By: Adam Pasternak
Last night the Los Angeles Clippers blew out the Dallas Mavericks 104-88, but there was so much more to the game than just the score. This past summer Clippers centre, DeAndre Jordan, was a highly touted free agent. He had many teams trying to sign him, including the Mavs. At one point this summer it was actually reported that Jordan and the Mavs had verbally agreed on a 4 year $88 million deal, but a few days later Jordan had second guesses about the change of scenery. This led to the controversial courting where it was reported that Doc Rivers, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin all went to Jordan’s house and apparently did not let him leave until he re-signed with the Clippers. It was even reported that it was Doc Rivers’ daughter who convinced him to stay (I wonder how….wink, wink). Now, we will never truly know what exactly went down that night, but whatever they did worked. DeAndre was able to get out of his verbal agreement with the Cuban and the Mavs, and returned to the Clippers on a max deal. This signaled the start of an epic NBA rivalry.
Both teams have very vocal owners, to say the least, and they both like to be the centre of attention. Steve Ballmer bought the Clippers for a record $2 billion in a time where the Clippers and their fans needed a saviour from Donald Sterling. His loud and outgoing personality changed the environment of the Clippers for the better, and he’s done nothing but good things for the team thus far (other than maybe the jerseys). Cuban is also extremely outgoing, but in a more opinionated way. He’s allocated over $1.3 million in fines over his career as an owner, and he hasn’t really seemed to slow down. He is clearly still bitter about the whole DeAndre Jordan situation and quite honestly, he has every right to be. He thought he had signed Jordan and then Jordan basically just told him, “Sorry. I changed my mind” and that was that. I would be angry, and I think most people would be too if that were them. He and Ballmer differ in their approach to situations, Cuban is more honest and tells it how it is, while Ballmer tries to please everyone, which gives him a better image than Cuban. When people think of Mark Cuban, their first thought usually isn’t, “Oh what a nice man. He carries himself extremely well!” It’s usually more along the lines of, “Ugh, Cuban is an idiot”. Cuban chirps players from his seats, chirps opposing players mother’s (as seen with the whole Kenyon Martin and Denver Nuggets ordeal) and it doesn’t give him good publicity. He’s got to realize that he’s not just a fan anymore; he’s an owner, and that job comes with many requirements. One requirement being that he can no longer go to games and act like the average fan, meaning he can’t just chirp players and say what’s on his mind like he would if he went to games as a regular fan. But that’s his personality; his “shtick”. That’s just what he does.
The highlight for me last night wasn’t even the game on the court itself but the “Kiss Cam”….yes, the “Kiss Cam”. I don’t think I even have to set this video up. Just watch, and enjoy:
Even though Cuban played nice, it was clearly all an act as this morning, he was quoted saying that he, “…doesn’t give a s— about the Clippers.”
The harsh reality in this whole thing is that Dallas can’t even back up Cuban’s comments because they really aren’t on a level anywhere close to where the Clippers are. L.A is going to contend for a championship this year and Dallas will be lucky to even make the playoffs. Dirk is getting older and they have injuries to essentially all their star players – Wes Matthews, Deron Williams and Chandler Parsons. It should be interesting to see how the rest of their matchup’s against each other this year will play out. I’m exceptionally excited for their next meeting as it will take place in Dallas this time. Like he did when Michael Finley returned with the opposing Spurs many years back, I’m sure Cuban will get the whole arena to boo and chirp Jordan. It’s going to be something to behold.
What do you think about the rivalry? Is it good, or bad for the NBA? Does it even matter? Comment below!
Make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter!