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Report: Kidd says he didn't quit on Nets

Dallas Mavericks point guard Jason Kidd will face the
New Jersey Nets on Saturday for the first time since the blockbuster trade that sent him to Dallas for a second time in his career.

In an interview with the New York Daily News, Kidd wanted to make one thing clear: Despite insinuations from Nets president Rod Thorn, he did not quit on the Nets.

"I didn't quit on the team," Kidd told the Daily News. "At the end of the day, I gave everything that I could give to the Nets. There were no more rabbits that I could pull out of the hat. There were no more rabbits that Rod [Thorn] could pull out of a hat. That is as far as they could go. I took them as high as I could."

On the day of the blockbuster trade that sent Kidd to Dallas, Thorn said that as the Nets struggled this season, Kidd lost some of the intensity that defines him as a player, making it imperative that the team trade him.

Thorn said he first noticed it in December, an indirect reference to an incident in which Kidd sat out a game against the New York Knicks with a migraine, a move some considered a one-day walkout to force a trade.

"Over the course of time it became very evident that his heart wasn't in it," Thorn said last month. "The kind of player he is, if his heart's not in it then he's not the same player, and it became evident to me that his heart wasn't in it anymore. It just wasn't going to work."

Kidd insists that when he missed that game in December, it wasn't to send the Nets a message.

"I don't believe in protesting and would never do that to the game," Kidd told the Daily News. "My whole thing about the extension, that will take care of itself. Rod does business the way that he wants to do it."

Kidd led the Nets to back-to-back NBA Finals appearances in 2002 and 2003 but he said the team never recovered after Kenyon Martin and Kerry Kittles were dealt in 2004 in cost-cutting moves after Bruce Ratner bought the team.

Kidd said that when he asked to be traded this season, he was trying to get everybody in the organization to evaluate where the Nets were headed.

"That is from top to bottom, including myself. Are we giving the best effort here as a whole? Is everybody living up to what their expectations are of themselves? People sometimes look at it as a crime that you shouldn't try to ask people to be better. Coaches ask players to be better. Why couldn't players ask coaches or management to get better? It is nothing personal," Kidd told the Daily News.

And the All-Star guard said he doesn't think the Nets have a plan for the immediate future.

"Everybody has to be accountable and do their job. New Jersey has no identity. That was my whole thing. Are we a running team? Are we a half-court team? What are we? I don't think they still know," he told the Daily News.

The Mavericks are 4-4 since acquiring Kidd, while the Nets are 3-5 since the trade.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.