His heart and on-court courage have been praised for so long now that, in an odd twist, we don't actually know whether
Sure, the 15-year veteran plays hard, fights for rebounds, takes clutch shots, makes key decisions, runs a team with the confidence of
But here we are, in the summer of 2009, about to
And yet, despite Dallas' myriad advantages, Jason Kidd's decency -- heck, his legacy -- hinges upon him signing with the Knicks.
Divorced since 2007 from his ex-wife,
Similar accolades were thrust upon
Thankfully, times have changed. Nowadays, men are expected to be more than mere breadwinners, there at day's end (if at all) to spend five awkward minutes with Junior before shooing him off to bed. Men change diapers. They push strollers. They attend parent-teacher conferences and wipe spit-up from atop the Diaper Genie. The athlete who skips a child's birth to, say, be in the lineup for Pistons-Clippers isn't a hero -- he's a dope. Once upon a time, professional teams never let their employees take off for family matters. Now, you'd
On the one hand, it would be unfair to condemn Kidd for sticking with Dallas. The organization gave up a lot to get him (he was a part of the dreadful
On the other hand, however ... well, who cares? A trophy is a piece of metal, destined to rust and, eventually turn to dust. Kidd's basketball legacy is secure -- whether he dominates the league or morphs into
But what about his status as a human being? As a father? One day, before he knows it, Kidd's kids will be fully grown. They will look back at their youths; at the good times and the bad times; at life with a famous father.
Perhaps they will remember a man who won an NBA title.
Or perhaps they will remember a champion.