Kidd heading to San Antonio -- for finalsPosted: Friday May 30, 2003 2:04 AM
Updated: Friday May 30, 2003 2:42 AM
It's true. But Kidd is bringing along the New Jersey Nets to face Duncan and the Spurs in the NBA Finals.
It's a best-of-seven series that might be Kidd's last in a New Jersey uniform. He is going to opt out of his contract at the end of the season and become a free agent.
However, that won't happen until July. The finals are first and that's all Kidd will talk about.
It's Kidd, the All Star point guard who has turned the Nets into a two-time conference champion in two seasons, against Duncan, the two-time defending MVP, beginning Wednesday night.
"That's what it's all about," Kidd said. "We've put our teams in a position to try to win a championship. In October you are never guaranteed that. For us to have both our teams in the finals, now it's just who's team is going to play better. That's what it's all about right now."
San Antonio won the Western Conference title Thursday night with a 90-78 victory over Dallas in Game 6. New Jersey won the Eastern Conference on Saturday when it swept Detroit.
The Nets and Spurs split two games in the regular season with both winning at home. San Antonio will have home-court advantage.
"They're a great team," Spurs center David Robinson said. "In Jason Kidd, wow, what can you say about that guy."
New Jersey might be playing better basketball than the Spurs, who posted the best regular-season record in the league. New Jersey has won its last 10 games in posting a 12-2 postseason mark.
San Antonio might be more battle tested, having knocked off Phoenix, Los Angeles and now Dallas.
"We were going to have to face somebody, now it's San Antonio," Kidd said. "We have to go down there and play two games to see if we can win one. We don't worry about the talk of me going to San Antonio."
Kidd said the Nets know what to expect from Duncan, who averaged 21 points and 14.5 rebounds against them.
"They were the best team in the NBA so everybody talks about Tim and they should," Kidd said. "But (point guard) Tony Parker is the key. When he plays well, they play well. They are similar to us, you never know who can go big on their team."
Manu Ginobili, Stephen Jackson, Malik Rose and former Net Stephen Jackson are the Spurs other main contributors.
Kidd's supporting cast is led by power forward Kenyon Martin, small forward Richard Jefferson and guard Kerry Kittles. Forwards Aaron Martin and Rodney Rogers and guards Lucious Harris and Anthony Johnson are the leading contributors off the bench. New Jersey was swept in the final last year by the Lakers.
"We have been blessed to get to the finals two straight seasons," coach Byron Scott said. "When you get that opportunity you want to take advantage of it. All our guys understand that now. We want to go out here and give it our best. We feel we have a shot at winning the championship."