It's All In The Game: Was Jason Kidding?

Jason Kidd calling in sick last Wednesday has fueled plenty of controversy. Many writers, fans and even people within the Nets organization (reportedly) are having a tough time grasping that one of the toughest and most dependable players in the league missed a game because of a migraine headache.

Instead, people are speculating that Kidd missed the game against the Knicks because he is unhappy with the team, his contract situation and wants out of Jersey. In other words…he was on strike. At a press conference the morning after the game, Jason has strongly denied the allegations – sticking by his story that he was too sick to play. But the jury is still out in the court of public opinion.

I personally believe that Jason was in fact sick. He has been in the league 13 years and knows those kind of tactics don’t work. Especially after the Stephon Marbury incident happening just weeks earlier, why would he risk getting the reputation of someone who abandons his teammates? Jason has always been one of those players who shows up every night and respects the game - that is why he would not fake an illness.

So it wasn’t Jason’s statement that he had a migraine that I didn’t believe - it was his other statement. At that same press conference on Thursday, Kidd said, “I am having one of my best seasons. Why would I want to be asked to be traded? And as a team we are doing better than last year."

I know this was the right PR answer to say, especially since people are suspicious. But there is no way he can possibly be happy. As of Sunday, the Nets are playing sub .500 ball with only a potential first or second round defeat to look forward to, and at 34-years-old, this is not how superstars without rings want to end their career.

Guys like Kevin Garnett, Allen Iverson and Ray Allen are proof that you can get rescued out of dead-end situations and be on legitimate championship contenders. I’m sure Jason probably wants the same thing - to be in Dallas and team up with Dirk or up in Cleveland where he can run with LeBron and the eastern conference champion Cavs. No matter how big your contract is or how many All-Star games you played in, at the end of the day, real players want to win.

But just because deep down he might want to be traded out of New Jersey doesn’t mean he quit on his team. His stats support it that claim. He is probably putting up some of the best numbers of his career, averaging damn near a triple double. Kidd is a professional and will continue to act as one. As long as Kidd is employed by the Nets, he will put it on the line every night. Even if he is unhappy.