Hours after Mavericks owner Mark Cuban detailed how he was at the Jordan’s front door to secure their verbal deal, Jordan asked for forgiveness for changing his mind to stay with the Clippers.
“I want to publicly apologize to one of the best owners in the world @MCuban, the @DallasMavs and their fans,” Jordan said in a Twitter posting late Friday.
“I am humbled by @DallasMavs and @MCuban kindness and understanding. I am sorry to have a change of heart.”
Cuban made his first detailed comments about the matter in a blog posting earlier Friday after Jordan backed away from an agreement to join Dallas on a four-year deal worth $80 million to return to the Clippers.
“Through all of Monday we were texting back and forth discussing players available, the amount of cap room we had left. Who our staff liked. Who he (Jordan) liked. How excited he was,” Cuban said.
“Then on Tuesday the communications basically stopped and we started hearing rumblings from multiple people that something was up. So I flew down to Houston.”
The Clippers were making a late push to keep Jordan as LA teammates, team owner Steve Ballmer and coach Doc Rivers sought to change his mind about the Mavericks move.
Cuban revealed he had walked up to the door of Jordan’s home only to find he wasn’t in.
“So I texted him saying that I was there. I know something is up. Let’s talk. He texted me that he was on a date,” Cuban said. “I told him to have fun … He didn’t respond.
“After about 10 minutes I went back to the hotel. I wasn’t going to sit in front of his house. I didn’t think that was right. When I got back to the hotel I texted him that I wasn’t in front of his house. Have fun on his date and we will talk. He hit me back immediately saying thanks.”
But Cuban knew the deal was in trouble and that Jordan, who averaged 11.5 points and 15 rebounds last season, might be slipping away.
“I knew something was up,” Cuban said. “I was getting the same reports everyone else was.”
– ‘Unethical and disrespectful’ –
Now the Mavericks are scrambling.
Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons told ESPN that Jordan going back on his word was “unethical and disrespectful” while Cuban tried to move on and reminded fans that 37-year-old German star big man Dirk Nowitzki remains, although this likely would have been a pass-the-torch season had Jordan come to Dallas.
“We have this big tall German who is pretty good,” Cuban said. “He’s still around.”
ESPN reported that Brooklyn guard Deron Williams was hoping to be released in order to return to his hometown Mavericks.
And Dallas did sign a deal with guard Wesley Matthews, who turned down the chance to back out after Jordan’s reversal when Cuban made the offer.
Dallas also obtained a center, Georgia’s Zaza Pachulia, in a trade with Milwaukee for a second-round NBA Draft selection. Pachulia averaged 8.3 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 73 games last season. – Agence France-Presse