Bulls reportedly interested in signing Jason Kidd or Steve Nash

Had Derrick Rose not gone down with a devastating knee injury in the first round of the playoffs, things would likely look a lot different in the Eastern Conference right now. The Celtics are the obvious beneficiaries, having drawn home court advantage against the Sixers in the second round rather than having to face the top-seeded Bulls. With Rose’s recovery expected to extend well into the 2012-2013 season, Chicago has no choice but to explore different ways to bolster their roster.

According to CSNChicago.com, the Bulls are planning to take a run at veterans Steve Nash and Jason Kidd this offseason. With a core of Luol Deng, Rip Hamilton, Joakim Noah, and Carlos Boozer that the front office reportedly plans to keep in tact, the Bulls should contend in the East with or without Rose. There’s no need to take a year off.

The timetable for Rose’s return is anywhere from eight months to a full year. Even if he does return next season, there’s no telling how effective he will be after missing almost an entire year of basketball. Nash and Kidd will almost certainly be looking to go to a title contender, and the Bulls should be a point guard away from being just that at the start of next season.

If the East was loaded, the Bulls might simply settle for a minimum salary guy to get them by until Rose returns. However, with the Celtics aging and Dwight Howard’s future a complete mystery, the only sure powerhouse in the East next season will be the Heat. The Bulls would be doing the fans a great injustice to not even attempt to find someone who can fill in for Rose and play quarterback for a season in Chicago.

Chest bump to I Am a GM
Photo credit: Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE

Jason Kidd missed Mavs-Blazers game because he’s old, according to ESPN

It was pretty funny when box scores made the same crack about Tim Duncan last month, and it was equally amusing when ESPN did it on Friday night. Yup, during the Mavericks-Blazers game, ESPN flashed to Jason Kidd sitting on the Dallas bench and showed a graphic saying he wasn’t playing that night because he’s old.

Though it seemed like a wisecrack, the description was actually fairly accurate. Kidd is returning from a groin injury, but he missed Friday’s game for a “scheduled rest.” You don’t see that happening with young guys who are in great shape, right? At least Kidd can still bring it — he nearly had a triple double on Thursday.

Thanks to @cjzero for the screengrab

Jason Kidd: Refs don’t show Mavs enough respect

After Monday’s nail-biting loss to the Thunder, Jason Kidd felt it appropriate to voice his displeasure about the Mavericks not receiving the officiating advantage that defending champions are evidently entitled to. OKC received 23 more trips to the foul line than Dallas, including two from a questionable foul call that gave the Thunder the lead for good with 46 seconds left in the game. The imbalance prompted Kidd to complain after the game.

“We don’t get the benefit of the whistle,” Kidd said, according to ESPN Dallas. “I don’t think we’re looked upon as champions, but that’s a whole other story. Dirk [Nowitzki] should live at the line if they would call it the way it’s supposed to be. But, he doesn’t.”

Stats support Kidd’s remarks: the Mavs are 25th in the league in average free throw attempts per game. While that may be because of a lack of preference from officials, it’s probably also because of the Mavs’ style of play. As one of the oldest teams in the league, they don’t get to the basket as much as other teams and are 28th in the league when it comes to shots per game inside of five feet from the basket.

It is interesting that Kidd would suggest that there should be favoritism among officials, even though it’s hardly insider knowledge that NBA refs dole out “superstar” calls. And still, Kidd ought to know better. When it comes to this, who you are matters just as much as what you’ve done. So, while Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavs are the defending champs, Kevin Durant the Thunder are also one of the league’s “glamour” teams this season, plus they were at home, where teams tend to receive an officiating edge.

Photo credit: Tyler Kaufman, US Presswire

Three Adjustments Thunder Need to Make to Beat Mavericks in Game 2

Led by an all-time great playoff performance from Dirk Nowitzki, the Mavericks slaughtered the Thunder 121-112 in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals Tuesday.

Dirk dropped 48 points on 12-of-15 shooting and broke an NBA playoff record for made free throws in a game without a miss by going 22-of-22 from the line.

Kevin Durant tried his best to retaliate, scoring 40 points, but his teammates weren’t up to the task. The Thunder’s performance wasn’t as respectable as the single-digit final deficit suggests; they were outplayed in every aspect of the game.

Any time your opponent shoots 53% from the field and outscores your bench 53-22, you’re in major trouble.

So what does OKC have to do to bounce back and even the series 1-1?

Here are three key adjustments the Thunder can make to win Game 2:

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Jason Kidd Advises Carmelo Anthony to Stay in Western Conference

It seems like there’s a new twist to Carmelo Anthony’s situation on a daily basis. Last week it was the New Jersey Nets saying they had dropped out of the running to acquire the All-Star in a trade. Before that there were rumors of a 17-player deal in the works, and since then it’s been anyone from the Pistons to the Knicks to the Warriors who might get included in a potential deal. Frankly, I’ve had enough of the daily rumors and made a commitment to ignore the story until Melo is actually moved. But there is one aspect of the story I cannot ignore.

Over the weekend, New York reporter favorite Jason Kidd was in town for Dallas’ game with New Jersey. Not only did he explain that he doesn’t consider Newark a free agent destination, implying that they better get moving with their departure for Brooklyn, but he also gave advice for Carmelo Anthony.

“If I was his adviser, I wouldn’t want him to go East, but if he wants to go back home to New York or if the closest he can get is New Jersey, then you wish him the best. But you look at the Eastern Conference, there’s some talent over on this side.”

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Jason Kidd Outsmarts Mike Woodson

Jason Kidd had a one-of-a-kind type of day on Friday night in Atlanta. He scored 19 points, grabbed 16 rebounds, and dished 17 assists. That was one of only six 15, 15, 15 games in the history of the NBA, one of which was accomplished previously by Kidd, the other four were accomplished by Larry Bird and Magic Johnson (two each). If you were watching, Kidd’s play was just as special and elite as those numbers make it sound. He hit three three pointers in a row in the fourth quarter to give his team the lead and he grabbed a couple of key steals. But Kidd’s best play of the night may have been this heads up move with his team down by two and just over a minute to go. Kidd spotted Hawks coach Mike Woodson standing on the floor and ran into him:

A technical foul was called on Woodson allowing Dirk Nowitzki to hit a free throw and make it a one point game. The Mavs sent it to overtime and won 111-103. They really can thank stellar play from Kidd, Dirk, Marion, and Terry for the win. Kidd talked about his genius play after the game:

I thought from there, mentally, we took control of the game. That play just presented itself. It’s just a reaction and just understanding what the team needs. Rules are rules. The coach isn’t supposed to be on the floor.”

Woodson accepted the blame for that play and later tipped his hat to Kidd. Thinking of smart plays like that is just another reason why at 36-years-old, Jason Kidd can still get it done at a high level. Very high level.

Jason Kidd Lashes Out Against Nets

Man, this dude just seems to be such a whiner these days. Once you’ve gotten your wish and moved on, I’d say it’s probably a good idea to just keep to yourself and not answer the questions about a previous team, or wait it out. Not the case for Kidd who decided to go on the record and virtually bash the Nets in an effort to defend himself. As for the suggestion he quit on the Nets and called in sick to work, his response:

“I didn’t quit on the team, the ride was over. 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.”

“Those people should share in the responsibility of taking some blame, too. I don’t mind taking the blame, but don’t just throw everything on my shoulders. We win as a team and lose as a team.”

Everything New Jersey did seemed to revolve around accommodating Kidd. They fired Byron Scott, they signed Jason to a massive deal, they brought in Zo, and now, they finally let him go and dealt him to a contender. I love Kidd’s play on the court, but dude seems to be such a head case off of it. You would he think he’d have felt more committed to helping the Nets compete based on the contract they signed him to, but I guess that’s not the case.