NBA great Shaquille O'Neal was the featured guest at the SMU Athletic Forum luncheon at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas on Wednesday.
One of the hot topics for the four-time NBA champion and 15-time NBA All-Star was the drama involving free agent center DeAndre Jordan and his commitment to sign with the Dallas Mavericks before doing an about-face and opting to re-sign with the Los Angeles Clippers during the off-season.
"Usually when Mark (Cuban) gets somebody down here and they commit, they never change that," said O'Neal, a studio analyst on TNT's Inside the NBA. “Either his family got threatened by some gangsters or something, I don't know. I heard he was coming to Dallas, then I heard he had another conversation with the Clippers."
A big factor in Jordan being able to change his mind after agreeing to join the Mavericks is the moratorium period the NBA has on free agents being able to officially sign their deals after the free agency period gets underway.
"A true businessman would say 'I agree' and sign right away," he said. "That's how I like to handle my business. I don't like to negotiate. I say I'm coming, get the paper out.
"It was kind of strange and unprofessional, especially how he apologized on Twitter. You can't do that. He should have had a conversation with Mark ... said I'm sorry it didn't work out and move on ... It was weird how it happened. I played for 19 years, I've been watching all my life and I'd never really seen anything like that."
The Mavericks will not have to wait long to see Jordan and the Clippers as the teams meet in Los Angeles on Oct. 29. The Clippers come to Dallas on Nov. 11.
"They will probably 'Hack-a-Jordan' all night," said O'Neal. "They are probably going to try and embarrass him."