In response to Tim Duncan’s retirement announcement on Monday, Milwaukee Bucks coach Jason Kidd told ESPN he still has nightmares about his decision not to sign with the Spurs and join Duncan in San Antonio.
Kidd was the most coveted free agent of the 2003 off-season after leading the New Jersey Nets to the NBA Finals, where they lost to Duncan and the Spurs. He told ESPN on Monday that he had originally agreed on a deal to sign with the Spurs that off-season, but later changed his mind and signed a six-year, $103 million contract to stay with the Nets.
“I thought I was going to be a Spur,” Kidd said on Monday. “I committed when I was down there on my visit (to San Antonio). On my flight home, I think I got cold feet. And sometimes I have nightmares about that. Maybe I could have won a championship or two there. But I got really lucky with Dallas and won a championship.”
Kidd later regretted the decision and called his missed opportunity to play alongside a five-time NBA champion and two-time MVP “the biggest disappointment.”
“He was unstoppable,” Kidd said of Duncan’s performance in the 2003 NBA Finals against the Nets. “You talk about Shaq, I would put Tim Duncan in that same category. Mr. Fundamental, just kept things simple, he is a great teammate, a great player and a great person. When you have those ingredients in a champion, you just want to be a part of that and have an opportunity to play with him.
“But I only got to play with him in All-Star games and with Team USA. Unfortunately I didn’t get to play with him with the Spurs.”