May 2, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan (6) and guard Chris Paul (3) hug after defeating the San Antonio Spurs in game seven of the first round of the NBA Playoffs against the San Antonio Spurs at Staples Center. Clippers won 111-109. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
The Jordan Saga
The NBA Free Agency moratorium ended at midnight July 9th and with it many players put pen to paper to legalize their contracts. While the free agency period has been chock full of excitement, Wednesday was perhaps the most intriguing date due to the unusual back tracking of a key player.
With one phone call DeAndre Jordan literally took the Dallas Mavericks out of contention in the West while reinserting the Clippers. As I highlighted in my article Tuesday, his choice to renege on the deal had far reaching effects because the 5 days in which Mark Cuban thought his team had Jordan locked up they could’ve been out recruiting other players. Jordan’s choice to wait until the last minute meant all the other logical options for Dallas were already off the table.
There will be much speculation on why he waited so long, why he wouldn’t allow Mark Cuban an audience and how Chris Paul and Jordan miraculously fixed their issues in one meeting.
Moreover it’s likely Cuban will lead the charge to disallow any contract discussions during the 8 day moratorium in the future, so this won’t occur again.
One thing is for sure, the normally happy jokester Jordan won’t be receiving a very nice welcome when the Clippers visit Dallas next season.
Looking back over the course of events, Wednesday July 8th played out with a certain movie like plot:
Twitter Part Of Contract Negotiation Landscape
The other factor which took the spotlight yesterday was the players themselves getting very active on twitter using emoji’s to punctuate the drama.
Chris Paul tweeted the banana boat and motor boat he’d be taking:
And his rather cryptic tweet regarding the entire saga:
"Believe only half of what you see, and nothing that you hear" -Edgar Allan Poe https://t.co/jpS5tWEgJ4
— Chris Paul (@CP3) July 9, 2015
Chandler Parsons tweeted his airplane emoji meant to indicate he was en route to Houston:
— Chandler Parsons (@ChandlerParsons) July 8, 2015
Along with his sarcasm regarding Jordan’s about face:
I thought I had a good pump fake.
— Chandler Parsons (@ChandlerParsons) July 9, 2015
Not to be outdone Blake Griffin indicated he’d be taking a plane, a helicopter and a car:
Cool shot of me landing back on the mainland today. pic.twitter.com/eG7A3zXsYn
— Blake Griffin (@blakegriffin32) July 8, 2015
And with some reporters leaking news Mark Cuban was frantically trying to get in touch with Jordan’s camp, Griffin decided to rub some salt in the wound:
Don't agree with the furniture layout but I'm not an interior designer. pic.twitter.com/23PNgQB88z
— Blake Griffin (@blakegriffin32) July 9, 2015
Alright everybody goodnight! pic.twitter.com/cME0rFR5LC
— Blake Griffin (@blakegriffin32) July 9, 2015
But the real winner of the emoji twitter war was J.J. Redick who famously gave the Clippers an F Grade for not signing Jordan initially:
Even Mark Cuban along with his brother got into a twitter war with reporter Chris Broussard regarding whether Cuban knew where Jordan lived. Whether he had the address or not isn’t really the issue though. The fact Jordan refused to speak to Cuban (who he had promised to meet with before finalizing his decision) was what made this comedy of errors stand out.
Grade School Fight
The whole thing feels almost grade school like in the way the drama unfolded:
- Initial meetings with Dallas had Jordan complaining about being mistreated by Chris Paul. Pundits cited instances where CP3 would high five everyone on the floor, but him. Would constantly berate him for making bad plays and generally wasn’t a supportive leader
- This leads the Mavericks to tell him he won’t be an afterthought in Dallas, rather he will be considered as a key cog and one they would like to build the team around. They bragged about how they would turn Jordan into an annual All-Star and center the offense in a manner that would see him being respected league wide in a manner similar to Shaquille O’Neal
- Jordan again leaks how disappointed he was with the lack of support from his team. For the masses the fact Chris Paul wasn’t at the recruitment meeting only added fuel to the fire. Notably CP3 chose to vacation with his NBA buddies LeBron James and Dwyane Wade instead.
I’ll still be friends with him, but I can’t get over the way that he’s put our entire franchise in jeopardy – Parsons
- Then Friday he announces he’ll join the Mavericks
- Mark Cuban immediately takes to the airwaves bragging about their acquisition and promptly gets fined $25,000 for it (side note: I wonder if Cuban will make Jordan pay that fine!)
- Five days later Jordan decides he may have made a mistake (or he gets antsy about leaving $28 million on the table) and wants another sit down with the clique who don’t seem to want to let them into the cool kids circle.
- Tweets and emoji’s abound on twitter as the entire saga seems to play out for all to see. And while coach Doc Rivers, owner Steve Ballmer, newly acquired free agent Paul Pierce and current Clippers: Blake Griffin, J.J. Redick and yes even Chris Paul converge on Houston to meet with Jordan the Maverick contingent is strong armed by Jordan’s silence to even speak with them.
- Jordan newly minted as part of the cool kids club reneges on his vocal agreement with Dallas simultaneously saving the Clippers season while almost guaranteeing the Mavericks spot in the West’s upper tier, let alone in the post season.
- Maverick fans, owner Mark Cuban and even his friend Chandler Parsons all take to media socially and via typical forums of radio and print to chastise the cowardly way Jordan dealt with the process.
The After Effects
Chandler Parsons held nothing back when discussing the situation after learning Jordan had chosen to renege on his verbal commitment which ESPN writer Tim MacMahon covered in his article “Chandler Parsons irked by DeAndre Jordan reneging on Mavs deal“.
Quote highlights in the article:
“When a man gives you his word and an organization his word, especially when that organization put in so much effort and I walked him through this process and was very, very open and willing to work with him, it’s just very unethical and disrespectful.”
“I’ll still be friends with him, but I can’t get over the way that he’s put our entire franchise in jeopardy. It’s normal to get cold feet. It’s normal to get second thoughts, but you don’t back out of a commitment of this much magnitude this late in the game and just leave us high and dry.”
For his part Cuban is doing his best to avoid discussing the incident and won’t even mention Jordan by his name. In MacMahon’s article he said Cuban has chosen to not discuss his feelings or what really occurred for now. He further outlined that Cuban offered newly signed free agent Wesley Matthews an opportunity to back out of his deal given the change in the situation, but Matthews declined saying he still wants to be a Maverick.
Suffice to say what Jordan did isn’t illegal but it definitely wasn’t professional either. His choices do seem cowardly and look more like a player who wanted to be treated like he mattered, but used an entire franchise to get the attention he was seeking.
More from Rockets News
- Why Tad Brown is the Rockets’ biggest loss to date
- Rockets legend in awe over Stephen Curry’s level of play
- Rockets fiasco shows importance of Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook
- Houston Rockets: Evan Mobley worth a look at No. 2 in NBA Draft
- Houston Rockets: Ranking the top-five 2021 NBA draft prospects
This whole dog and pony show will no doubt go down in history as one of the most entertaining, but if the Mavericks don’t make the playoffs next season you can bet they will place the blame on one man’s shoulders.
In fact, I’d put good money on the first meeting between the clubs in Dallas will also be the first date to sell out to Maverick fans next season.
Moving forward, this whole saga proved two key things:
1) Social media has entered all aspects of the sports world
2) The NBA moratorium should not allow contract discussion (or announcements), rather they should look to emulate the NFL who set their salary cap and only after that can teams and free agents meet. This is the only way to curb similar issues from occurring in the future.
Then again for fans outside Dallas and Los Angeles this entire event added fodder to the free agency period and gave those of us who cover it more than ample material to entertain you with.
Las Vegas Summer League begins today with 24 teams participating including our Houston Rockets who’ll be in action on the opening night of activities: game time 9PM versus the D-League Select squad.