As if the two teams weren’t already linked in an antagonistic sort of way, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban threw a few more logs onto the fire while expressing his feelings for the Los Angeles Clippers.
Before Thursday night’s game at the Staples Center, Cuban said: “I just don’t give a [darn] about the Clippers. You can change the owner, you can change the players, but the Clippers are who they’ve been for the past 30 years.”
Of course, the Mavs and Clippers have a past that was the hot-button talk of the NBA this past summer.
In July, Clippers free agent center DeAndre Jordan verbally committed to sign with the Mavs. But five wild days later, Jordan changed his mind and re-signed with the Clippers and infuriating the Mavericks.
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Three months later, Cuban downplayed any in-fighting between he and the Clippers concerning Jordan.
“When people say this is fighting words, I’m always fighting,” Cuban said. “I don’t need any extra motivation.
“I’ve lost billion-dollar deals, and in the big scheme of things, we’ve had other free agents that we thought we were having. It just wasn’t as public. Guys who we thought were coming that changed their mind at the last minute. They just hadn’t announced it.”
Though Cuban and Clippers coach Doc Rivers had some unpleasant words about each other during the summer, Cuban said it provided some comic relief.
“[Jordan] plays for another team,” Cuban said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a D-League team or a whatever team.
“There was some comedy involved in it, and I appreciate all the comedic effects, particularly from Doc. But it’s just another game, just another team. It’s not as much fun as picking on San Antonio, it’s not as much fun as picking on the [Houston] Rockets. They’re still the Clippers.”