In case you were wondering, no, Chandler Parsons and DeAndre Jordan are not okay after the latter spurned the Dallas Mavericks for the Los Angeles Clippers.
Jordan agreed to join the Mavs, then flip-flopped, leaving Mark Cuban’s team in shambles. They have cap space but no one to spend it on. Roy Hibbert has already been traded to the Los Angeles Clippers. Dirk Nowitzki is another year older. Wesley Matthews and Parsons are coming off major surgeries. Jordan was supposed to be their future, their cornerstone. Instead, he went back to the Clippers, to be the No. 5 option in their starting lineup.
But it’s not even his decision that cuts to the core. It’s the way he went about it, apparently evading both Cuban’s and Parsons’ overtures on Wednesday, hours before he was supposed to put pen to paper on a deal. And, well, that pissed Parsons off.
Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas talked shop with an impassioned Parsons on Thursday, and Dallas’ forward was incredibly candid.
Housekeeping note before we begin: Those of you who read me know damn well I hate aggregative articles that provide next to no text or analysis in addition to work they’re gleaning from others. But special times call for special measures here. There’s a lot of juicy tidbits in the above article, so we’re going to pull the best ones and move quickly. I highly recommend you read the entire thing on your own, though.
Anyway…Parsons went for the jugular right off the bat:
“This is something that I’ve never seen in my career, and I know that it doesn’t happen very often,” Parsons told ESPN.com on Thursday. “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.”
The whole saga really is odd. Agents are supposed to handle the nuances of these talks, but Jordan had been in direct contact with Parsons specifically for a while. To completely ignore him as he changes his mind is just, ya know…yeah.
Why would Jordan do such a thing?
Well, according to Parsons, he was a coward:
“He wasn’t ready to be a franchise player. He was scared,” Parsons said. “He was scared to take the next step in his career. There was no other reason other than that he was comfortable and he has friendships there. How you make a business decision like that is beyond me. How you ignore an owner like Mark who is in your hometown just waiting for a chance to talk to you is beyond me.”
Though, to that point, Jordan was all about being an offensive focal point and a franchise’s primary superstar before. That he shifted course so abruptly is definitely bizarre.
Parsons may call it cowardice, but I have my own theory:
*DJ agrees to join Mavs, wants to be featured scorer* [Practices hook shots, baby jumpers & FTs] *DJ decides he doesn't want to join Mavs*
— Dan Favale (@danfavale) July 9, 2015
Now, if you’re wondering whether Parsons and Jordan will ever be friendly again, Parsons made it seem as if he wouldn’t hold a grudge.
Then again, he kind of made it seem like he would hold a grudge:
“The kind of guy that he is, the kind of guy I thought he is, would never do something like that,” Parsons said. “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.”
This whole thing is just crazy. Totally, utterly, completely, wholly crazy.
On the one hand, Jordan had every legal right to do what he did. And it’s not like teams don’t exploit every rule, every possible loophole, at their disposal. On the other hand, teams don’t pull this we-want-you-oh-wait-no-we-don’t-peace-out-fool stuff.
The Clippers aren’t in the wrong, not so long as DJ reached out first. And the Mavericks have every right to be pissed.
It’s DJ who’s most at fault.