Tag Archives: Mark Cuban

The NBA Free Agency Circus, Led by Ringmaster DeAndre

In case you have been on Mars, Pluto, or in a no-Internet zone, you have missed a WHALE of an early free agency period in the NBA.

LeBron is a free agent. Okay, not really. Dwayne Wade is a free agent. Speculation was that he would join LeBron in Cleveland. He did not. He stayed in Miami, the only home he’s ever known. There are countless others who are being courted, or who have already decided where they are going to play. To check out the full list, click here.

  • Kevin Love, off the market.
  • LaMarcus Aldridge, off the market.
  • Goren Dragic, off the market.
  • DeAndre Jordan, off the market. On the Market. Off the market. On? Off?

Jordan’s story is one of intrigue, indecision and reneging on his word.

According to the NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement found hereThere is a specified time that teams can negotiate contracts BUT CANNOT SIGN them.

Each season, the NBA has a Moratorium Period in which teams may hold negotiations, but cannot sign contracts. Limited exceptions to this rule apply to Rookie Scale Contracts with first round draft picks, minimum contracts of one or two seasons (with draft picks and free agents) and acceptance of Qualifying Offers by Restricted Free Agents. The Moratorium Period for the remainder of the term of the CBA will be as follows:

  • 2015-16 July 1, 2015 through July 8, 2015
  • 2016-17 July 1, 2016 through July 11, 2016
  • 2017-18 July 1, 2017 through July 11, 2017
  • 2018-19 July 1, 2018 through July 10, 2018
  • 2019-20 July 1, 2019 through July 9, 2019
  • 2020-21 July 1, 2020 through July 8, 2020

The drama between DeAndre Jordan, the Dallas Mavericks, and the Los Angeles Clippers will surely change the landscape of this agreement. I would be surprised if this is still in effect next year.

In essence, the player holds all the cards. For example, Jordan agreed verbally with the Dallas Mavericks to join them as a free agent signing. He was courted by several Dallas sports icons, including: Dirk Nowitzki, Chandler Parsons, Dez Bryant, Tony Romo, Jerry Jones and others.

Ultimately, it was Jordan’s decision. In the NBA, verbal agreements mean nothing. In business matters, the only things that matter are signed contracts. Even then, they often aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on because of the “renegotiations” that occur.

Let’s say Player A signs a 4-year deal. After one year, he has a monster season and demands more money. He already has a signed contract, a legal, binding document. However, he is allowed to threaten to sit out games or a season if he does not get a new contract. This is where we are in sports. In real life, you would be sued in court for breach of contract.

deandre jordan dunk faceFor the purposes of this article, Jordan’s word was worth a $3 bill. It is within his right to do what he wants. It’s HIS life. His career. What he did to the Dallas Mavericks is both deplorable and juvenile, even for a 26-year-old.

How, you say?

  1. He held the Mavericks hostage, because once he agreed to terms with them, he locked up some $80 million dollars and change. Money they didn’t have to pursue others.
  2. By going back on his word, he hamstrung the Mavericks in every phase of the game. His indecision caused the Mavericks problems in going after other potential free agents. Granted, that was the Mavericks fault for not going after other big men once they thought they had landed their big fish. They let Tyson Chandler go. They let Monta Ellis go. They let Al-Farouq Aminu go. Thinking they got a good big man caused the Mavericks to pause and take a breather, and that will cost them dearly.
  3. His reported refusal to speak with Mavericks owner Mark Cuban to let him know he decided to return to the Clippers was nothing short of childish. As a man, he owed that much to a man who was willing to pay him a LOT of money.
  4. Because of this decision, the Mavericks have not only lost out on Jordan, but the wheels are likely set in motion for Rick Carlisle‘s exit, as well. Carlisle is on record stating that he will not stick around for a rebuilding session.

This is a free country where we are free to choose what we will and will not do. Once upon a time, many moons ago, the Greatest Generation (baby boomers) did business with a handshake. To them, a man’s word was his bond. You did what you said, and said what you did. If you wanted to do something, no contracts were needed. Your word was as good as gold. Not anymore.

Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News
Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News

The days of true team players like Dirk Nowitzki and Tim Duncan are coming to a close. These two men epitomize class and respect for the game. Both men have made a lot of money and left a lot of money on the table so that their respective franchises can compete for championships.

It will be a sight to see when the Clippers visit the American Airlines Center for the first time. It will probably be deafening inside, but not for the right reasons, if you are DeAndre Jordan. In fact, if you were to take a poll in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for most-hated  NBA villians, the following would probably be true:

  1. Los Angeles Clippers
  2. DeAndre Jordan
  3. James Harden
  4. Houston Rockets
  5. San Antonio Spurs

Take a step back for a moment and consider the most recent athlete to experience the ire of the entire DFW Metroplex. Bear in mind that this fan base really isn’t prone to boo. Only after exhausting their hopes and dreams will they resort to booing.

When Josh Hamilton played his last season for the Texas Rangers in 2012, he was by all estimations mailing it in. The strikeouts, jogging in the outfield, and lazy running to first base were all there for the fans to see, yet they did not boo. It wasn’t until he started making excuses for why he was not playing well that the tide started to turn, culminating in a remarkable moment in a game that would determine the 2012 AL West Champion. Hamilton dropped a fly ball in center field for a two-run error that gave the Oakland A’s a 7-5 lead in a six-run fourth inning. To make matters worse, he jogged after the dropped ball, with no concern or urgency. Fan anger began to bubble to a boil.

Then in the one-game Wild Card Playoff, after his awful at-bats where he swung at everything in the air or in the dirt, the fans finally had enough and let the boos loose.

Tim Heitman/USA Today Sports
Tim Heitman/USA Today Sports

As bad as that was, it didn’t compare to the booing he received when he came back to Texas with the Angels after he flippantly stated that Arlington was not a “baseball town.” The booing he received as an Angel was incredible. I was at a game and could not believe it. Not even Alex Rodriguez got that much hatred.

Josh Hamilton‘s experience will pale in terms of what DeAndre Jordan will get. I shudder to think of how that will sound in an enclosed stadium. Heaven forbid if he has to make free throws to win the game. It appears that he did NOT want to “be the man” in Dallas, but is perfectly happy being the “third option” behind CP3 and Blake Griffin.

Right now, I am sure Steve Ballmer, Doc Rivers, and CP3 are all removing their red noses and clown makeup. After all, this is the NBA circus.


Ronnie Garcia is the Voice of Reason at The Scoop. He is also an avid guitarist, educator, and all around smarmy guy. Ronnie co-hosts The Fanatics on Monday nights from 7-9pm on KTSR-db. You can follow him on twitter @TheRonMann.

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Raining On The Ice Bucket Challenge Parade

It takes a special kind of knucklehead to see a hornets nest, realize the worst thing they could possibly do is run head first at it and still lack the common sense to walk away.

So here you go, hornets. Sting away, because I’ve had enough of the Ice Bucket Challenge.

ice bucket waste
Credit: Some Jackwagon Without A Soul

Unless you’ve just time traveled from 1996, you know that 1) the Dallas Cowboys are a pathetic football franchise, and 2) people are falling all over themselves to post videos to Facebook where they dump gallons of ice water over themselves and maybe send some money to the ALSA.

For those of you not nuanced in the fine art of sarcasm, I’m aware that this insanely popular fad has generated $41 million plus and counting in under a month. I can’t even begin to comprehend the flabbergasting nature of that figure, mainly because I continue to underestimate the power of people wanting to see their friends and family (and especially famous people) make asses out of themselves in public.

Usually it would be perfectly fine to question why America has lost its damn mind over the most captivating thing to hit the interwebs since “Chocolate Rain” (too dated?), but this time it’s for charity. So get on board with the madness or get the F out of the way!

Trust me. It’s not a good idea to take the perceived stance that you hope the Ice Bucket Challenge ends up as a headliner at next year’s Summerbash, never to be heard from again as Lou Gehrig’s disease goes uncured.

It will cost you at least 4 followers on Twitter (and probably a few more after this hits The Scoop newsstand), and strangers on your friend’s Facebook thread will toss insults at you while questioning if you ever step out of your mother’s basement to make the world a better place. All this for daring to ask the question, “Has this bit gone too far?”

In fairness to the Twitter followers who abandoned the snark express, I did claim that nothing was being accomplished, but 140 characters doesn’t exactly leave room for clarity and reason.

Thankfully for me, I’ve found others who have been putting in the work of analyzing if Ice Bucketers are a group whose deeds are beyond questioning.

One of the first responses to my hastily worded assault on freedom of expression was a gentleman from the fine state of California bringing up the obvious – yet not so obvious point for some – that dumping 5 gallons of water over your head is a big waste of a dwindling resource. And this guy is an Angels fan, so he knows a lot about wasting resources! Hello Josh Hamilton’s contract…

Jason Ruiz from the Long Beach Post took on the impossible task of calculating how much water has been deposited on the ground as checks are being deposited into the ALS research bank account.

It’s not an astronomical sum, but it’s enough to make you consider ways to cancel out the water you’re throwing down the drain by conserving elsewhere.

So if the water waste isn’t going to cause the lakes to dry up in 2 years as opposed to 10, then what is the real harm?

It all comes down to disposable income, and how much of it is disproportionately flowing to ALS instead of the other wealth of charities that people would otherwise donate to.

QZ.com’s William MacAskill used a lot of fancy words to explain how the amazing boon of money going to ALS is not by default a wonderful thing, and that was before another $38 million rolled in.

Don’t want to believe some egghead? How about the Dallas Mavericks’ owner and Shark Tank’s very own Mark Cuban? Because he doesn’t know anything about the wise investment of money, right?

It turns out that Cubes is also concerned that the massive amount of cash being brought in for ALS has tipped the scales against other very worthy causes that need the attention and money this phenomenon has diverted away.

If you’ve taken part in the Ice Bucket Challenge, you’re probably not some mindless drone sucking at the teet of social media fame with reckless abandon, but you’re also not the Mother Teresa of your time who is about to rid the world of the disease that gave Baltimore Orioles fans something to take their minds off of not winning a playoff series since 1983.

So give jackasses like me the benefit of the doubt that while we may have the nerve to wonder aloud just how great this Ice Bucket thing really is, we do have a soul and a heart that hopes ALS gets its ass kicked off the planet.

We just think there might be a more efficient way to go about it.

 

Dustin Copening is a Sports Contributor for The Scoop. Follow him on Twitter at @PFUtilityMan.


Founder’s Note: As many of you may have witnessed my personal Ice Bucket Challenge video (more like “profanity-laden nightmare of a moment”), you will know that we at The Scoop obviously support raising money for ALS research. I am extraordinarily grateful to those who contributed to my fundraising drive, as well as the many charitable causes that we have supported over the past weeks. While we are all on the same team when it comes to raising money to support others, it is troubling to see how vicious people have become when it comes to dissenting opinions on something as simple as dumping buckets of icewater on our heads. With this subject, much like many sports topics we discuss on social media on a daily basis, there will assuredly be differing opinions. What’s different about The Scoop is that we support all opinions, even the opinion that this mechanism has inherent flaws and can be even better if improved upon in time. Bashing people for having an opinion, even if it is unpopular, is not what we do here. And we don’t support it elsewhere. –Jamie