Texas Two-Step

Jor­dan’s change of heart re­ver­ber­ates through NBA

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Doc Rivers gave a quick an­swer when asked about DeAn­dre Jor­dan com­ing back to the Los An­ge­les Clip­pers.

“He never left,” the Clip­pers’ coach said. Tech­ni­cally, that’s true. In ac­tu­al­ity, many – the Dal­las Mav­er­icks most as­suredly in­cluded – would prob­a­bly dis­agree. The fall­out from Jor­dan’s Texas two-step al­ready had some say­ing Thurs­day the way the league han­dles the off-sea­son mora­to­rium that dou­bles as a fren­zied free-agent shop­ping pe­riod needs to change go­ing for­ward.

The mora­to­rium, a dead-pe­riod of sorts is in place in part so league of­fi­cials can have time to crunch all the num­bers from one fis­cal year and set a salary cap for the com­ing sea­son, will surely be a hot topic now at NBA meet­ings next week in Las Ve­gas. The Na­tional Bas­ket­ball Play­ers As­so­ci­a­tion said it fully sup­ports the right of both play­ers and teams to con­sider their op­tions dur­ing the mora­to­rium, which is sched­uled to last 11 days next year.

“Ev­ery­body re­al­izes it’s some­thing that has to be looked at,” Brook­lyn gen­eral man­ager Billy King said.

Jor­dan for­mally re-signed with the Clip­pers on Thurs­day, end­ing one of the strangest sagas in re­cent free-agent history. He ver­bally com­mit­ted to the Mav­er­icks on Fri­day, word be­came widely known he was wa­ver­ing when a Clip­pers con­tin­gent ar­rived at his Hous­ton home Wed­nes­day for what ap­par­ently was a last-ditch push to keep him, and the Mav­er­icks lost their man.

A hand­shake deal, in this case, was no deal.

“We all walk into these con­ver­sa­tions un­der­stand­ing that as with any busi­ness con­tract, it’s not a deal un­til the pa­per is signed,” union spokes­woman Tara Greco said.

In Dal­las, owner Mark Cuban was pre­dictably un­happy. He got fined $25,000 by the NBA ear­lier in the week for rav­ing about what Jor­dan would mean to the Mav­er­icks – he vi­o­lated a rule of the mora­to­rium by talk­ing about a player who wasn’t un­der con­tract - then wound up not get­ting the deal signed.

Cuban turned to so­cial media to vent, never men­tion­ing Jor­dan by name.

“I don’t think the time is right to say any­thing be­yond the facts that he never re­sponded to me at all yesterday,” Cuban wrote on the Cy­ber Dust mes­sag­ing app. “Not once. To this minute I have not heard any­thing from him since Tues­day night.”

That was one of the big­gest talk­ing points around the league on Thurs­day: It wasn’t so much that Jor­dan changed his mind, but ap­par­ently no one ac­tu­ally told the Mav­er­icks when the rest of the NBA world seemed to be fol­low­ing it in real time on Twit­ter.

Rivers flatly said “no” when asked if Jor­dan should have told Dal­las of his change of heart. Not ev­ery­one agreed.

“I don’t see any­thing wrong with chang­ing your mind, but you need to be a man and just tell them why you de­cided,” Mi­ami guard Go­ran Dragic told The As­so­ci­ated Press.

It’s im­pos­si­ble to say how much of a domino ef­fect Jor­dan’s last-minute flip im­pacted free agency for fran­chises and other play­ers. If he had an­nounced early he was stay­ing with the Clip­pers, teams – in­clud­ing the Mavs – may have changed their free agent strate­gies.


DeAn­dre Jor­dan re-signed with the Los An­ge­les Clip­pers on Thurs­day.

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