The Sports Guy has said it many, many times, but we’re gonna repeat it here. It’s hard being an NBA fan these days. I’m not even talking about stye of play, tattoos and cornrows, the flood of high school kids in the league, etc. I’m talking about NBA starts demanding top dollar contracts and then asking to be traded when their team suffers because of it. Case in point, Jason Kidd of the New Jersey Nets.

Jason Kidd's Mugshot In the summer of 2003, Kidd, then a free agent, chose to re-up wit the Nets by signing a six year contract worth $103.5 million dollars. He begged GM Rod Thorn to sign good friend Alonzo Mourning (despite his well known kidney problems) to a 4 year contract worth more than $20 million. Mourning played all of 12 games last year. Kidd would not resign in NJ without Mourning, so in essence Kidd cost the Nets over $123 million over 6 years. Then, in yet another attempt to placate their superstar, the franchise fired head coach Byron Scott at Kidd’s behest.

In the summer of 2004, a deal was agreed to in principle to sell the Nets to development mogul Bruce Ratner. Since Ratner has taken over control of the team he has done everything in his power to cut payroll and Kidd is not pleased. In fact, he has requested a trade! Predictably his agent goes to the press with the line "He wants to play for a winner”. Notice how they never say “He wants to get paid by a winner”. If Kidd was so worried about keeping the Nets a playoff caliber team, why did he maneuver to take up roughly 33% of the Nets payroll (if you include Mourning)? Didn’t he know that Kenyon Martin and Richard Jefferson would have to be resigned to new deals? Will a superstar player ever say “You know what, I get paid plenty to play this game. I don’t need $13 million a season to live comfortably. Pay me half of that and spend the rest on someone else who can help the team win. Winning is more important than money”? Gothamist seriously doubts it.

Kidd is not the only one guilty of this. Vince Carter is pulling the same crap. Ray Allen too. Allen has already been traded once because his old team didn’t want to give in to his demands. Gothamist is aware this is America and everyone involved here is “going for theirs” and “looking out for number one” and just letting “the market determine their value” but it still stinks. Ticket prices go up every year to pay for these salaries and we still shill for tickets just so players can bolt at the first sign of trouble.

The sad thing is Kidd may just get his wish. Currently, the Nets are talking to the Trailblazers and the Twolves about a swap including Shareef Abdur Raheem and Wally Szczerbiak. And since no trade in the NBA can go down without Isiah Thomas getting in on the action, the Knicks might just get involved by offering Kurt Thomas.

On a personal note, this Gothamist reporter is buried in work at his new job so this will be my last report for a while. The NBA season starts up at the end of October, so look for me then with a comprehensive look at the upcoming campaign.