DeAndre Jordan made it clear at Los Angeles Clippers Media Day that he would not be distracted by the spectacle of playing the Dallas Mavericks.
“They’re just another Western Conference team we have to beat,” said the 7’1 defensive stalwart. “My only motivation is to win a championship, anything else I’m not concerned about.”
The Clippers played their home opener at Staples Center against the spurned Mavericks team and their owner Mark Cuban, who apparently still has hurt feelings after Jordan rejected his offer to join him in Dallas.
“Look, the Clippers are the Clippers,” said Cuban prior to the game. “You can change the players, you can change the owner, but the Clippers are who they’ve been for the last 30 years.”
One can understand Cuban’s incessant aggravation. The very fact that he scheduled a meeting with Jordan caused Tyson Chandler to bolt for the Phoenix Suns. Chandler was the final piece that solidified the 2011 Dallas Mavericks’ championship defense. Cuban gambled on bringing in Jordan, promising that he’d be the franchise player, but in the end lost out on both big men.
Cuban has had bad luck in getting his man in the past. He similarly failed in snagging Marcin Gortat in 2009 after the Orlando Magic matched the five-year, $34-million offer sheet, despite having All-Star center Dwight Howard. The Shark Tank star couldn’t convince an aging Steve Nash to come in, instead choosing to take less money to play with the L.A. Lakers.
The Clippers drew first blood in the new rivalry, easily disposing of the Mavericks 104-88. Jordan had 15 points and 4 blocked shots in less than 30 minutes. He acknowledged the emotion surrounding the game. But not because the Mavericks were in the house.
“It’s definitely an emotional game,” he explained. “The emotions were high obviously because it was our home opener. We wanted to give the fans what they missed.”
He also gave Mark Cuban and the Mavericks plenty of what they missed.