Well, this is absolutely insane.
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Five days after DeAndre Jordan agreed to a four-year, $80 million deal to join the Dallas Mavericks, leaving the Los Angeles Clippers well and truly in the lurch, reports began flying fast and furious on Wednesday that the Clippers planned to attempt to lure the 26-year-old All-Defensive First Team center — whom Yahoo Sports NBA columnist Marc J. Spears reports began to have second thoughts about his choice to leave L.A. earlier this week — back into the fold before Thursday, when the NBA's moratorium on negotiating and signing free-agent contracts ends.
Clippers coach and president of basketball operations Doc Rivers is en route to Houston to meet with Jordan on Wednesday afternoon, according to Yahoo Sports NBA columnist Adrian Wojnarowski. He'll be joined by owner Steve Ballmer, according to ESPN.com's Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne. So, too, is Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, fresh off his $25,000 fine for publicly discussing Dallas' agreements with Jordan and shooting guard Wesley Matthews during the moratorium. (As ever, the week and a half-long moratorium period is kind of a joke.)
As coaches and owners began to descend on Jordan's Houston home, players involved in the proceedings began to weigh in. Because this is the future, they did so using emojis.
First up: chief recruiter and Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons, who indicated he'd be winging his way to Jordan's side for a re-pitch:
✈️— Chandler Parsons (@ChandlerParsons) July 8, 2015
Clippers shooting guard J.J. Redick sees your plane, Chandler, and
raises you instead chooses an automobile:
🚙— JJ Redick (@JJRedick) July 8, 2015
The explanation, from Woj:
JJ Redick lives in Austin, Texas and, as his twitter (@JJRedick) indicates, he's been mobilized to drive to Houston to join Rivers' group.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 8, 2015
So! Parsons and Redick — who famously graded the Clippers' offseason as an "F" or "F-minus" after losing Jordan — are on the way. Surely Jordan's close friend and running buddy Blake Griffin wouldn't be making his way to Texas — not after heading to paradise on vacation:
✈️🚁🚙— Blake Griffin (@blakegriffin32) July 8, 2015
OK, so Blake's hopping a plane, a chopper and a car to get in the mix. But what about All-Star point guard Chris Paul, whose frosty relationship with Jordan was cited as one of the key factors in the center's decision to skip town? We know CP3's in the Bahamas, drinking wine and riding banana boats with his fellow All-NBA pals. Surely he's not on his way!
Sources: Chris Paul has returned from vacation in islands, and planned to travel to Peach Jam AAU event in Georgia. But now...Stay tuned.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 8, 2015
There's only one way to know for sure, though.
🍌🚤— Chris Paul (@CP3) July 8, 2015
Personally, I'd be skeptical that you could get from the Bahamas to Houston on a banana boat in time for the end of the moratorium, but then, I don't have CP3's kind of connections.
Making matters even more amazing, Paul Pierce — whom the Clippers added on a three-year, $10 million deal earlier in free agency — either fired off the ultimate Dad tweet or burnished his Internet troll credentials by tweeting A PICTURE OF A ROCKETSHIP EMOJI to indicate that he's also on his way:
Pierce's old man emoji game led to some immediate jokes from his younger NBA compatriots:
Paul Pierce just tweeted with his Game Boy color lol— rudy gobert (@rudygobert27) July 8, 2015
aw man. somebody teach PP bout the extra keyboard with the emojis. sahn strugglin— Kendall Marshall (@KButter5) July 8, 2015
Evidently, the Clippers are bringing the whole gang to lay it all on the line for Jordan:
Sources: Doc Rivers, Steve Ballmer, Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, Paul Pierce and JJ Redick are converging on Houston to meet with Jordan.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 8, 2015
... including assistant coach Mike Woodson, who's swimming his way into the fray:
🏊— Mike Woodson (@MikeWoodsonNBA) July 8, 2015
... and they like their chances of wooing him back:
Sources: Conversations that Clippers teammates have had w/ DeAndre Jordan in past 24 hours give players confidence he'll return to them.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 8, 2015
Absolutely unbelievable. I guess Doc's decision to post up outside DJ's house and get his Lloyd Dobler on really worked.
We go now live to DeAndre Jordan’s lawn. pic.twitter.com/DZ0V5gCa1f— Dan Devine (@YourManDevine) July 8, 2015
Whichever side winds up winning this particular emoji war for Jordan's heart, it seems reasonable to deduce that the defending champion Golden State Warriors — the team both the Clips and Mavs are chasing as they head into next season — aren't sweating it too much. From assistant general manager Kirk Lacob:
🏆?— Kirk Lacob (@klacobprime) July 8, 2015
😉— Kirk Lacob (@klacobprime) July 8, 2015
... and from reserve big man Marreese Speights:
🏆💍— Marreese Speights (@Mospeights16) July 8, 2015
The NBA in 2015 is the most wonderful sort of absolute insanity, replete with every 💯 and 🔥 you can muster.
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