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Thursday, July 24
Kidd ready to 'move forward' with Scott, Nets

Associated Press

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Jason Kidd re-signed with the New Jersey Nets on Thursday, returning to the team he helped rescue from the bottom of the standings and led to two straight NBA Finals appearances.

The contract is for six years and $103 million, Nets president and general manager Rod Thorn said.

Jason Kidd

The point guard was considered the biggest catch in this year's free agent market and was heavily recruited by San Antonio, which beat New Jersey to win this year's title.

In the end, Kidd decided to stay in New Jersey and try for a title with teammates Alonzo Mourning, Kenyon Martin, Richard Jefferson and others. He announced his decision two weeks ago and on the same day the team agreed on a four-year deal that lured Mourning from Miami.

"It would have been easy to go to San Antonio and play with Tim Duncan and those guys," Kidd said at news conference at the team's practice facility Thursday. "I have some unfinished business and that is to win a championship in this league and win it as a Net. This is the best chance for me to win a championship."

Kidd and head coach Byron Scott refused to answer questions about published reports that Kidd demanded Scott be replaced in order for Kidd to re-sign. Kidd, however, said the reports were untrue.

"That whole thing about me coming in and demanding stuff, that's not my personality or my agenda," Kidd said. "That story came out and it was wrong. If there's any question about coach and (my) relationship, it's great and we plan to move forward."

Kidd averaged team highs of 18.7 points and 8.9 assists, plus 6.3 rebounds, and made his sixth All-Star game appearance last season. He also averaged 20.1 points, 8.2 assists and 7.7 rebounds in the postseason.

New Jersey won just one playoff series in its NBA history until Kidd arrived in a trade that sent Stephon Marbury to the Phoenix Suns. The Nets were 26-56 the season before Kidd came; with him, they have gone 101-63.

"We are obviously delighted to re-sign Jason to a long-term contract," Thorn said. "He is an elite performer who has been instrumental in the team's success over the past two seasons."

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