Jason Kidd arrested on suspicion of drunk driving after smashing car into telephone pole

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Dan Devine
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Please do not drink and drive.

On Thursday afternoon, Jason Kidd sat alongside Marcus Camby during a press conference introducing the pair as the newest members of the New York Knicks, telling a throng of reporters how excited he was for the chance to use his 39 years of wisdom and 18 years of NBA experience to "mentor a very good player in Jeremy [Lin] and be able to share my secrets with him."

"He's always in fifth gear, but you're not going to always make it to the end," Kidd said. "We'll sit down and try to talk about trying to find that fourth and third gear so that we finish games stronger."

We don't know what gear Kidd was in when, less than four days later, he allegedly crashed his 2010 Cadillac Escalade into a wooden telephone pole near his Long Island, N.Y., home. But considering that his early Sunday morning accident took place after what's reported to have been an evening of drinking, and that his SUV reportedly "skidded 25 feet into the woods, hitting several trees" after impact, it sure seems blindly, stupidly lucky that Kidd even made it to the end of Sunday.

Taylor Vescey of Southampton Patch first reported the news:

Jason Kidd was arrested Sunday morning on a drunken driving charge after a single-car crash, according to Southampton Town police.

Police said that Kidd's 2010 Cadillac Escalade struck a telephone pole and went into the woods near the intersection of Cobb Road and Little Cobb Road in Water Mill, not far from his Hamptons house. Police responded at 1:56 a.m.

Kidd, 39, was alone in the car, according to police. He was transported to Southampton Hospital for minor injuries and released into police custody.

Aside from Kidd's "minor injuries," there are no other reported victims of the accident, which is very, very lucky.

Following his hospital visit, Kidd was arraigned at Southampton Town Justice Court and charged with driving while intoxicated by alcohol. The point guard pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor "and awaits further court proceedings," according to a statement issued by his attorney, Ed Burke Jr.

Neither Kidd nor the Knicks have yet publicly commented on the arrest.

Please do not drink and drive.

Initial reports had Kidd driving home after leaving a charity function held at a private East Hampton, N.Y., estate to benefit the Compound Foundation, an organization founded by R&B star Ne-Yo to "enhance the well-being of youth growing up in foster care and group homes." Kidd tweeted a picture from the "Fostering a Legacy" event, where he and his wife Porschia met filmmaker George Lucas, on Saturday evening.

Subsequent reporting, however, suggests that after leaving the benefit, Kidd and his wife headed to Southampton night club SL East, where he was reportedly "dancing and downing vodka," according to the New York Daily News, and "appeared to be so drunk [...] that he had to be carried out of the club," according to TMZ. (The Daily News cites a source saying Kidd "was not carried out, but he was definitely holding on to some friends," and that stipulates he "was in no condition to drive.")

Please do not drink and drive.

From TMZ:

According to the multiple witnesses, after being carried out by a few friends, Kidd got in his car to drive off ... despite protests from his friends. Kidd left the club around 1:00 AM and crashed his car less than an hour later.

The trip from SL East to the front door of Kidd's Water Mill home reportedly takes about a half-hour to make. The accident took place about 1.5 miles from Kidd's home.

From the Daily News:

"[After the crash] I saw him lying down, completely out of it," said Gautam Ahuja, 34, who watched police shining a flashlight on Kidd. "I think he was just so wasted." [...]

Ahuja's friend said she saw Kidd leaning against the broken pole.

"He was sprawled out," the friend said. "He was sitting on the ground with his feet stretched out in front of him."

Witnesses said the boozed-up baller sat there for about 45 minutes before cops arrived.

Police did not comment on whether Kidd had taken a Breathalyzer test at the scene, according to ESPN New York's Ian Begley.

As Deadspin reported Sunday afternoon, the pole Kidd's SUV allegedly snapped in two was one that enabled Optimum phone and Internet service for neighborhood residents. Optimum is part of Cablevision, the media corporation owned by James Dolan, who also owns the New York Knicks and just signed Kidd to a three-year, $9.5 million contract based in part on the idea that he would bring the Knicks locker room a steadying presence and veteran leadership.

Please do not drink and drive.