Re­gret­ted de­ci­sion

Clip­pers Jor­dan apol­o­gizes for free-agency ‘fi­asco’

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS -

DeAn­dre Jor­dan thought the Dal­las Mav­er­icks of­fered ev­ery­thing he wanted, in­clud­ing a fresh start and a star­ring role.

Then Jor­dan thought about it some more, and the cra­zi­est freeagent re­cruit­ment story in re­cent NBA history ended with him back on the Los An­ge­les Clip­pers.

“When free agency started, this whole fi­asco was not my in­tent,” Jor­dan said Tues­day.

Jor­dan cel­e­brated his 27th birth­day at Sta­ples Cen­ter with the Clip­pers, proudly hold­ing up the re­vamped ver­sion of his fa­mil­iar No. 6 jersey along­side new team­mates Paul Pierce and Josh Smith.

Yet Jor­dan re­al­izes he nearly de­railed the Clip­pers’ ti­tle hopes and def­i­nitely dis­rupted Dal­las’ re­tool­ing plans by back­ing out of his ver­bal com­mit­ment.

The two-time NBA re­bound­ing cham­pion changed his mind af­ter days of ex­is­ten­tial angst and a fran­tic trip to Hous­ton by the Clip­pers’ lead­ers to sit out the fi­nal hours of the sign­ing mora­to­rium to­gether.

Jor­dan knows he picked an aw­fully weird way to stick with the same team, but he re­gret­ted the de­ci­sion to join the Mavs shortly af­ter mak­ing it.

“Orig­i­nally with Dal­las, I thought I wanted change,” Jor­dan said. “I wanted a big­ger role and more re­spon­si­bil­ity, and I was ready to em­brace and ac­cept that chal­lenge. But (when) I got by my­self and I was able to think about ev­ery­thing that just hap­pened, I re­al­ized that be­ing with the Clip­pers was the best de­ci­sion for me.”

Jor­dan has spent his en­tire seven-year ca­reer with the Clip­pers, who have made four straight play­off ap­pear­ances for the first time. Af­ter decades of in­com­pe­tence, they’ve be­come one of the NBA’s elite teams with Jor­dan, Chris Paul and Blake Grif­fin lead­ing the way un­der coach Doc Rivers.

Jor­dan de­cided he had to find out how this story ends.

“I re­ally thought about be­ing on one team for my en­tire ca­reer,” said Jor­dan, who agreed to a fouryear, $87.6 mil­lion deal to re­turn. “That was re­ally im­por­tant to me.”

The Clip­pers re­tooled their ros­ter af­ter their sec­ond-round play­off exit this spring – even if it would have meant much less if the big man had left a hole in the mid­dle.

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