DALLAS - Jason Kidd's introductory press conference on Thursday here at the AAC was largely a feel-good experience that naturally included a celebration of Kidd's third time joining the franchise, his association with fellow newcomer Nico Harrison as GM and piles of praise for the team's superstar, Luka Doncic.
But to listen to the main players on the dais, it's also all feel-good regarding Kristaps Porzingis can be a No. 2 in Dallas.
“We’re excited about KP being healthy,'' Kidd said in answer to our question. "I think he’s excited, ready to work, and I think you’re going to see a different KP.”
KP, Kidd added, "is a perfect fit for Luka.''
We tried Harrison with the same Porzingis angle, and he echoed Kidd.
And then owner Mark Cuban chimed in with an answer to our question, adding that the 7-3 Latvian big man has “been unfairly maligned. During the playoffs, he did exactly what he was asked to do. Exactly.”
Some could interpret that as a gentle criticism of Kidd predecessor Rick Carlisle, who is taking over the Indiana Pacers after he re-signed following the firing of GM Donnie Nelson. It can also be an accurate portrayal of a Dallas decision to not trade Porzingis - either because the club believes in his value or because there is no sense making a trade of somebody when his value is low.
But Cuban fully understands the criticism, too, noting that his own son has offered some hot Porzingis opinions that Dad has worked to correct.
And for KP's part? "I've been doubted before,'' Porzingis said recently. "I like it.''