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If Dallas Mavericks fans are hurt by DeAndre Jordan’s decision to renege on his agreement to join the team, how you think Chandler Parsons feels? The Maverick swingman was the team’s unofficial designated recruiter in talks with the once and future Los Angeles Clippers center, and he’s also the guy’s friend.
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Now the center in question is turning his back on the Mavericks after refusing to answer calls the team’s representatives sent his way prior to the end of the NBA’s free agent moratorium on Wednesday. And Parsons?
There’s really only one word for it, and if you’re in second grade you’ll get in trouble for using it. He’s pissed.
Parsons: “I’m shocked, very disappointed, frustrated, disrespected. This is something that I’ve never seen in my career, and I know that it doesn’t happen very often. When a man gives you his word and an organization his word, especially when that organization put in so much effort and I walked him through this process and was very, very open and willing to work with him, it’s just very unethical and disrespectful.”
Parsons then went into angry detail about the frantic 48 hours that preceded Jordan’s agreement with the Clippers:
Parsons: “Yeah, he was very randomly responding to me, but he was not responding to Mark at all, which in my eyes is very unprofessional. An owner that bent over backwards, did whatever you said throughout this process and was giving you a chance to be great, I don’t know how you shut him out and close the door on him when he’s in your city and just wanting to meet with you and get a face-to-face with you like you said that you were going to and just completely ignoring you, I don’t know how he did that.
“The kind of guy that he is, the kind of guy I thought he is, would never do something like that. That’s tough for me to swallow, just from the fact that I know how excited Mark was. I know how invested Mark has been throughout this whole process. That’s what I don’t get.
“Be a professional. Pick up the phone. If you’re not going to meet with him, pick up the phone and tell the guy that you’re committed to what you’re feeling, what you’re going through and maybe he can talk it out and help you. But do not ignore the guy. Do not make him sit there and sweat it out. That’s just very unprofessional. I can’t get over that part.”
Chandler then went on to conclude that Jordan “wasn’t ready for being a franchise player,” that “he was scared,” and that while he talked up acting as “tired of being in the shadows” behind Chris Paul and Blake Griffin in Los Angeles, ultimately Jordan’s fear of having to lead a team was too much.
To Parsons, at least. Whew.
Rare do rip jobs from NBA players go on record like this, but even if you support Jordan’s decision to switch back to the Clippers (and we do), Parsons is absolutely correct in housing this much invective. This isn’t even something that is going to fade away in a few months after cooler heads prevail. Guesswork about Jordan’s interest in being a franchise player aside, Parsons was also absolutely correct in his estimation of Jordan’s professionalism. Even Dwight Howard, upon leaving Los Angeles in 2013, at least flew to the city to tell Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak the news in person.
Jordan, instead, sealed himself off from any encroaching Mavs representative while Parsons and owner Mark Cuban had to hear about Jordan’s card games with Clipper teammates while watching as Clipper forward Blake Griffin mocked the whole thing on Twitter. There is something to be said about not wanting to give a team one last chance to convince you away from a tough decision, a reasonable fear on Jordan’s part, but there’s not a lot even a killer negotiator like Mark Cuban can do over a phone call to persuade things. Might as well just give him the courtesy of taking his call.
Parsons went on to accurately describe just how tough a situation the Mavericks are in right now. Had Jordan chose the Clippers on July 3 or even if he had decided to go back to the Clippers just a day or two later, Dallas would have had ample time to formulate backup plans. Those plans wouldn’t have brought in contributors that would be as good as DeAndre Jordan, and there is always a chance (for a franchise that has been turned down by free agents both big and small for four consecutive offseasons) that those plans wouldn’t have been executed in full because of reasons that were out of Dallas’ control.
Technically, this will just be another case of a free agent turning the Mavs down, in the same way that Dwight Howard and Deron Williams did. However, for Jordan to commit to the team in person and then wait until the exact last minute of the free agent moratorium to make his Los Angeles official hurts the team both personally and professionally.
Now the squad will have Dirk Nowitzki, entering his 18th NBA season, Chandler Parsons coming off of what could have been major knee surgery, and Wesley Matthews outfitted with a crazy (even for his grit, talents, and the upcoming salary cap rise) four-year, $70 million deal while recovering from an Achilles tear. Raymond Felton is currently slated to start at point guard, and though the team has some wriggle room under the cap, the blitzkrieg that was the first seven days of NBA free agency means that the cupboard is rather bare right now.
DeAndre Jordan had a right to do what he did. And the Mavericks and their fans have a right to be very, very angry.
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