DALLAS – Jason Kidd would rather shoot a contested layup than discuss the reasons for Lamar Odom’s departure from Dallas.
“I have no idea,” Kidd said after Tuesday’s shootaround. “You’ve got to ask Lamar.”
Isn’t it puzzling to see the reigning Sixth Man of the Year struggle so much that the Mavs got rid of him a few weeks before the playoffs?
“That was last year,” Kidd said. “It’s like we were the champs last year. It has no impact on what we do this season. Every time you take the floor, there’s something that happens differently. For him, it just didn’t work out.”
There had obviously been a lot of drama involving Odom. While Odom was on his self-imposed 10-day sabbatical, Kidd mentioned that Odom would have to earn the trust of his teammates. That obviously didn’t occur.
Is it a relief to have a distraction removed?
“It happens and we have to move on. Relief?” Kidd said. “We still got nine games to play to get into the playoffs. That’s the way we got to look at it.”
The Mavs are winless without Odom, going 0-7 in games he missed due to tummy aches, personal issues and a coach’s decision. They’ll try to end that trend tonight against lottery-bound Sacramento.
And if the Mavs don’t finish strong, there’s a decent chance they’ll be the first defending champs to miss the playoffs since the 1998-99 Bulls, who went into rebuilding mode after parting ways with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen.
“If we don’t play well, we’re out,’’ Kidd said. “It’s easier said than done. But the big thing is it’s for us to go and get it. Hopefully we’re up to the challenge.’’