Kidd: Knicks 'very close' to championship

The Knicks haven't won an NBA title in 40 years, but newly-retired point guard Jason Kidd thinks the franchise is close to ending that drought.

"The Knicks are very close," Kidd said Monday afternoon on ESPN NY 98.7 FM, shortly after announcing his retirement from professional basketball. "I thought Glen [Grunwald] did a great job, same thing with [Mike Woodson] and [James] Dolan, in putting that team together. We just fell short. But I think they're close."

Of course, you should consider the source on this one. Kidd spent his final season in the NBA with the Knicks before walking away from the game after 19 years in the NBA. So it's no surprise that he is optimistic about the team.

Appearing on "The Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco Show," Kidd said the Knicks should re-sign veteran guard Pablo Prigioni, along with J.R. Smith and Chris Copeland, and bring in some more veterans to put around Carmelo Anthony.

He said Anthony is one of the best scorers he ever played with, comparing him favorably to Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki.

"I'm lucky to play with some great ones and he's a great one," Kidd said.

(Click here to listen to the full interview.)

In an interview with ESPNNewYork.com's Ohm Youngmisuk, Kidd added that Anthony "is one of the top players in the world. And he is only getting better. I think he is right there."

Kidd also believes the Knicks will finish near the top of the Eastern Conference next season. The conference will feature some very talented teams -- such as the Pacers, Heat and Bulls -- but Kidd likes New York's chances.

"The Knicks aren't that far away. It's a fragile game and if one of those teams has an injury to one of their star players they can drop dramatically," Kidd said. "So again, I think the Knicks will be right there at the top and come back next season and I wouldn't be surprised if they win the Atlantic [Division] and they're right there as one of the top two teams in the East."

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