EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -Jason Kidd was sick - not ``on strike'' - when the eight-time All Star missed New Jersey's game against the New York Knicks, Nets president Rod Thorn said Thursday.
Thorn said did not believe reports in newspapers and on the Internet that Kidd boycotted the game to force the team to give him a new contract or trade him.
``He was sick,'' Thorn said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press, adding that he spoke with Kidd on Thursday morning. ``He was very hurt about some of things in some of the articles and he plans to address it.''
Kidd scheduled a news conference later Thursday at team headquarters.
Thorn said Kidd sent a text message to trainer Tim Walsh around noon Wednesday, informing him that he had a migraine and would get back to him later in the day.
At around 4 p.m. - 3 1/2 hours before Wednesday's game the Knicks won 100-93 - Kidd sent a second text message telling Walsh he would not be able to play, Thorn said.
``I think that raised some suspicions,'' Thorn said, adding that he doubted Kidd would desert his teammates to make a personal point. ``He has played with so many injuries over the course of his time with us that some people think he's an automaton.''
The New York Post quoted a team source as saying: ``He's on strike.''
Kidd, who played last season with a cracked rib and sore back, was the subject of rumors at the trading deadline in February, with the speculation that he would be shipped to the Lakers.
The 13-year veteran is currently second in the league to Steve Nash, averaging 10.4 assists. The point guard is tied for 21st, averaging 8.7 rebounds and 18th with an average of 1.67 steals.
Kidd is under contract through the end of next season, making $19.7 million this year and $21.3 million next.
The Nets had high hopes they would be able to challenge the revamped Boston Celtics in the Atlantic Division this season. However, they are 9-10 in a frustrating season that has seen center Nenad Krstic struggle returning from major knee surgery and Vince Carter miss five games with a sprained ankle. The Nets lost all five games.
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