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Kidd’s Kin May Skip Game Vs. Celts

May 31, 2002

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) _ Jason Kidd’s family might not attend Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals in Boston because of security concerns.

Despite assurances by the Celtics that they would provide as much security as needed, Kidd said Thursday that he was not sure whether his family would attend the game that could send New Jersey to its first NBA finals.

Rowdy fans caused the Nets’ point guard to become concerned about the safety of his wife, Joumana, and his son, T.J. after Game 4 in Boston.

``It’s not all the fans,″ Kidd said. ``We’ve kind of lost the perspective. It’s a couple. But the big thing is we don’t know. We would just kind of like to have the whole situation die down, but we know that is not going to happen any time soon.″

Joumana Kidd told reporters before Wednesday’s Game 5 at Continental Airlines Arena that she planned to attend Game 6 in Boston on Friday.

``It’s such a critical time, we’re not going to miss out on this,″ she said.

But Jason seemed to be having second thoughts Thursday, less than 24 hours after the Nets took a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven conference finals with a 103-92 win.

Kidd was booed every time he touched the ball during Monday’s Game 4 in Boston, which the Nets won 94-92.

Kidd said Tuesday he had no problem with the boos, or the chant of ``wife-beater″ that was directed at him. But he said his wife and son received worse treatment from some intoxicated fans.

Kidd was charged with striking his wife in January 2001, when he was playing for Phoenix. The charges were dropped when Kidd underwent anger counseling and paid a fine, but the episode harmed his reputation and helped lead to his departure from the Suns.

Kidd said Thursday he would not be distracted on the court if his family did come to the game at the FleetCenter.

``Once I am inside the lines, it’s my job to play the ballgame,″ said Kidd, who has been the catalyst for the transformation of the Nets from also-rans into contenders. ``Whatever measures and steps we have to take to do that, so be it. The big thing is it’s about basketball, not my family.″

Nets rookie Richard Jefferson said Kidd’s family should go to the game to get the chance to see him make the finals for the first time.

``I don’t think you should ever let someone else intimidate you or let someone deprive his family of being in a place like that,″ Jefferson said. ``If we are fortunate enough to win that, I think his son, his two daughters and his wife need to be by his side, because they are a big part why he is there, and why we are there.″

On Wednesday night in Game 5 at Continental Airlines Arena, a fan held up a sign reading: ``Will someone please stab Paul Pierce.″ Arena officials made the fan take the sign down.

``I wasn’t aware of it,″ Pierce said Thursday.

The Boston star was stabbed multiple times in his face, neck and back at a night club in September, 2000.

``My main job is to go onto the court and play,″ he said. ``I have no control over what the fans do in the stands. It’s fine, as long as they keep it in the stands.″

Veteran guard Lucious Harris said he would have concerns about bringing his family to Boston

``You never know what can happen, especially if we win,″ Harris said.

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