If you are a Knicks fan like I am and not completely sold on the idea of Jason Kidd being the answer to your point guard prayers, his arrest in the Hamptons for DWI early Sunday morning might add insult to injury. The veteran player was supposedly acquired to mentor Jeremy (Linsanity) Lin, who is now signed with the Houston Rockets for an absolutely insane contract offered to an untested player. One has to wonder about how much mentoring Kidd could have done anyway when he doesn’t have enough good sense not to wrap his car around a tree.
If the Knicks aren’t rethinking this new acquisition yet, we will have to see what legal problems are headed his way. As one of approximately 50,000 people arrested in New York State every year for DWI, Kidd becomes another statistic. Happily, he did not hurt himself or anyone else, but that is besides the point. You get drunk and get into a car to drive and that is just like loading a shotgun and pointing it into a crowded room. It is beyond wreckless behavior and could be considered much more if someone had been hurt; however, the lack of victims (except for his damaged Cadillac Escalade) shouldn’t have him left to go on his merry way.
Kidd is charged with a misdemeanor and that carries with it the possibility of a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a fine, but he could also (since it is his first offense) get off with losing his license and a year’s probation. The problem here is not that Kidd is just one of 50,000, but the fact that he is a sport celebrity, and as such he has a position that requires him to be a role model.
Jason is no kid and, as a husband and father of three, he should have known better. Luckily, his family was not in the car with him, but that is not the issue here. Other people’s children look up to sports stars (whether they like it or not). It seems that they forget this fact, as Kidd obviously was not thinking about his own children or anyone else’s for that matter. If Kidd walks away, what does that tell the rest of the players in all sports out there who have a drink in the hand at 2 a.m. and a luxury car parked outside the bar? More importantly, what message is sent to the kids? Oh, he’s a basketball star, and he got away with it.
Kidd is one of a long line of players who have forgotten that what they do matters (on and off the court). Now, what happens to him matters as well. If he should get jail time that might be a slap in the face for his fellow sports celebrities and send a message loud and clear: drunk driving will never be tolerated in New York State no matter who you are. It would also put the Knicks into damage control mode for certain, but that is less important than what could have happened on the roads of Suffolk County this past Sunday.
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