Nets' Kidd refutes reports that he is 'on strike'

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Jason Kidd insisted a migraine
caused him to miss a New Jersey Nets game, brushing aside reports
he was staging a personal one-day strike to induce a trade or force
a new contract.

"I didn't miss a game due to unhappiness, that's the first
thing to clear up," the All-Star guard said Thursday at a news
conference he called at the Nets' headquarters.

Kidd said he was hit in the mouth Tuesday night in a game
against Cleveland, and he later developed a migraine. He alerted
trainer Tim Walsh about the problem Wednesday about noon, and he
later called and said he could not play against the New York
Knicks. The Nets lost 100-93.

"I am human, at the end of the day, I am human," said Kidd,
who didn't seem angry with all the attention the reports created.
"I went out and played with one leg. I played with a broken rib
and yesterday, I just couldn't go. There was no plan of me not
going. I felt that I couldn't help the team."

Kidd's unexpected absence created instant headlines.

A source told the New York Post that Kidd was "on strike."
Yahoo reported that he was looking to be traded to Cleveland to
play with LeBron James. There also were reports that Kidd wanted
his contract renegotiated.

Kidd said he learned of the fuss after receiving a telephone
call from his mother.

He insisted he never asked to be traded, noting recent comments
he made about playing with James and Kobe Bryant were just
no-brainer answers to questions posed about whether he would like
to play with them at some point.

"I am having one of my best seasons," Kidd said. "Why would I
want to be asked to be traded? And as a team we are doing
better than last year."

New Jersey is 9-10 on the year.

Kidd is under contract through the end of next season, making
$19.7 million this year and $21.3 million next. He and Nets
president Rod Thorn refused to discuss any current contract talks.

Kidd did tell WFAN-AM radio in New York on Thursday that he and the Nets have been discussing a contract extension though.

"I'm not upset," said Kidd, who was the subject of trade
rumors involving the Los Angeles Lakers in February. "Everything
has been taken out of context. I was sick yesterday and I couldn't
play. Everyone has come up with their own theory of me being

Even if Kidd were upset, he could not come out and say it. The
team could fine him for deliberately missing a game, a penalty that
would cost him $240,585.37, his game-day salary.

"I would never abuse the game of basketball," Kidd said.

Thorn had no reason to doubt Kidd, adding he would not desert
his teammates to make a point.

"He was sick," Thorn said in a telephone interview with The
Associated Press. "He was very hurt about some of things in some
of the articles."

Kidd said he watched the game in a dark room at home on
Wednesday night and then went to bed. He still had a headache on
Thursday. He hoped to play here on Friday against the Houston

"It's not something that needs to be a big deal, but somehow it
has turned into a bigger deal than it is," Kidd said. "We'll move
forward and hopefully the migraine will go away."

The 13-year veteran is currently second in the league to Phoenix's Steve
Nash, averaging 10.4 assists. He is averaging 11.3 points, 8.7
rebounds and 1.67 steals.

"I am an old point guard, as most of you guys have written,
that can't do it anymore," Kidd said. "For me to get all this
attention is kind of funny. I'm glad you showed up."

The Nets had high hopes they'd challenge the revamped Boston
Celtics in the Atlantic Division this season. However, they have
lacked consistency in a season marked by the struggles of center
Nenad Krstic to return from major knee surgery and Vince Carter
missing five games with a sprained ankle. The Nets lost all five

"I am not frustrated," Kidd said. "I think we are all
disappointed with the way we have been playing as a team. We have
been very inconsistent and that falls on my shoulders. I am the
captain. You have to try to get guys to play at higher level.
Maybe, it's not me, but it's my fault in that sense and I take that

The Associated Press contributed to this report.