DeAndre Jordan is the smallest man in the NBA
DeAndre Jordan agreed to a four-year, $80 million deal with the Dallas Mavericks on Friday, leaving the Los Angeles Clippers. Jordan agreed to the deal with Dallas, but could not sign it until midnight Thursday, when the NBA’s free agency moratorium lifted. At 12:01 ET Thursday, Jordan signed a four-year, $87 million deal with the Clippers. What happened to the Mavericks?
If you trust the word of every respected NBA reporter, the Mavericks were unable to reach Jordan for the better part of this week following their verbal agreement. When he expressed doubt in his decision to sign with Dallas to his former L.A. teammates, prominent members of the Clippers organization including owner Steve Ballmer, coach Doc Rivers, Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, J.J. Redick, and Paul Pierce came to Jordan’s home in Houston and shut the rest of the world out until their deal was in place.
If that is what transpired, and there is absolutely no indication to the contrary, DeAndre Jordan is the littlest person in the NBA today.
You might have an issue with Jordan breaking his word. There isn’t a mechanism in place to prevent him from doing so, however, so while the optics might be poor, it was his right. You might have an issue with the Clippers, who essentially laid siege to Jordan’s home for 24 hours awaiting the end of the moratorium. It appears Jordan was the one to initiate contact with his former team, so again, while it might look sketchy, the Clippers acted in the best interest of their franchise and reclaimed one of the biggest pieces of their team.
What is absolutely unfathomable is Jordan’s refusal to engage with the Mavericks following Friday’s $80 million agreement. The systematic shutting down and shutting out of Dallas owner Mark Cuban is unprofessional at best. The Mavericks committed an incredible sum of money to Jordan, and were operating under the impression his word was good. Now, Dallas is without a center, having allowed Tyson Chandler to depart for Phoenix and not bothering to talk with other options like Roy Hibbert, because why would they? Cuban’s plan to rebuild has taken a catastrophic blow, and now Dallas has to decide whether the 2015-16 season will be spent competing for the playoffs or competing for lottery position.
It’s a horrible predicament, and one that is entirely Jordan’s fault. He knows it, the Clippers know it, the Mavericks know it, and so does everyone else. Wouldn’t it make sense then, wouldn’t it be the honorable and professional thing, to call the Mavericks and Cuban and inform them of your decision to hang them out to dry? It’s an uncomfortable conversation under poor circumstances. But it’s far worse to not only not have the conversation, but actively avoid it.
Jordan’s actions paint the entire Clippers organization in a horrible color. Watching the past 24 hours unfold has been unsavory. Jordan going back on his word was unprofessional. Running and hiding was cowardly. All of it is bad, and most of it might have been avoided with a simple phone call.