DimeMag

Dime Q&A: Jason Kidd Talks NBA Lockout, Barkley’s Golf Game & Summer Yoga

Fresh off of an NBA championship, Jason Kidd will be participating later this month in the American Century Championship at Lake Tahoe. Although his golf stroke is not on par with his basketball skills, he’s still a competitor. In a recent phone call, we caught up with Kidd to talk about the lockout, his future in the NBA and the night out after the Mavs won the title.

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On the effects of the NBA lockout on his future in the NBA…
Jason Kidd: For me…it won’t affect me cause I just got done playing….so short summer…hopefully they get something done before October. But I’ve been through a lockout twice, one being short and one being where we played 50 games…so, uh…as you get older, to only have to play in 50 games, hopefully that’ll be to my advantage (laughs).

On why Charles Barkley has never been able to get over the hump with golf…
JK: I think Charles, uh, he was a really good golfer when he was here in Phoenix…and I think he just got too many instructors…which got into that big head of his, so that’s slowing him down a little bit. But I think he’s a competitor…he’ll find his way at some point, I hope.

On bragging rights that can develop at the American Century Championship…
JK: Yeah…I think when you look at the basketball players that are participating, you know, Deron Williams, the point guard…you know I can talk to him while somebody is shooting a free throw and say that I beat him, hopefully to piss him off or maybe it’ll get him going to take the game over. But there are bragging rights…you wanna play well against your peers…but, again, you know it’s to have fun and make sure you don’t hurt anybody. But a big thing is to play well…there are some friendly bets out there that you might get pulled into with a teammate or a guy that you see on a regular basis.

On the opportunities to needle other players a bit, telling them about how he has a championship and they don’t…
JK: Hopefully I can pass a note over to MJ that I’m on my way to catch him. I’m five behind him and I got one at 37 so I’m on my way…that’s maybe just to have fun. I’m not gonna make fun of Charles because he’s still one of the top 50 in the world to ever play the game. But, it’s uh…something that I’m very blessed to be a part of and have a championship…so I won’t tease anybody.

On how much he has left on the basketball court…
JK: As long as my body and my mind…If I feel the way I felt at the end of the Finals, hopefully I can push it past 40. But you know the big thing is at some point I have to look to make a career change, maybe coaching or go on the business side of basketball. But I feel great. My first step is to move to the bench…and if I can come off the bench, I wouldn’t mind that.

On his thoughts about the media’s treatment of LeBron in the Finals…
JK: Um…I don’t know if the media treated him unfairly. I think…uh…sometimes we as spectators, we put high expectations on individuals, and I think during the Finals everybody wanted him to score and assist the ball. I mean he almost had two triple-doubles in the Finals and I think people still felt that he didn’t play well…and I think you just have to give him time. Again, he’s gonna win plenty of championships I just think that sometimes you just have to be at the right place at the right time and it just wasn’t his time yet.

On his thoughts about the Scottie Pippen/Michael Jordan/LeBron James thing…
JK: Michael is the best to ever play the game while I was participating. The things that he’s done on a nightly basis, the expectations people came to see, he never disappointed…and I think LeBron will get there, in time. Again, Michael didn’t start winning his championiships until he turned 30…and so that gives LeBron some room.

On a story about one of his teammates asking Kidd to shave his head every day so that his gray stubble wouldn’t poke through…
JK: The teammate was Dirk. He felt that I didn’t look presentable for the games when I let my hair grow out…so he asked me was I gonna shave before, uh, just before the Oklahoma series started. That’s when we had some time between series…I let my gray hair grow out a little bit. He felt that I wasn’t ready to play.

On the night after the championship and how Mark Cuban led the celebration…
JK: Um, the whole night was crazy, the whole day was crazy. I mean in the sense of winning Game 6, and then it being a dream come true…and just surreal in the sense of we won a championship and didn’t really know how to celebrate in the locker room, cause guys were I think one, exhausted, and two, nobody really had won a championship so we really didn’t know what to do. Some of the guys popped the champagne, had a couple beers…but I think guys just really wanted to soak in the moment and relax.

Then, um, as we got through with all the pictures and stuff, Cuban started saying that we were gonna go somewhere, that we were gonna take the bus and we were gonna show up at a club. So all the guys, well, most of the guys were in and we went to Liv, I think it was called Liv. And I think it was one of the funniest things, because we have our owner walking into the club with the trophy. That doesn’t happen too much so, it was just a fun night, seeing the trophy go into a club, people holding it and taking pictures with it, and then our owner picking up the check at the end of the night.

On Dallas’ offseason, free agency and J.J. Barea…
JK: We have a ton of free agents…I think that’s what makes the championship even more special…in the sense that we had so many free agents, cause guys could have just been playing for numbers. But guys like J.J., they gotta enjoy the experience of being a free agent. Enjoy the wining and dining, and hopefully at the end of the day Dallas does the right thing by signing him back. He was a big part of our success, not just during the Finals or the playoffs but during the season. But I think we got the right guys running the ship in Cuban and Don Nelson. Those guys are gonna try to stay competitive and find a way to win another championship.

On hobbies in the offseason…
JK: Probably a lot more yoga, a lot more golf. If there’s a long lockout, this will probably give a kind of preseason type retirement situation, if you look at it that way too. Those are maybe some of the things, maybe play tennis, but pretty much just work out and get ready for the season.

What do you think?

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