NEW YORK –- Even a decade later after the Nets swept the Knicks out of the playoffs, Jason Kidd still is needling those Stephon Marbury-led Knicks.
Before Game 3 against the Toronto Raptors, the Nets head coach was asked if he could ever recall a time when something seen in a newspaper was ever used as bulletin board material for a team.
Kidd initially couldn’t recall anything that the Nets might’ve done during his time in New Jersey.
“Oh, um, that wasn’t really a series,” Kidd deadpanned. “It wasn’t.”
Kidd and the Nets swept Marbury’s Knicks, 4-0, in a series that was more hotly contested off the court. Not only was there the Knicks-Nets rivalry but it was punctuated by the rivalry between Kidd and Marbury, the former Net who was traded for Kidd and felt strongly that he was the best point guard in the league at the time.
And there was Thomas and Martin’s feud which began when Thomas basically all but challenged Martin to a fight and called the Nets power forward “fugazi” which was a slang term for a fake tough guy.
The next day, Martin showed up at a media availability wearing the New York Daily News' back page on his chest. The News' back page had a picture of Thomas with the headline "Whiny Tim." Martin taped it to the front of his practice jersey like a marathoner's number –- giving new meaning to bulletin board material.
The whole conversation was brought up because Kidd was asked if the Nets used Raptors GM Masai Ujiri’s “F--- Brooklyn!” pep rally cry as bulletin board material.
“It’s never thrown on a bulletin board,” Kidd said in general terms of anything inflammatory said off the court. “We just focus on the game. That’s between the fans and the media for them to have a story or talk about. For the players, it’s about basketball and being able to execute.”
Except, or course, a decade ago when the Nets and Knicks played in a lopsided first-round series that proved to be more memorable for what was said off the court.