Notebook: Jason Kidd turns 40
March, 24, 2013
By Jared Zwerling and Ian Begley | ESPNNewYork.com
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty ImagesJason Kidd turned 40 on Saturday and was seranaded by Chris Copeland and the MSG crowd.Jason Kidd turned 40 on Saturday, but there was no celebrating.
"I slept," he said, laughing, after the Knicks knocked off the Raptors, 110-84. "With back-to-backs, you've got to get as much rest as you can, and you can't take any team lightly."
The cheers, however, came on the court.
"With a win, it doesn't get any better than that," said Kidd, who finished with three points, three rebounds, two assists and a steal in 23 minutes off the bench.
Before the game, Chris Copeland, as part of his rookie hazing, approached half court and sung "Happy Birthday" to Kidd in front of all the fans. While Carmelo Anthony laughed about it afterward, calling it an "awful" performance, Kidd was humbled.
"It was very nice of the Knicks to do that," he said. "That just shows the class of the organization."
Later in the locker room, Raymond Felton reflected on what Kidd has meant to him this season.
"J has been great, man," he said. "He's had a tremendous career -- by far one of the best point guards to ever play this game. Hall of Famer in my book. He should be when he decides to retire. He's been great, man. He's been like a big brother to me. He's always talking to me, he's always giving me pep talks. He's always in my ear."
ANTHONY VS. FIELDS: Apparently, there's no love lost between Anthony and former Knick Landry Fields.
After the game, both players insisted there was no bad blood behind their dust-up in the third quarter on Saturday, but their actions on the court told a different story.
Fields put a shoulder in Anthony's chest on a drive more than 25 feet from the basket early in the period. After looking for a call on the play, Melo shoved Fields and received a flagrant foul.
"Probably heat of the moment," said Fields, who admitted he was a little surprised by his ex-teammate's reaction. "I wasn't trying to be malicious."
Anthony said referees missed an obvious offensive foul call on Fields, but the Knicks' star insisted he had no problem with what happened.
"I know him. I don't think it was on purpose," he said.
It's worth noting that Fields wasn't the same player as a Knick after Anthony came to town. He had a fantastic run as a rookie before the trade, but lost confidence after Melo's arrival.
BRAGGING RIGHTS ON THE LINE: Kidd went to California; Anthony went to Syracuse for college. So bragging rights were on the line in the Knicks' locker room after the game. Anthony was eager to catch the second half of the Cal-Cuse game after speaking with reporters.
Melo actually idolized Kidd growing up.
"Oh, of course," he said. "I had his poster on the wall. I had his card."