Monday, February 25, 2008

Big D return: Kid, Mavs hold off Bulls

The building, the uniforms, the owner and the expectations are different. So much has changed in the last 11 years, two months and eight days that it hardly seems to be the same franchise.

The last time Jason Kidd suited up with “Mavericks” across his chest, a Clinton occupied the White House. What would the odds have been of predicting a repeat of both in 2008?

Hilary may or may not have her time. Kidd’s is now. Playing before a packed American Airlines Center that had all the energy of a campaign rally Monday night at tip-off, the one-time franchise cornerstone has assumed that office once again.

“I was happy to be back home,” Kidd said as reporters crowded his locker after the game. “This is where it all started for me. I didn’t get the opportunity with that franchise. This one is a little different.”

Kidd lit up the city of his NBA dawn by flirting with career triple-double No. 100 as the Mavs outlasted Chicago 102-94 for their third straight victory – all against teams with losing records. That won’t be the case Thursday, as Dallas (38-19) heads south down I-35 to renew acquaintances with the San Antonio Spurs.

The Spurs are the first contender on the schedule since New Orleans – Kidd’s first game with the Mavs following the All-Star break trade. The Hornets won that game easily as Kidd was noticeably out of sorts. In the three games since, he has 40 assists.

Dirk Nowitzki, though, had the night’s first dish. He asked Avery Johnson on the team flight to end the pregame introductions with Kidd. That spot had been reserved for the reigning MVP.

“That shows what type of man he is,” Johnson said of Nowitzki.

No comments: