Western Conference Finals. Would Kidd have been met by the same criticism that Durant was back in 2003? The situations are similar Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker just won an NBA championship, and Greg Popovich and Duncan met to recruit Kidd to San Antonio.
Ultimately, Kidd ended up staying loyal to the Nets and returned only for the team to be stripped down. Jackson revealed another interesting nugget on what Kidd’s …read more