Never did the Jason Kidd-for-Devin Harris trade look so ridiculous as it did last night, when Harris lit up the Mavericks for 41 points and 13 assists in a 121-97 victory. In fact, Nets fans serenaded Mavs owner Mark Cuban — who was in attendance at whatever they call Brendan Byrne Arena now — with chants of “Thank you Cuban.”
Kidd hasn’t been terrible in Dallas. He’s averaging 8.1 assists per game this season. And while he only averages 10 points, he also doesn’t shoot much. Harris, however, has turned into a monster this year, putting up 24.5 points per game along with nearly 7 assists. When asked about the taunts of the Nets fans after the game, Cuban was his usual polite self.
“I guess when you don’t care about your own team you talk about someone on the other team, right? I guess that’s what Nets fans are all about…I think the goal of everybody in New Jersey is to be a general manager. So I can understand why they want to share their expertise.“
The SPORTING BLOG’s Tom Ziller then explains why Cuban’s comments are so ridiculous:
Actually, Cubes … I think they are talking about a player from their own team. And they are thanking you for pressing a ridiculous deal which allowed N.J. to acquire said player. If anything, the fans were being too gracious. They should have loudly explained how much of an idiot you were for proactively looking for a way to ditch one of the top five young point guards in the league.
It’s still early, but if the playoffs started today the Mavericks would not be part of them. The acquisition of Kidd was clearly a “let’s win now” decision, but Dallas is further away from a title than at any other time this decade.
To Cuban’s credit, he did offer some pretty reasonable insights into why Harris has blossomed in Jersey:
“They built the offense around him. The kid can score. That’s what he does,” Cuban said. “When he’s like that he’s very comparable to Allen Iverson. That’s the way he’s playing. He deserves a lot of credit; he’s a great kid. But he just fills a different role than we felt we needed when we made the trade. We have a lot of scorers. We have a lot of shooters. So it’s different. We don’t run an offense where he would just dominate the ball. It is what it is.”
The biggest relief of the day for the Nets was knowing that Harris is actually 25 years old, unlike some players on their roster.