Jason Kidd is finally an NBA champion

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

By Sports Authority
JR Staff Writer

Following the retirement of Shaquille O'Neal, Jason Kidd found himself as one of the oldest players in the NBA. More important than age, Jason Kidd was a seasoned playoff veteran, but had nothing to show for his efforts. Starting his career with the Dallas Mavericks, the all-star point guard soon became a journeyman.

After his initial stint with Dallas, Jason Kidd joined the Phoenix Suns and was expected to form a duo with Penny Hardaway. However, injuries would hinder their growth. Despite making the playoffs each year, with Kidd running the point, he was traded to the struggling New Jersey Nets in 2001.

The addition of Kidd to the roster boosted the Nets from being one of the NBA's worst teams to championship contenders. In his first year with New Jersey, Jason Kidd led them all of the way to the NBA Finals. While their season was impressive, the Nets could not match up with the Shaq-Kobe dynamic duo of the Los Angeles Lakers, and were quickly swept from the NBA Finals.

Jason Kidd had another dominant season, in 2003, with the Nets returning to the Finals, but falling two games short of the title. Following the 2003 playoffs, it seemed as if Jason Kidd had gotten as close as he ever would to an NBA championship. Each year, the New Jersey Nets continued to get worse until the again-struggling Nets agreed to trade Jason Kidd to perennial playoff contenders, Dallas Mavericks, his original team. While the Mavericks struggled, losing in the first round, they soon turned things around.

Dallas, itself, has had several disappointing seasons, following their collapse in the 2006 NBA Finals to the surprising Miami Heat. Five years later, the two franchises, with the same faces, Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki and Miami's Dwyane Wade, with new supporting members, Jason Kidd and LeBron James, returned to the Finals, with both teams considering the season a failure if they came short of the title. Despite getting off to a quick start in the series, the Miami Heat faltered under the pressure and Dallas took home their first title.

Seventeen years of hard work and four teams, Dallas twice, has paid off for Jason Kidd and he can now sit back with the other champions of the NBA.


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