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Jason Kidd details time his agent saved him from a Portuguese man o’ war in 2004

Jason Kidd

As the undisputed leader of the raggedy New Jersey Nets team in 2004, Jason Kidd was known as a crafty player who didn’t back down from anything. Whether it was an underperforming head coach, a lumbering big man in the paint, or a teammate who got in his way, the point guard was fearless in his pursuit of greatness – except maybe against a modern-day sea monster.

During Kidd’s Hall of Fame induction, he hilariously recounted the incident when his long-time manager, Jeff Schwartz, basically saved his life from a creature called a Portuguese man o’war.

Here’s the snippet from his speech:

It happened during the summer of 2004, according to Kidd, not long after he had undergone microfracture surgery on his left knee. Kidd and Schwartz had rented a boat to sample the ocean on a trip to Cabo San Lucas with family and friends, only to encounter some rough waters that day. “We probably shouldn’t have been out there,” Kidd says now. But they couldn’t resist. Kidd recalls “floating in the water out there” without incident until one of the foam noodles he was clutching got away from him. Kidd swam to retrieve it and soon found himself under attack by a Portuguese man o’ war — without realizing what was happening. “I thought I was having a heart attack,” Kidd said. “Every time I tried to move to get away, it electrocuted me.”

But Schwartz, once alerted to Kidd’s distress, swam over and managed to extricate him from the fish. The agent then wrapped his wounded client in what Kidd described as “a headlock” and ushered him to safety. Kidd said he managed to emerge from the ordeal with no more damage than marks and scratches on his back. “We laugh about it now, but Jeff was really messed up that night,” Kidd said. “He was so quiet. He was like, ‘You could have died.’ ” No wonder Kidd was moved to insist to Schwartz recently that he had to include the previously untold tale as part of his induction speech.

While this animal’s sting isn’t known to be fatal, its tentacles are covered in venom and can really hurt when it whips them at you. Kidd may not have been in any life-threatening danger, as he initially thought, but its good to know his manager is willing to go above and beyond the call of duty, just to protect his client’s life.

Of course, now, we can look back at this experience fondly, just as the Hall of Famer and his good friend possibly have. Now that Kidd is firmly in the spotlight now, we hope to hear many more stories like this.