If you ask any of the die-hard Nets fans which player is one of the most deserving for their franchise’s growth, most will answer – Jason Kidd.
Before the summer of 2001, the Phoenix Suns owner Jerry Colangelo wanted to change the franchise’s dynamics, and Kidd served as the best trade chip. Although the Suns made it to the playoffs in all five years that Kidd has been on the team, rumors circulated over time that the point-guard cannot take the team to the Conference Finals. Besides, Colangelo wanted to reduce the salary cap and the players’ contracts, so he decided to revitalize the locker room. And that’s where Kidd got into the story.
In the summer of 2001, the New Jersey Nets sent Stephon Marbury to Phoenix, while Kidd arrived from the opposite direction. The intricate trade also included Chris Carr, Elliot Perry, and Bill Curley, who also arrived in New Jersey. Simultaneously, the Timberwolves got Terrell Brandon of Milwaukee and Brian Evans alongside two picks in the Nets draft. The Nets also sent Sam Cassell and Chris Gatling to the Bucks, who got Paul Grant from the Wolves.
After the unraveling of the complicated scenario, the careers of the two biggest stars of that trade – Marbury, and Kidd, went in different directions. Kidd reversed the Nets’ culture, taking them right away to the Conference Finals in his first season with the team. Simultaneously, Marbury continued to record great individual numbers without any significant result in the Suns.
But Kidd was not thrilled at the time with such a trade, as he was doing very well in Phoenix. Therefore, the great playmaker had to go through his bad relationship with Colangelo, who wanted him in the 2008 U.S. national team at the Beijing Olympics. Kidd talked about it in the “The Dream Team Tapes” podcast.
“When Jerry gave me a call and asked if I would participate, at first I thought he was joking. But he was serious and anytime Jerry calls to ask you to do something there is no ‘no’… He did trade me and I was bitter about the trade because I loved Phoenix but I knew Jerry and Coach K were trying to fix team USA and put the best team together, maybe not top 12 or 13 players but the best team, and I was honored to be asked. I thought it was e rebranding of the USA team”Jason Kidd, via Dream Team Tapes