Mark Cuban is well aware of the water-cooler conversation: Do the Mavericks owe it to Dirk Nowitzki to trade him if the franchise goes into full-fledged rebuilding mode? "I'm not going to trade him," Cuban said Tuesday on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM's Ben and Skin Show
But what if Nowitzki requested to be moved to a contender for the twilight of his prime? "Maybe I’d have the conversation," Cuban said. "But I know Dirk; he wouldn’t."
Cuban’s initial comment about Kidd during his hour-plus-long appearance Tuesday on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM’s Ben and Skin Show... Cuban quickly left himself a little wiggle room, but he’s clearly perturbed about Kidd signing with the New York Knicks after committing to return to the Mavs. “I was more than upset,” Cuban said. “I thought he was coming. I was pissed. … “J. Kidd is a big boy; he can do whatever he wants. But you don’t change your mind like that. That was … yeah. I’m sure I’ll get over it at some point, but as of now, I wouldn’t put J. Kidd’s number in the rafters.”
Kidd called Cuban, but Cuban did not take the call because he was in a Washington, D.C. museum with his family. Cuban learned later that Kidd had changed his mind and agreed to go to the Knicks for the same money. Cuban admitted that Kidd’s decision “hurt my feelings” because he thought they had developed a strong relationship and that the 39-year-old point guard was committed to the organization. “He’s a good guy, but I just thought that was wrong,” Cuban said. “You can’t put a guy’s number in the rafters when he decides he doesn’t want to be there.”
On the other hand, Cuban said he would consider retiring the No. 31 worn by Jason Terry, who signed with the Boston Celtics this summer after the Mavs declined to match a three-year, midlevel-exception offer. Cuban praised Terry for being “honest” and “straightforward” throughout the free agency period. “Putting somebody up in the rafters, that’s something sacred in my mind,” Cuban said. “You don’t just do it just to do it, to have a big ceremony, to sell tickets. You haven’t seen me decide yet. I go back and forth on Derek Harper all the time, but Harp will be up there before J. Kidd will. “I’ve always said my prerequisite was that you played on a championship team for the Mavs. I’d say Jet’s got a shot, Dirk’s an obvious, but as of right now I wouldn’t put J. Kidd up there.”
Mark Cuban: Dirk Nowitzki wouldn't ask to be traded - Dallas Mavericks Blog - ESPN Dallas
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Mark Cuban Explains The Death of A Champion
The Dallas Mavericks were one of the top feel-good stories of 2011 for a number of reasons. First, they beat the NBA’s new villains from Miami in the NBA Finals, endearing the Mavs to the hearts of seemingly every basketball fan outside of Miami. Second, that championship team featured some veterans like Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, Jason Terry and Shawn Marion, who were all deserving of hardware to show for their years of NBA excellence. Finally, it was the first championship in franchise history for the Mavs, and it’s always great to see a first-time winner get a banner.
Since then, however, things have not gone as well for the Mavericks, though their owner says he believes is long-term plan is coming together.
“It’s kind of been according to plan, believe it or not,” Mark Cuban explained on the Ben and Skin Show on ESPN radio. “We went for it, we went out and signed older guys, tried to make sure that their contracts kind of expired at the same time, knowing that they weren’t 21. They weren’t even 31. So, we knew that we couldn’t have the same guys playing forever. We went for it, we won, it was amazing, and then there’s the big changes with the CBA and, honestly, I didn’t think we were going to have a season last year. We kind of hodgepodged it together based off of that.”
It’s been less than a year since the new CBA was adopted, and yet people are already wondering what it really accomplished. Cuban has been quite vocal in saying that the new CBA didn’t solve the big problems, and maintains that stance.
“We certainly didn’t achieve all we needed to achieve. I’ve said it multiple times that in the old CBA, financially, teams were drowning in 10 feet of water, now we’re drowning in two feet of water. It’ll be interesting. Obviously, the Nets just went out and spent a boatload of money. It’ll be interesting to see if that works for them or against them.”
What the Mavericks hodgepodged together when the new CBA dropped into place fell well short of expectations, losing in the first round of the playoffs last season. Still, Cuban takes issue with those who suggest be blew up a championship team.
“As much as you want to think that everything’s going to fall just the way it fell for our championship run, look at the Lakers. They won two and then they got swept and then they blew it up and now look at them. You’ve got to be realistic and recognize that, A, it’s going to be tough to keep all the pieces, and, B, if we would’ve kept all the pieces, that’s our team for a long, long, long time. While it really, really sounds good to think, ‘Yeah, we kept them together,’ well, you look at Detroit. They went to the Conference Finals six years in a row, won one time and, in my opinion, because they tried to reward their guys for having gotten them there so many times, where are they at in the conversation today?”
The big hope for Mavs fans this summer was that the team would land free agent point guard Deron Williams, who met with Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle and GM Donnie Nelson before choosing to return to the Nets long-term.
“Obviously I had a conflict, but I was texting him,” says Cuban of his absence from the meeting. “We were going back and forth quite a bit. … Maybe [I could have made a difference being there], because I always think I can close a sale, but in hindsight I don’t know if I would’ve been happy. I think we’re in a better position now than we would’ve been in if we would’ve gotten him.”
The Mavs were between a rock and a hard place in attempting to sign Williams, as giving him a max deal would have cost the Mavericks most of their ability to make any other roster moves.
“I don’t want to pick on Deron Williams, because he’s a great, great, great, great player. So it’s not necessarily him per se. The conversation we had was, OK, once you take and add $17.1 million in salary to what we have, then what do you do? That’s your squad, and it’s not just your squad for this year, it’s your squad for next year. … So, that was a challenge that we had, because we want to win, and everyone talks about Dirk’s window. Not only would it have been difficult to add players, it also would have been difficult to trade players. In reality, that was the same problem that Deron had.”
As things stand, the Mavericks are a bit of a hodgepodge team heading into 2012-13, as well, and it will take quite a performance from players like Chris Kaman, Elton Brand and Darren Collison if the Mavs are going to keep their 50-win season streak alive and make the playoffs in an ever-tougher Western Conference.
Dallas Mavericks and Orlando Magic expressed interest in (CSKA Moscow big man) Andrey Vorontsevich this summer. Vorontsevich admitted that it was a hard decision, but still decided to stay home.
?ia gyvena krep?inis, ?ia krep?inio namai - Basketnews.lt
So how much longer will Dirk Nowitzki stick around? He answered that question -- sort of -- during a Q&A session with fans on Twitter Sunday afternoon. Nowitzki, who uses the Twitter handle @swish41, told a fan that he'd play two more seasons "for sure" and then "see how I feel." Nowitzki has two more years left on his current contract with the Mavs, which expires when he'll be 36 years old.
When asked if he was still friends with Jason Terry, Nowitzki replied, "yep. Fam for life. We won chip together. Wish him well in boston." He also called ex-Mavs Steve Nash and Michael Finley his "homeboys." He said Kobe Bryant is the best player he's faced in the NBA. He'd be a rockstar or a painter if he wasn't a basketball star.
Dirk Nowitzki says on Twitter he'll play two more seasons, then 'see how I feel' | Dallas Mavericks News - Sports News for Dallas, Texas - SportsDayDFW
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