Kidd says he won't play on Long Island

Updated: October 11, 2003, 8:27 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New Jersey Nets might be moving to Long Island. If they do, Jason Kidd might not want to join them.

Jason Kidd
Kidd

"I didn't sign on here to go to Long Island," Kidd said Saturday. "I signed on here to win a championship.

"With all the confusion, I could've easily gone to San Antonio if I wanted to move," Kidd said. "If I felt like moving, I would've rather gone to San Antonio if that was the case."

The Nets' star point guard was responding to an ESPN The Magazine article in which he told writer Ric Bucher that if the franchise is sold and moved to Long Island, he will request to be traded. Kidd, who currently lives in New Jersey, told Bucher he would be willing to play in New Jersey or Brooklyn, but not on Long Island.

Kidd's response came after the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority made a proposal to the team to share $100 million in improvement costs to upgrade the Continental Airlines Arena, and after three investment groups submitted preliminary bids for the franchise.

The bids were filed Wednesday by groups led by Charles Kushner, Charles Wang and Bruce Ratner. Each was for more than $200 million, according to published reports.

Kushner is the only one of the three who plans to keep the team in New Jersey. Wang, the owner of the NHL's New York Islanders, would move the team to Long Island. Ratner would move the team to Brooklyn by 2008 if he succeeds in building a new arena.

On Thursday, NJSEA chairman Carl Goldberg stated, "The sports authority's interest is keeping the teams in New Jersey," and unveiled a plan designed to work with the Kushner group to keep the Nets in their current location in the New Jersey Meadowlands.

Goldberg said an "investment" in luxury suites and enhanced concession space at the arena in East Rutherford would make it a far more attractive home for the Nets, boosting the team's annual revenues by $18 million to $22 million.

The additional revenues would also be shared by the team's owner and the sports agency, which is trying to wean itself off public subsidies, Goldberg said.

Despite winning NBA Eastern Conference championships the past two years, the Nets have lost money playing at the 22-year-old arena, which lacks many amenities that generate revenues at newer facilities.

Kidd said Saturday that he had no regrets about re-signing with the Nets.

"I'm happy to be here, there's no doubt about that," Kidd said. "And selling the team, if it goes to Brooklyn, it would be close to the end of my career by the time that thing is built. So I have no weight on that one. But Long Island, maybe I have a say. We'll see what happens."

Kidd liked the idea of trips to the Hamptons and golf on Long Island.

"I have nothing against Long Island," Kidd said. "I know this is where the team had played at one point. The Hamptons are a different story. If we were playing at the Hamptons, I wouldn't mind that move. Nice beaches and stuff."

"I've played golf, they've got great golf," Kidd said. "From what I understand, Long Island people are great. But I didn't sign up for this."