Culver City Observer -

DeAndre Did The Right Thing In The Wrong Way


By Mitch Chortkoff

Sports Editor

DeAndre Jordan was lured to a contract agreement with the Dallas Mavericks by the team’s aggressive recruiting during the NBA’s free agent signing period.

However, the contract couldn’t become legal until July 9 via league rules.

Then the fun began.

Jordan had second thoughts. He was at his home in Houston when he called teammate and close friend Blake Griffin and shared his concerns. Griffin suggested that Jordan should call Coach Doc Rivers.

With a chance of getting back his valuable center Rivers organized a rescue party.

The day before the contract could be finalized Jordan found a contingent of Clippers at his home.

Griffin, Chris Paul, Rivers, owner Steve Ballmer, J.D. Redic and newly acquired Paul Pierce had flown from Los Angeles.

In a few hours Jordan agreed that he’d sign with the Clippers for the next four seasons.

But since the guy had been on the brink of leaving the Clipper group didn’t leave for several hours after the meeting so they’d be there when players were able to formally sign a few minutes after midnight on July 9.

“We were there to make sure he’d submit the agreement,” said Pierce.

Clipper fans and especially Jordan’s Clipper teammates are very happy he’s staying.

But it can’t be ignored that Jordan made a mistake by failing to answer phone calls that day with Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban.

“He never responded that day,” said Cuban. “Not even once.”

Whether you root for the Clippers or not the proper feeling is to feel sorry for Cuban.

With Jordan going back on his word to join the Mavericks so late in the process it left no time for the Mavericks to arrange a deal with another player. That’s not a classy way to handle the situation.

I think the NBA should look into this matter, not to punish Jordan but to make sure a similar situation isn’t repeated next year.

Why was Jordan tempted to leave in the first place? It seemed like he was tempted to become “the man” on another team rather than being the third biggest star on the Clippers.

He was lured by forward Chandler Parsons, who can be real convincing. Parsons entertained Jordan for several months and Cuban thought every aspect of the agreement was in place. But maybe Jordan soon realized he’d be taking on a lot of responsibility as “the man.”

He qualified for a four-year, $80 million contract offer from the Mavericks by being an expert defender, rebounder and dunker.

But he’s a very poor free throw shooter and doesn’t have many offensive moves. Perhaps he wondered how he could live up to expectations of Mavericks’ fans as ‘the man” without a more varied offensive game.

And he’d be on a worse team. With Griffin, Paul and several new reserves the Clippers have recently signed they figure as a serious championship contender while the Mavericks may not even make the playoffs.

As for the Clippers rescuing Jordan they ignored a league-wide gentleman’s agreement that players who had verbally committed elsewhere should be off limits.

It’s hard to blame the Clippers for bringing him back considering how badly they’d be hurt without him.

But Cuban said “I never thought I’d have to guarantee him.”

Well, maybe he should have.


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