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Basketball: Kidd finally gets his NBA title

Jason Kidd took his talents to South Beach on Sunday night and will go home with his first NBA championship.

It also was the first NBA title for Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry, Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks. Kidd waited 17 pro seasons — including two previous NBA finals with the New Jersey Nets — to get his first.

“I came here twice. This this was my third time,” he said afterward. “Third time was the lucky charm.”

Kidd is the first ex-Cal player to start for an NBA champion since the late Charles Johnson helped the Warriors to the 1975 crown.

At 38, Kidd became the oldest starting point guard on an NBA champion. The only other starter at any position who was older when he won a title was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

A two-time Olympic gold medalist, Kidd hadn’t otherwise won a title at any level since carrying St. Joseph’s High to back-to-back state titles in 1990-91 and ’91-92.

The greatest player in Cal history contributed nine points, eight assists and four rebounds to the Mavericks’ 105-92 win over the Heat in Miami, clinching a 4-2 series victory for Dallas in the NBA finals.

“I just can’t believe the journey,” Kidd said.

For the six-game series, he averaged 7.7 points, 4.5 rebounds and 6.3 assists while shooting 42.9 percent from the 3-point line.

New Warriors coach Mark Jackson, working as an analyst for ABC, said he was particularly happy that Kidd got over the hump. “He is the ultimate leader and the ultimate maestro,” Jackson said. “Jason Kidd’s DNA is all over this team.”

Over 21 postseason games in 2011, Kidd provided the Mavs 9.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 1.9 steals per game.

In his 142nd career playoff game — every one of them as a stater — Kidd finally walked off the court an NBA champion.

Asked how many more seasons he might play, Kidd said, “With this group, hopefully another two or three. I feel great.”

Jeff Faraudo

  • rollonubears

    Dirk was heading to Cal had he not gone straight to the NBA. What an addition he’d have made. Congrats to Jason Kidd. Berkeley AND Alameda are very proud.

  • AKBear

    Most entertaining player that I have ever seen play for and against the Cal Bears. There’s no one else even close. Well deserved and long overdue championship for the Kidd.