Tuesday, May 27
May 27, 8:17 PM ET
Kidd says ankle coming along well
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Jason Kidd walked on to the floor
of the New Jersey Nets' practice facility Tuesday without a limp.
The right ankle Kidd sprained Saturday night late in Game 4 of the Nets' sweep of the Detroit Pistons was taped, at least above the sock.
"It's just a little bruise," Kidd reassured everyone. "I bruise easily."
While the All-Star point guard wasn't showing off his ankle,
Kenyon Martin described it.
"It's pretty. It's gorgeous," the power forward said.
And when the ankle is healthy, it helps Kidd make the Nets one
of the best teams in basketball.
That's why the Nets are taking every precaution to make sure
Kidd is ready when the NBA Finals start next Wednesday.
New Jersey has won 10 straight games in reaching the final round
for the second straight year, and every player thinks this team is
capable of winning it all no matter who it faces -- San Antonio or
"We understand what it takes to win," Kidd said. "We learned
a lesson from the Lakers being there three years in a row. It never
fazed them. They just went out there and took care of business.
They were always businesslike. So that's the way we have to be."
The Nets don't expect Kidd to practice until the end of the
"It's still a little swollen," coach Byron Scott said of
Kidd's ankle, adding that trainer Tim Walsh "said it has great
Kidd rode a stationary bike, took treatment in a pool, lifted
weights and was to watch the rest of the team play five-on-five in
practice, which was closed to the media.
"My ankle is fine," Kidd insisted. "As a team, we'll be ready
to play come (next) Wednesday.
The only question that annoyed Kidd concerned his upcoming free
agency and whether winning or losing in the final round would
affect his decision.
"It won't have any effect on what I do," Kidd said. "Free
agency is not a question that I am going to answer right now.
That's the last thing I need to be talking about. We're here in the
finals to win a championship."
Unlike last year's team which came into the finals gawking at
the celebrities and the Lakers girls, this Nets team is focused and
"We expect to be there now," Martin said. "We're going to win
this thing. We're not going just to show up."
When it seems they are overconfident, they'll remind everyone
just as quickly about being swept by the Lakers, almost knocking
themselves down a peg.
"We feel we're a much better team than last year," Scott said.
"We're much more mature. We understand all the hoopla that goes
along. There won't be any jitters, that's why I feel we have a
great chance for winning.
The Nets also aren't taking any chances. In each of the first
three playoff series, Martin sat in a different seat talking to the
media before practice.
When he walked in on Tuesday, he grabbed a chair from along the
wall and moved it about 30 feet, putting it against a wall on the
baseline. He then sat down and talked.
"I'm superstitious with it, and I'm going to keep it that
way," Martin said. "I'm going to keep changing my seat."
||My ankle is fine. As a team, we'll be ready to play come (next) Wednesday. ”
||— Jason Kidd