Self-Aware Jason Kidd Admits Melo Needs Help, Own Game Needs Work
By Julie Parise, CBSNewYork.com
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — After a notably less-than-stellar performance in the final month of the Knicks season, point guard Jason Kidd said he hasn’t watched any basketball since getting ousted by the Pacers in a devastating game 6 loss in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
“It’s not hard [to watch], you just don’t watch it,” Kidd told CBSNewYork.com while appearing at Justin Tuck’s annual Celebrity Billiards Tournament on Thursday night. “You get away from work.”
That’s not to say, however, that the 40-year-old NBA veteran doesn’t know he has work to do. After his scoreless streak led the Knicks straight to the end of their season, Kidd isn’t kidding himself about his lack of points in the postseason.
“The ball just didn’t want to go in for me,” he said. “We’ll work on it this summer.”
As rumors swirl about the aging point guard’s decision to return to the Knicks next year, some fans and media members are questioning Kidd’s ability to contribute to a team, with some calling for his retirement.
“They may be right,” he said of his doubters. “It’s a kids game. [But] no matter what age you are, as long as you can be competitive and help, you should keep going.”
While it may sound as if the decorated basketball star is trying to convince himself of his status as a team leader in the Knicks ball club, he doesn’t have to convince Coach Mike Woodson or GM Glen Grunwald — both said recently they expect Kidd to be back next season.
Even so, Kidd is aware of his age.
The ten-time All-Star admitted he has to be honest with himself about his decision to come back. One thing he is sure of, however, is the need for another big scorer on his team. While Kidd said he didn’t see Melo’s reported comments about the Knicks needing to add another proven piece to their roster, he didn’t disagree.
“I think Melo would love to have some help. To not just have one guy, but to have another guy that can put the ball in the basket takes a lot of the pressure and the load off of him.”
Kidd was also quick to point out the progress his team made — winning a playoff series, earning a scoring title and nabbing the Sixth Man of the Year award — even if that Sixth Man of the Year, J.R. Smith, said he blames himself for the dramatic post-season exit for his team.
“It’s not just one guy, it’s a team,” Kidd said of Smith’s inconsistency in the playoffs. “You win and lose as a team. That’s the way it always will be.”
Kidd said his plan — for now — is to return to the Knickerbockers in an attempt to bring a title back to the Big Apple for the first time in more than four decades.
“Unless there’s another opportunity that grabs my interest,” he said.
Suffice it to say that for now, the main interest for fans is turning the Knicks into a legitimate championship contender.
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