Jason Kidd was on the golf course, looking to fine-tune his game, when he knew he had made a mistake.
"Well, I felt in the morning [Thursday], I was committing to the Mavs," Kidd said during a radio interview on WFAN on Friday. "I went out and played a little golf, and I just didn't feel comfortable with the decision. I called my wife and my agent and told them I think I wanted to change my mind.
"I still feel like I can be competitive and help. So I felt like the basketball decision was to go to the Knicks just because of the pieces they had."
Thus the stunning reversal, as Kidd, 39, agreed to terms with the Knicks. They sorely needed him after getting spurned when Steve Nash opted for a sign-and-trade to the Lakers.
Although he doesn't play at the high level he once did, Kidd gives the Knicks a well-respected veteran leader who can help find a way to make the Knicks' Big Three of Carmelo Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler work cohesively.
Kidd said he hasn't been told anything about his role and whether he'll start. He'd just like to be on the floor in crunch time.
"I'm a little bit older now," he said, "so if it's to come off the bench, if it's to start, whatever [Mike Woodson] needs me to do, I'm open. At the end of the day, I just know how important the last six minutes of the game in the NBA are. So hopefully I can be on the floor at that time."
Kidd is a believer in Jeremy Lin and will mentor him if the Knicks, as expected, match the Rockets' four-year, $28.8-million offer. "I think he has all the tools to be a consistent point guard in this league," Kidd said. "I think a lot of people are deceived by his speed and strength. He's a guy who can definitely put points on the board and also find the open guy. My job is to help him just to understand the time and situation, when to go score and when to get your teammates going."