DALLAS - Jason Kidd calls it "fake news.''
Maybe it would be more accurate - Dallas Mavs fans hope - to call it "old news.''
“Well, I think we all heard in NBA circles that there was tension between the two. But I would have to say that’s fake news,” Kidd said on ESPN's "First Take.'' “I think they both want to compete. I think they really want to compete.
"I think the relationship is great.''
There is probably some wisdom in the new coach downplaying what Mavericks owner Mark Cuban in April conceded was a relationship between the two young stars that featured what Cuban called "dust-ups.''
"On the court they are fine,'' Cuban said then in a 105.3 The Fan visit on "K&C Masterpiece.'' "That's not to say their aren't dust-ups, because there are. I'd compare it to Jet and Dirk.''
It's a sort of open secret inside the Mavs that Doncic, 22, and Porzingis, 25, are not the fast friends they were when they initially became teammates two seasons ago. But Cuban's parallel to "Jet and Dirk'' is a key one. It was 16 years ago when Jason "Jet'' Terry was acquired by the Mavs in trade. "Jet'' was a cocky, shoot-first point guard - and was the replacement for the departed Steve Nash, young Dirk's best friend in basketball.
“(Nowitzki and Terry) weren’t best friends at the beginning, but they grew to like each other and grew to be great friends and that’s just part of the process when you’ve got young kids who are growing up," Cuban said. “It took forever before Dirk and Jet did anything off the court together. A long time.''
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Nowitzki and Terry went to two NBA Finals together and won a title - and remain close friends today. And Kidd himself, of course, was also in the middle of it all, and also maintains his friendship with his old mates.
All of that is the hope for the future of Doncic and Porzingis - and Kidd is at the middle of it all again.
The new coach also said, "There were some other issues that I thought they did a great job of keeping in house that had nothing to do with those two.” And maybe that comment opens up a new can of worms.
But "Luka vs. KP''?
Said Kidd: "I'm excited. I think the relationship between the two of them is at a high level. I think the relationship is great.
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