Jason Kidd mentoring Jeremy Lin was a nice story last week. Then Kidd was arrested on a drunken-driving charge, Lin’s departure from New York for a ‘‘ridiculous contract’’ in Houston became more realistic, and a position of strength suddenly was one of turbulence for the Knicks.
Kidd’s arrest came within hours of the Knicks agreeing to a trade for fellow point guard Raymond Felton, raising the possibility they will refuse to match Lin’s offer sheet with the Rockets.
Police said Kidd crashed his SUV into a telephone pole in the Hamptons Sunday, days after signing with the Knicks. Treated at a hospital for minor injuries, Kidd was arraigned on a misdemeanor driving-while-intoxicated charge and released without bail.
Kidd’s attorney, Ed Burke Jr., said in a statement that Kidd was returning from a charity function before his accident, pleaded not guilty to the DWI charge, and was awaiting further court proceedings.
The Knicks, who signed the 10-time All-Star last week, had no comment. Nor would they comment on their plans for Lin as speculation grew that Linsanity was headed elsewhere.
Kidd, 39, was alone in the 2010 Cadillac Escalade when it hit a pole and veered into the woods around 2 a.m. in Water Mill, police said. The DWI charge carries the potential for up to a year in jail.
The Knicks had said they would match any offer for Lin, but the Rockets made it difficult with a three-year, $25 million deal that’s worth about $15 million in the third year. New York has until 11:59 p.m. Tuesday to match the offer sheet.
Asked if he could envision Lin being with the Knicks this season, All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony said: ‘‘At this point there’s a lot going on. I stay away from that part right now. I would love to see him back, but I think he has to do what’s best for him right now.’’
Anthony, speaking before practice with the US Olympic team, was then reminded it’s up to the Knicks, not Lin, to decide whether he stays or goes.
‘‘It’s not up to me,’’ Anthony said with a laugh. ‘‘It’s up to the organization to say they want to match that ridiculous contract that’s out there.’’
Batum signs offer
The Timberwolves are about to find out just how serious the Trail Blazers were when they said they would match any offer for restricted free agent forward Nicolas Batum. The Timberwolves submitted a four-year, $46 million offer sheet signed by Batum, 23, giving the Blazers three days to match the offer. The deal has incentives that could push the value over $50 million, a hefty price for the swingman who has averaged 10.2 points and 3.9 rebounds in his first three seasons in the league . . . The Suns beefed up their frontline, winning the bidding for Luis Scola, adding the 6-foot-9-inch forward two days after Houston used the amnesty clause to cut him loose. Scola is due to make $21 million over the next three seasons. Phoenix made room by using the amnesty option to cut forward Josh Childress.