In this summer’s NBA free agency, there were only two players that warranted considerable media attention. The signing of LaMarcus Aldridge to the San Antonio Spurs after leaving the Portland Trail Blazers went exactly as predicted. Aldridge returns to his home state of Texas and will play beside — and eventually replace — future Hall of Famer Tim Duncan and keep that San Antonio dynasty rolling. With the Spurs re-signing 2014 NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and two-time NBA All-Star Manu Ginobili, and the free agency signing of David West from the Indiana Pacers, things look awfully good in Texas right now. The Spurs organization gets an A+ for landing LaMarcus Aldridge, retaining talent and adding new pieces to its team.
While things look more than promising in San Antonio, you could still say that something is rotten in the state of Texas. A ridiculous amount of drama went down in Houston, the hometown of our next player. Seriously, I’ve never seen anything like it before.
The Los Angeles Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan was the second-best big man available in this summer’s NBA free agency. It is well known that Jordan did not get along with Clippers teammates last season, point guard Chris Paul specifically. He was pursued by many teams but verbally agreed to a four-year $81 million deal with the Dallas Mavericks on July 3. But guess what? Jordan will return to LA next season, and for three more after that. Players can make verbal agreements with teams starting on July 1, the first day of free agency, and can officially sign on July 9 after the free agency moratorium is over.
In between verbally committing to Dallas and eventually re-signing with Los Angeles, there was a flurry of twitter emojis and one massive change of heart. Jordan ended up going back on his word with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, a move that left Mark Cuban reportedly driving around Jordan’s hometown of Houston looking for him on the eve of the moratorium deadline.
Jordan is within his rights to rethink his decision before signing anything, which is the whole point of having a moratorium period. However, it rarely ever happens. So rare that this indecision sent shock waves through the league and sent Mark Cuban’s blood to boiling temperatures. DeAndre Jordan picked the better team at the end of the day. That rejection is something that Cuban and his organization are going to have to get over.
Jordan is public enemy #1 in Dallas, and a hero in LA. Such is the life of a professional athlete. Look for the NBA Front Office to capitalize on this new rivalry with a carefully scheduled Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Clippers match up early on in the season, possibly an opening night tip-off.
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