MIAMI — For anyone who’d wonder why LeBron James would ever leave Cleveland to hook up with a pair of All-Stars in Miami, we present the curious case of Jason Kidd.
A decade ago, Kidd was LeBron. Kidd did everything for the Nets, leading them in scoring, assists, steals and was second in rebounding. Kidd hauled the Nets to back-to-back trips to the NBA Finals and came up empty. The Nets had no shot in 2002 against Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal and the Lakers, who won in a sweep. They had a fair shot against the Spurs in ’03, and tied the series 2-2, but things fell apart in the closing moments of Game 5 and that was that.
He became an unrestricted free agent two weeks later, and all the contenders who could afford him wanted him. Kidd’s best offer came from those very same Spurs with Tim Duncan and Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. But Kidd — or rather, his now-ex wife Joumana, who wanted TV opportunities in New York — decided to stay with the Nets.
He has not made it back to The Finals until now.