In the words of Mark Twain, the news of the Clippers’ demise were exaggerated.
What Cuban doesn’t understand is this. Even though DJ had some issues at LAC, namely with CP3 being an overbearing jerk sometimes or DJ not having a bigger obvious role offensively, there were other things that trumped those.
Even though he was projected to be picked as early as the 10th spot in the 2008 draft, he was passed over by everyone. He was a great athlete with poor fundamentals and was unpolished. Clippers are the ones who took a chance on him and picked him 35th overall, a rather low pick.
In 2011 he almost left the team for Golden State but in the last minute the Clippers matched the Warriors’ offer and kept DJ. He spent his entire career in LA and practically grew up with the team. Later he was joined by another rookie, a freaky athlete, Blake Griffin, and they instantly bonded.
Bonding is something that Cuban either doesn’t understand or want to enter into the equation. When soldiers go to battle they bond for life. The Clippers have been through several seasons of absolute adversity. The last few seasons when they finally left their perennial cellar position and began to make the play-offs, real adversity began. In battling against Memphis, Golden State, OKC,San Antonio and Houston, the Clippers went through hell and back. Their biggest battle, though, was their hellish experience with Donald Sterling and the season-long scandal that beleaguered them through no fault of their own. They became battle hardened soldiers who won some and lost some. It’s hard for any of soldiers who go through so much adversity for so long to leave the company. That invisible bond has been the Clippers biggest asset in winning DJ back.
On top of that, this short free-agency period has been an opportunity to air out issues and put everything on the table. Now that DJ has made his point, that he wants more touches, that CP3 at times stepped on his toes, whatever issues he had with the organization, they are all now on the table and can be worked on. It is likely that whatever team someone is on eventually they will have issues, and the Mavs wouldn’t have been any different. It’s normal that when people work together tensions arise and they’ll just have to work through them. This was perhaps the worst possible way of putting the issues on the table but still, better late than never.
Anyone who has every left a job in which they were wanted and well-paid knows how hard it is to leave the familiar and move to another, likely and uncertain one. One has to uproot oneself and go being to run roots elsewhere. People do it all the time but it’s not easy unless the upside hugely trumps the heartache. Dallas is a fine organization but it’s a team at the tail end of its glory and has to build its strength back up. You may get lured in with the promise of more touches but at what cost? How many years would you have to wait until Dallas is a contender? Once you’re considered the number one option you are on the spotlight. There is prestige that comes with it, but there is also a tremendous amount of pressure and frankly, DJ has a problem with pressure. His free throwing in practice is average but once he’s in a real game situation with thousands of eyes focused on him his free throwing goes to hell. That tells you all you need to know. Some people thrive in the spotlight and some people don’t like their weaknesses paraded. As the third offensive option, DJ was not as much in the spotlight as the other two, but even then he had to step up to the free throw line often, and it was not pretty. As the number one option, that issue magnifies. Those who think that the move to Dallas is going to somehow magically solve that problem are mistaken. In LA he was shielded from part of that pressure. As a number one option the opposite happens. DJ did well in LA exactly because of the situation he was in. Change that dynamic and he might actually do quite poorly. Imagine him in the Dallas uniform losing games through his free-throwing at crucial moments and being booed by the home-crowd. As much as you may not want to, that’s a very real possibility and quite likely. In short, the move was not right for DJ, at least not this year.
The Clippers snatched DJ from the jaws of defeat because DJ’s bond to his buddies is stronger than Cuban’s jaws.
Billionaire businessman and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban poses in this undated publicity photograph for his new reality television series “The Benefactor” as he gets ready to give away $1 million to a complete stranger. The series premieres on the ABC television network September 13, 2004 with sixteen contestants from around the country who will vie for the money in a competition of dramatic challenges, tests of character and intelligence. NO SALES REUTERS/Craig Sjodin/ABC/Handout
But here is an alternate theory: Doc kneeled and sang a song for Jordan: Jordy Come Back! http://wp.me/p2wEfU-2I
P.S.: Those who think the NBA commissioner can magically strike down this deal and just hand DJ to Dallas need to do their homework. The commissioner neither has that power nor the desire. Just because the commissioner did that to the Lakers in the CP3 deal doesn’t mean the commissioner can do the same here. In the CP3 deal, Chris paul belonged to the Hornets. You may not remember that the Hornets had actually been taken over by the NBA and thus Stern had the power to overturn the deal acting as the owner of the team. The NBA has no such ownership over DJ. Case closed. Stop your fantasies.
Earlier: NEWSFLASH: NBA cancels season, hands trophy to Spurs: http://wp.me/p2wEfU-1T