Everyone today is still feeling Dirk Nowitzki’s pain, five years from watching a 2-0 lead on Miami melt away in the NBA Finals.
But what about feeling Jason Kidd’s misery?
He watched two straight trips to The Finals (in 2002 and ’03) evaporate. They were two trips most people forget about, only because it was done with the Nets, you know.
Yes, while Kidd and Nowitzki, headed back to The Finals, take a brief moment to share notes and swap war stories about their agonies, Kidd will reach for the tissue box first.
Dirk: “We were up 2-0, man. With home-court advantage!”
Kidd: “At least you had a home-court advantage. We had to beg fans to show up.”
Dirk: “Dwyane Wade was a beast. Too much to overcome.”
Kidd: “Try beating Shaq and Kobe and then Duncan and Robinson.”
Dirk: “This may be my last chance. I’m 32.”
Kidd: “Got you by six years.”
Kidd will enter the championship series, then, in a more desperate state than Dirk. He is No. 2 on the all-time assists list, one of the top pure point guards in NBA history and is surprisingly frisky today at age 38. He’s also in danger of becoming the next John Stockton: great player, no rings.