By now you know the story. Big fish free agent DeAndre Jordan was all set to get out of L.A. and sign with the Mavericks. But he got cold feet, changed his mind,
and will now did re-sign with the Clippers. It's safe to say that a lot of people in (and around) Dallas aren't happy with this decision. One of those people is a free agent Dallas acquired last year, forward Chandler Parsons, who recruited the hell out of Jordan to get him to sign with the Mavs only to have the rug pulled out from under him. In an interview with ESPN.com Parsons was very straightforward about his thoughts on this most gripping of offseason dramas. Here are a batch of highlights we selected from the transcript:
First, Parsons intimated Jordan was scared to be the guy, saying:
"Maybe he got nerves about being a franchise player and having the pressure of leading a team. He’s very comfortable in L.A. He can play behind Chris Paul, play behind Blake Griffin."
When asked if the friendship between himself and Jordan could endure this flip-flop, Parsons said:
“Um, you know, it’s … He’s a good dude and I am friends with him. We did develop a really good relationship and we got close over the last few weeks. I just think the decision was much bigger than that. It was something that he wasn’t ready to handle."
Before adding a knife twisting:
"He’s complacent in L.A., and I think that was a safer bet than for him to make a big decision and branch off and go do his own thing. He was probably nervous. He was probably scared."
While making sure everybody knew that Jordan was "still a good dude" and he's not a bad person for choosing to play in a different city in a game that is (at the end of the day) ultimately meaningless, Parsons still said:
"This decision was just way too big for him and he wasn’t ready to be a franchise player.”
He also stated that Jordan's switch really put Dallas' nuts in a bind in terms of what they accomplish during this offseason:
"That’s the worst part. He put our entire franchise and our team in a really, really tough spot. We put all our eggs in the DeAndre Jordan basket and we had a commit from him [...] Every day since he committed and every day before he committed, guys were coming off the board. It’s slim pickings now. That’s the hardest part."
“Personally, I’m OK. That’s not what it’s about. It’s about next season. We had a chance to be really good. We went with DeAndre Jordan, and now we have no other options because he decided to change his mind at the last second. This has nothing to do with me being hurt with how he decided to go back to the Clippers. It’s bigger than that.
“He put our team in jeopardy. Everything we’ve done this summer has been surrounded by him, and then at the last second, he’s going to do that. That’s what I’m upset with.”
Parsons (like Mark Cuban before him) seemed pretty annoyed at the way Jordan treated the Mavs owner like a buddy who you don't really want to hangout with. On the subject of Jordan ducking Cuban's texts, Parsons said:
"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."
And then, seconds later, added to that by saying:
“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.”
Still, possibly the best line from Parsons' (quite frankly, refreshingly honest) interview was this:
"We did everything that we could. We had a verbal commitment from a grown-ass man."
And finally he concluded by not mixing words. Actually, he didn't mix words at any point in the interview. So, let's just say in his final answer he really didn't mix words...if that makes any sense. When asked if there was any last thing he wanted to add he stated:
“He wasn’t ready for being a franchise player. He was scared. 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.
“I don’t think he made a mistake. I think he’ll be good in L.A. He’s got a good team, he’s got a great point guard, he’s got Blake, but I think he could have been a superstar in Dallas. He could have been the man in Dallas. Never in a million years did I think that this was even a possibility.
“I’ll still be friends with him, but I can’t get over the way that he’s put our entire franchise in jeopardy. It’s normal to get cold feet. It’s normal to get second thoughts, but you don’t back out of a commitment of this much magnitude this late in the game and just leave us high and dry.”
Parsons' words aren't going to change anything in the DeAndre-Mavericks saga at this point. That ship has sailed. But if nothing else, let us hope that this ushers in A.) A truly great rivalry, and B.) More athlete interviews like this in the future.
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