Mark Cuban is so bitter about Jason Kidd’s departure from Dallas that the Mavericks’ owner says there is “no chance” of ever raising the point guard’s No. 2 to the American Airlines Center rafter.
That was Cuban’s initial comment about Kidd during his hour-plus-long appearance Tuesday on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM. Cuban quickly left himself a little wiggle room, but he’s clearly perturbed about Kidd signing with the New York Knicks after committing to return to the Mavs.
“I was more than upset,” Cuban said. “I thought he was coming. I was pissed. …
“J. Kidd is a big boy; he can do whatever he wants. But you don’t change your mind like that. That was … yeah. I’m sure I’ll get over it at some point, but as of now, I wouldn’t put J. Kidd’s number in the rafters.”
Kidd, whose second stint in Dallas was highlighted by him playing a key role in the franchise’s only NBA championship, agreed to sign a three-year, $9.5 million deal to stay with the Mavs, informing Cuban of his plans the morning of July 5. Those plans changed that afternoon.
Kidd called Cuban, but Cuban did not take the call because he was in a Washington, D.C. museum with his family. Cuban learned later that Kidd had changed his mind and agreed to go to the Knicks for the same money.
Cuban admitted that Kidd’s decision “hurt my feelings” because he thought they had developed a strong relationship and that the 39-year-old point guard was committed to the organization.
“He’s a good guy, but I just thought that was wrong,” Cuban said. “You can’t put a guy’s number in the rafters when he decides he doesn’t want to be there.”
On the other hand, Cuban said he would consider retiring the No. 31 worn by Jason Terry, who signed with the Boston Celtics this summer after the Mavs declined to match a three-year, midlevel-exception offer. Cuban praised Terry for being “honest” and “straightforward” throughout the free agency period.
“Putting somebody up in the rafters, that’s something sacred in my mind,” Cuban said. “You don’t just do it just to do it, to have a big ceremony, to sell tickets. You haven’t seen me decide yet. I go back and forth on Derek Harper all the time, but Harp will be up there before J. Kidd will.
“I’ve always said my prerequisite was that you played on a championship team for the Mavs. I’d say Jet’s got a shot, Dirk’s an obvious, but as of right now I wouldn’t put J. Kidd up there.”
It's possible, perhaps even probable, that the Mavs could issue Kidd's No. 2 this season. Darren Collison, the point guard the Mavs acquired to replace Kidd, wore No. 2 for the Hornets and Pacers.