Jason Kidd is in the mood to tell a few stories.
Which is limited on the Hall of Fame stage — where Kidd was last weekend, being inducted as he deserved to be — they are only allowed five minutes to talk (not everybody heeds that advice, and unlike the Oscars the orchestra does not play them off). So Kidd turned to The Players’ Tribune to spin a few yarns.
For my money, the best one was Kidd getting shooting advice from future Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki in Dallas.
And I swear, Dirk’s advice — it was the wildest advice of my entire life. It made zero sense to me at the time, and yet it seemed to make all the sense in the world to Dirk.
“Spacing your fingers just like this. Tuck your arm. Spread your feet like this. Release the ball like this.”
It was all making sense. I was following along. That’s when he got this serious look on his face and said, “The key to shooting is, you have to breathe.”
“O.K., Dirk. Got it.”
“No. Through your eyes. Breathe through your eyes.”
I didn’t know how to respond. We kept shooting and Dirk was just kind of shaking his head at me. Maybe he was punking me? To this day, your guess is as good as mine.
Apparently, Kidd did not see Bull Durham, where Annie Savoy convinces Ebby Calvin “Nuke” LaLoosh he has to “breathe through his eyelids” like a lava lizard. It becomes one of the running jokes of the movie. I have to think Nowitzki was punking Kidd with that line.
Then again, Nowitzki’s pregame routine is pretty out there.
Kidd did acknowledge Nowitzki from the Hall of Fame stage and said he “carried” Dirk to that title. Well played.