Kidd's return a doubled-edged sword

Jason Kidd will energize the Nets at first, but his trade request could make his return a double-edged sword.

Updated: December 10, 2004, 6:10 PM ET
By George Karl | ESPN Insider
Appropriately, in his season debut Monday night, Jason Kidd made the assist on the game-winning basket as the New Jersey Nets beat the Toronto Raptors 88-86. Offseason surgery on Kidd's left knee forced him to miss the season's first 16 games (the Nets went 4-12).

Kidd's presence will energize and lift the Nets for a few weeks. But then his uncertain long-term status with the team could become a distraction. The trade scenario could cause the enthusiasm of his return to disintegrate.

When the Nets' new ownership made their dismantling offseason moves, Kidd requested a trade because he signed his long-term deal based on the goal of winning an NBA championship. Now that has changed and the Nets have gone a different direction. New Jersey isn't far removed from going to back-to-back NBA Finals, but the organization is in a different world now.