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The Times helps market the Nets/JKidd

Star New Jersey Nets point guard Jason Kidd's appearance in Wayne, NJ, with the winner of the Take-a-Net to School Sweepstakes on Wednesday was tagged, appropriately, as "marketing" by the NetsDaily blog.

It garnered a short article in the Bergen Record, coverage in the electronic media, and, surprisingly, two photos on p. D3 in yesterday's New York Times. The Times, doing its best imitation of the Courier-Life chain, wrapped four serious hoops articles (the sexual harassment suit against Isiah Thomas; NBA referees under the spotlight; the University of Memphis's China venture; and the Harvard appearance of sports marketer Sonny Vaccaro) around two Kidd photos occupying more than one-quarter of the page.

Sure, the Times needed some photos for the page, but their choice was questionable. While buffing the Nets and Kidd, the newspaper hasn't yet written about the discrepancy between promises of a 2009 Brooklyn arena open and the actual construction schedule; the way suites and a naming deal will pay for a new arena; and the projected increase in ticket prices.

Nor did the Times point out that Kidd, however much a terrific point guard and good with kids, might just be benefiting from the Nets' attempt to rehab his reputation, which has been battered in some other precincts.