My Dinner With DeAndre: Jordan Explains Why He Decided To Stay Put With Clippers
It may have been the best coaching performance of Doc Rivers' career. The LA Clippers have a press conference set for 3 p.m. ET (live stream at FoxSportsWest.com), where they will formally announce that DeAndre Jordan is staying put, and not signing with the Mavericks as was expected.
It seemed to have been a done deal last week -- Jordan's agent telling Rivers that the free agent had verbally committed to a four-year max deal with the Mavericks. But upon hearing that, Rivers, Steve Ballmer, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, J.J. Redick and Paul Pierce flew to Jordan's home in Houston last Tuesday and talked him out of it. (Although Griffin says he was already in Houston). And they didn't leave until Jordan re-signed with LA.
They didn't leave until he signed the deal on what would become an infamous, emoji-filled day on Twitter. After verbally agreeing to a four-year max deal with the Mavericks, Jordan made an about-face and re-signed with the Clippers six days later. He signed a four-year max deal worth an estimated $88 million.
Jordan explained himself with a video on the Players Tribune (below). Before the video he wrote:
"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."
— FOX Sports West (@FoxSportsWest) July 20, 2015
It has been one of the most bizarre contract scenarios in NBA history. At one point Mavericks owner Mark Cuban attempted to make contact with Jordan in person, but couldn't obtain his home address. When he texted him, Jordan said he "was on a date." That date turned out to be with Griffin and the other Clippers. Griffin, on The Players Tribune:
At 11:01 p.m., someone came in with the contract papers and DeAndre signed. Manhugs were exchanged. Then we all headed outside to the bus that was waiting to take us to the airport. As I was leaving, I turned to DeAndre. He seemed happy for the first time in a while. I was like, “Welp, that was crazy. At least now you know how much I love you. I ran through LAX like an insane person for you, bro. Let us never speak of it again.”
So what next? For one thing, Cuban now needs a center, and he's the kind of owner who will to to any lengths to get what he wants. The NBA offseason just got more interesting than ever.
From the press conference:
Pierce joking about coming to LA: “Doc wasn’t really influential. It was more Sam Cassell than anybody.” #LAC
— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) July 21, 2015
— Brie Thiele (@BrieThiele) July 21, 2015
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