But it’s really nothing new.
San Antonio nearly signed Jason Kidd — who was in the midst of four straight top-10 finishes in MVP voting and had led the Nets to consecutive Finals, including a loss to the Spurs that year (alert: Kevin Durant parallel; stay tuned for the DeAndre Jordan parallel) — in 2003.
Kidd, now coaching the Bucks, used Tim Duncan‘s retirement as a chance to reflect on his 2003 free agency.
“I thought I was going to be a Spur,” Kidd, now the Milwaukee Buckscoach, said while watching his team during the Las Vegas Summer League on Monday. “I committed when I was down there on my visit [to San Antonio].
“On my flight home, I think I got cold feet,” Kidd continued. “And sometimes I have nightmares about that. Maybe I could have won a championship or two there. But I got really lucky with Dallas and won a championship.”
“It is something that I sometimes regret,” Kidd said. “I wanted to see if I could win a championship in San Antonio.”
Kidd signed a six-year, $103 million contract with the Nets, who subsequently rebuilt around their move to Brooklyn. The Spurs won two more championships during Kidd’s career, and maybe he would’ve still been playing during their 2014 title if he were on their rest program.
It’s a great “what if?”