December 28, 1996 in Sports

Suns’ New Kidd Feels Like Old Self

From Wire Reports
 

For Jason Kidd, it felt like draft day all over again.

Kidd, traded from the Dallas Mavericks to the Phoenix Suns on Thursday in a six-player deal, met the media and his new teammates Friday.

The All-Star guard is expected to be in uniform tonight when Phoenix plays at Vancouver and said he can’t wait to get going.

“I gave 110 percent in Dallas, but there was something missing,” Kidd said. “Things weren’t going right and basketball just wasn’t fun for me anymore. I think my teammates knew that I was not the same Jason.

“I never went to Dallas and asked to be traded, and up until (Thursday) I never thought they would trade me. But I am really excited about this opportunity to play for the Suns. Mentally, I feel great, like I am a new person and everyone will see the old Jason playing.”

Kidd’s feud with teammate Jimmy Jackson was wellpublicized and Kidd did tell the Mavericks during the offseason he might want to leave if Jackson wasn’t traded. But Kidd doesn’t expect any friction with Kevin Johnson, the Suns’ point guard since 1989.

Johnson, who plans to retire after this season, will move from point guard to shooting guard to make room for Kidd.

Timberwolves actually winning

For once, things are going the way the Minnesota Timberwolves planned.

Tom Gugliotta is playing like an All-Star, Kevin Garnett is emerging as a dominant force and Stephon Marbury is the point guard the Wolves needed.

Minnesota has waited eight years for something to go right, and its impressive three-game winning streak is a sign things finally are falling into place. The Wolves have beaten the Los Angeles Lakers, Utah and New York - teams with a combined 60-23 record entering Friday’s games - and can match the longest streak in their history by beating the Denver Nuggets tonight.

“The way we’ve won the games is more important than just who we beat,” guard Terry Porter said. “We’ve been very aggressive, we haven’t taken any smack off of anybody, we’ve moved the ball through stretches extremely well and we didn’t really crack when we were down. I think in years past this franchise may have done that.”

In years past, all the franchise did was lose. Minnesota’s 422 losses in its first seven seasons were the most in the NBA during that span.

Blazers waive Djordjevic

The Portland Trail Blazers waived Yugoslavian point guard Aleksandar Djordjevic and placed Reggie Jordan on the injured list because of a fractured bone in his left hand.

The Blazers also activated rookie guard Marcus Brown, who had been on the injured list all season.

Djordjevic, who led Yugoslavia to the silver medal in the Olympics, was upset with his lack of playing time since signing with the Blazers just before the season. Most recently, he was on the injured list because of the flu. He reportedly was headed back to Europe to sign with F.C. Barcelona.

Heat stay red hot on road

The Miami Heat overcame more back problems - this time by center Alonzo Mourning - and extended the NBA’s best road winning streak to 13 games with a 101-86 victory over Charlotte on Friday night.

Tim Hardaway scored 26 points and helped fuel the decisive run, and the Heat used defensive pressure to move closer to the Lakers’ league record of 16 consecutive road victories in 1971-72.

Miami held the Hornets to 42-percent shooting and converted 14 turnovers into 15 points.

Mourning, who leads the Heat in scoring, rebounding and blocks, had 12 points and seven rebounds in 21 minutes before leaving because of back spasms. Miami’s Dan Majerle and Tony Farmer are already on the injured list with back problems, and Gary Grant didn’t make the trip to Charlotte after sustaining back spasms on Thursday.


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