DeAndre Jordan apologizes for jilting Mavericks
DALLAS, USA - Returning Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan started his image rehabilitation on Saturday, July 11 as he apologized to Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban for jilting the team after committing to signing with their National Basketball Association squad.
Cuban said Friday he was at Jordan's front door to secure their verbal deal only to be jilted when the center re-signed with the Clippers.
Jordan posted messages of contrition to his Twitter page, saying "I want to publicly apologize to one of the best owners in the world @MCuban, the @DallasMavs and their fans."
Cuban made his first detailed comments about the matter in a blog posting a day after Jordan backed away from his verbal deal with Dallas on a four-year deal worth $80 million to return to the Clippers for $87 million over four years.
"Through all of Monday we were texting back and forth discussing players available, the amount of cap room we had left. Who our staff liked. Who he liked. How excited he was," Cuban said. "Then on Tuesday the communications basically stopped and we started hearing rumblings from multiple people that something was up. So I flew down to Houston."
The Clippers were making a late push to keep Jordan as LA teammates, team owner Steve Ballmer and coach Doc Rivers met with him despite his having agreed to terms with Dallas. So when Cuban visited Jordan's home, the big man was gone.
"I literally walked up to his door. There was no one home," Cuban said. "So I texted him saying that I was there. I know something is up. Let's talk. He texted me that he was on a date. I told him to have fun. I wasn't in a rush, that I was happy to come by there and say hi or if he wanted to make the date fun, take them to Dallas for a night out. He didn't respond.
"After about 10 minutes I went back to the hotel. I wasn't going to sit in front of his house. I didn't think that was right. When I got back to the hotel I texted him that I wasn't in front of his house. Have fun on his date and we will talk. He hit me back immediately saying thanks."
But Cuban knew the deal was in trouble and that Jordan, who averaged 11.5 points and 15 rebounds last season, might be slipping away.
"He knew I was in town. He knew I was close by," Cuban said. "I knew something was up. I was getting the same reports everyone else was. I also knew his agents were coming to town. It made sense that he would talk to them and worst case, even if he was having second thoughts the agent would be able to give me updates.
"So while I was concerned, I still wasn't worried. So I went to bed."
'Unethical and disrespectful'
Now the Mavericks are scrambling.
Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons told ESPN that Jordan going back on his word was "very unethical and disrespectful" while Cuban tried to move on and reminded fans that 37-year-old German star big man Dirk Nowitzki remains, although this likely would have been a pass-the-torch season had Jordan come to Dallas.
"We have this big tall German who is pretty good," Cuban said. "He's still around."
ESPN reported that Brooklyn guard Deron Williams was hoping to be released in order to return to his hometown Mavericks. And Dallas did sign a deal with guard Wesley Matthews, who turned down the chance to back out after Jordan's reversal when Cuban made the offer.
Dallas did obtain a center, Georgia's Zaza Pachulia, in a trade with Milwaukee for a second-round NBA Draft selection. Pachulia averaged 8.3 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 73 games last season. - with reports from Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com