DeAndre Jordan has been the biggest sports headline of the summer – but probably not in the way he expected. The highly coveted free agent who’s played the last seven seasons with the L.A. Clippers, decided this summer to jump ship and head to the Dallas Mavericks. He was courted by Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Mavericks player Chandler Parsons who wined and dined him until all parties thought they had a done deal.
But NBA rules require a moratorium before contracts can be officially signed and in that time, Jordan says he started having second thoughts. That led to one of the funnier off-season controversies (well, not to Cuban and Parsons) as Jordan’s coach, Doc Rivers, Clippers owner Steve Ballmer and his teammates all rushed to his Houston home on the eve of the signing deadline. Cuban, to whom Jordan apologized to over Twitter (but apparently not personally) was floored, as were Mavericks fans.
Parsons, who thought he’d made a new friend, was understandably upset. But Blake Griffin, Jordan’s close friend on and off the court, might have had the most fun of all, posting pics to Twitter of him supposedly blocking the door of and then camping out at Jordan’s house.
Now, in a piece for The Player’s Tribune, Jordan says he really just didn’t know what to do and that the pressure to make a decision was hard to handle. He writes:
Let’s just say that free agency wasn’t what I expected it to be. I thought it was going to be fun. I thought it was going to be like when I got recruited during college. But as it turns out, deciding what your future is going to be like is mostly a headache. For a second, the attention felt good, but after you think about everything and get out all the glitz and glamour from the process, you kind of start to think about what’s really best for you as a player and as a person — on and off the floor.
As everyone knows, I struggled with it. It was nine or ten days of intense pressure. Every night I would have a different scenario in my head, of the city and team where I thought I would fit best. I had several meetings with teams and even more conversations with my family and friends. I kept thinking about what it really meant to be “home” and I would go back and forth.
Well, as we all know Jordan landed back in #LobCity, as a L.A. Clipper. Cuban and Mavericks fans were upset that Jordan stopped responding to Cuban especially after all the work he’d put into trying to get Jordan in Dallas. His Instagram is full of comments from disgruntled fans upset with the way he handled the situation.
Jordan says a rumored rift between him and Clippers point guard Chris Paul was part of his decision to leave the Clippers in the first place but he says that the two have have gotten over any competitive differences. Although he is a native Texan, Jordan felt that ultimately it was a better decision to remain in L.A.
Jordan explains more about his decision, sure to go down in NBA history as one of the most unpopular ones since LeBron James moved to Miami, above.