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Straight shooter

Jason Kidd has a knack for knowing what comes next. He finishes your sentences, whispering the last few words with you. He beats you to the ball simply by being first to see where it's going. He passes into pockets of space you don't see, creating open shots you didn't know were there.

It is a gift, this prescience. But it can be torturous if ignored. Kidd discovered just that when his 61-year-old father died on a Sunday night last spring back in California. Three days earlier, Kidd had driven him to the Phoenix airport. "It's funny how everything seemed to take forever that day when I dropped him off," he says. "He hadn't been feeling well for a couple of days, but it wasn't like he was moving slowly. I just remember everything seemed to be in slow motion. It took him forever to get out of the car, and then from the curb to inside the terminal and then to turn and wave . . . "