DeAndre Jordan's round trip: How Clippers star dissed Dallas for L.A. return
Waylan Choy stashed this in P.E. Class
An interesting recollection of this particularly hyped free agency/talent courtship, and overall, a look inside the business of Basketball, with notable inclusions of branded properties and tech media - State of the Game. Is it at all different from Tech, with Cuban and Ballmer at the head of each side? (Do Engineers get yachts and Nobu sushi?)
Actually, it is just like tech. Warriors, Trail Blazers, and Kings owners all made their money in tech too.
"On the first night of free agency, Parsons, Cuban and Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki took Jordan out for a gluttonous sushi feast in a private room at Nobu in Malibu, a few miles up the road from Jordan's house.
Parsons and Cuban landed in L.A. and checked into the SLS Hotel. On Friday morning, they had breakfast with Fegan (also Parsons' agent) at the Polo Lounge inside the Beverly Hills Hotel, then drove across town to Jordan's house in the Palisades. This last meeting was to be the rose ceremony. After months of courtship, the Mavs and Jordan would seal the deal."
Cuban offered to fly Jordan and his family to Dallas to celebrate. Fegan had dropped $30,000 to charter a private yacht, complete with a captain and first mate, to take them anywhere they wanted to go for the holiday weekend. He had done something similar for another client, Dwight Howard, when he was making a huge free-agent decision a few years earlier. Fegan flew Howard to Aspen, Colorado, where he holed up for 48 hours in a luxury cabin before choosing to bolt the Los Angeles Lakers for the Houston Rockets.
"Rivers had started to get wind of what was going on that Sunday night. Jordan started texting and communicating his misgivings through Snapchats and direct Twitter messages with dozens of people within 24 hours of landing in Houston. Word that he was having second thoughts started spreading around NBA summer league in Orlando and Utah. Eventually, it got back to Rivers."
Jordan's agents had sat Clippers executives down once during the season and again right afterward and laid out all his frustrations and concerns. The team had been advised that Jordan had developed trust issues with Paul over the past three seasons and that he wanted a bigger role in the team's offense. He wanted to be the team's third star -- not third wheel.
Parsons and Jordan had exchanged hundreds of text messages and FaceTime calls during that time.
Like most torrid affairs, emotion overwhelms at first. But once the initial excitement wears off, you have to deal with the reasons you started to stray from the marriage.
Nevertheless, when Parsons tweeted an emoji of a plane as if to signal he was going to fly in to help save the Mavericks' cause, all of the Clippers played along.
Redick tweeted an emoji of a car. Griffin tried to throw people off the scent by tweeting that he was in Kauai. Paul poked fun at a picture of himself, James, Anthony and Wade on a banana boat that had surfaced on the Internet by tweeting emojis of a banana and a boat. Pierce tweeted a picture of a clip art rocket that didn't quite make sense but was even funnier because of that.
Like so much of this saga, it was hard to decipher from the outside what was real and what was just part of the rush.
What appeared to the rest of the world to be some sort of hostage crisis inside Jordan's house was actually pretty chill. The team hashed out a bunch of issues they should have dealt with long ago. As she had in her conversation with Rivers, Jordan's mother wanted to make sure there weren't going to be any hard feelings with lasting effects on relationships. Ballmer talked about how often this happened in the business world.
Jordan had decided to return to the Clippers by mid-afternoon. Then they all hung out for five or six hours to make sure he signed the contract after 11:01 p.m. local time.
Parsons and Cuban began to strategize. Parsons would fly back to L.A. on Wednesday, a trip he already had planned, so he would be in town in case Jordan went there. Cuban would fly to Houston on Tuesday night to check on Jordan.
"I drove by his house on Tuesday night, and no one answered," Cuban said. "He texted me saying that he was on a date. I was like, 'Hit me up when you're ready.' That's how we left it at 11:43 p.m. on Tuesday night."
Cuban said he checked into the Westin Galleria hotel and waited for word from Jordan, which never came. Jordan, of course, was out with Griffin and had already invited Rivers, Paul, Ballmer, Redick and Pierce to his house the next day.
Why didn't Cuban just go to the house and knock on the door?
"What do you think I'm going to do? Cowboy it up and kick the door in?" Cuban said. "Come on. That's not how you do business."
"Looking at different situations and being recruited, sometimes you can get enchanted with it all," Rivers said. "There's nothing wrong with that. But you also have the right to look at it again and change your mind. That's what he did, and there's nothing wrong with that as well."
The rest of the world didn't see it so kindly. Parsons criticized Jordan and said he felt "disrespected." Cuban blasted Jordan for not having the decency to take his calls and explain himself.
Eventually, Jordan issued an apology over Twitter, but Cuban didn't buy it.
"When is an apology not an apology?" Cuban said via Cyber Dust. "When you didn't write it yourself. Next."
In the end, it's difficult for anyone involved to know which parts of this strange saga were real. The text messages were misleading at times. Griffin was Google-searching images of a chair blocking a door, and a lot of people who saw it thought it was the inside of Jordan's house. Even the emojis were illusory.
On Saturday in Las Vegas, Cuban dismissed the idea that Jordan had committed a breach of etiquette.
"I pick my nose at the table. I don't give a f--- about etiquette," Cuban said. "It's not about etiquette. Look, guys, s--- happens, right? This is business. This is the real world. You move on. There's lots of guys that haven't played for the Mavericks that are in the NBA."