JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

On fatherhood …

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One more thing I wanted to say before officially handing the ball to Lew.

A few days ago, in my weekly SI.com column, I wrote that Jason Kidd needs to sign with the Knicks instead of the Mavs. My reasoning was simple: His three kids live in New York.

In the aftermath, I’ve gotten some scathing e-mails, and a Dallas writer named Mike Fisher wrote a semi-harsh post.

I, however, remain steadfast. If you are a father, and your children live in a certain geographic region, and you can live there, too, well, what choice is there? Can anyone possibly justify being away from your family … in the name of chasing an NBA title!? It’s absolutely ludicrous. Let’s say you’re a plumber, or doctor, or lawyer, or writer, and you have a choice of two jobs. One pays more, but is far away from your kids. One pays less (but is certainly a good income), and you can be around your family regularly. Which do you take? And, if you pick the far-away job, what do people think of you? There’s zero justification. Zero.
I actually found Fisher’s post to be sorta odd. He paints an autobiographical picture of his own excellent parenting (kudos, for the record), describing his dedication and love toward his children. But then, seemingly because Jason Kidd plays for a team he roots for (Dallas), he maintains one can be an equally good parent even while working away from home for ... eight months!? C’mon, Mike. I know you’re a big Mavs fans, but how can anyone take that seriously? No decent parent I know would ever—ever!—take a job away from his kids because it pays well and affords him personal glory. Never. Ever. Ever.

This isn’t gall. It’s reality.

* PS: And, for the record, I could care less whether Kidd signs with a New York team. A. I’m not a fan of any NBA team; B. He’s a well-past-his-prime star who can’t play on-ball defense.