Jason Kidd Has a Big Smile on His Face

Former Net can help old team set a dubious record

It's a nice bit of scheduling that has Jason Kidd and the Mavericks out in the Meadowlands on Wednesday night. What better way to ring in a new record 18 game losing streak to start a season than to have it done by the guy who was chiefly responsible for all the brightest moments since the franchise joined the NBA.

Kidd was also a vestige of the era when the Nets were actually a basketball team instead of the vehicle for a real estate development, an era that essentially ended when they refused to re-sign Kenyon Martin in 2004. What was implicit in that move, money matters more than wins, became explicit when the team dealt Kidd to Dallas in 2008. That was the final straw, even if Devin Harris is a good player.

Before Kidd, the Nets were a punchline to a not particularly funny joke. Once he came, everything changed for the franchise, both on the court and in the court of public opinion. He gave them an identity, he gave them passion for the game and he gave them a reason for existing that didn't have to do with tax exempt bonds or eminent domain lawsuits.

The second he left, all of that went away and the Nets started spiraling to the place they find themselves on Wednesday evening. There are 48 minutes between them and an ignominious record for the most losses to start a season in NBA history. That's why there's nobody better to stick the knife in than Kidd and that's why he'll probably take special joy in being the guy with a chance to do it. 

Nets fans might not be in the mood for that kind of dramatic symmetry come the end of the fourth quarter, but they should try to grab it. Smiles are going to be in short supply this season, so grab them while you can.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com.

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