NEW ORLEANS – All the theatrics surrounding the first American Airlines Center appearance of the season of Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan on Wednesday night isn’t foremost on the mind of Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki.
After Tuesday’s rather embarrassing 120-105 loss to the previously winless New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center, Nowitzki knows the Mavs have more problems to worry about than what type of reception Jordan will receive from the AAC sellout crowd.
"I’m not really worried about DeAndre Jordan right now,’’ Nowitzki said after scoring 18 points in 20 minutes against the Pelicans. "He changed his mind, he changed his opinion in July – that’s freaking six months ago.
"He might get booed. If so, that’s fine.’’
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Jordan verbally agreed to sign a free agent contract with the Mavs on July 3. But he changed his mind and five days later he decided to re-sign with the Clippers.
That infuriated the Mavs, who watched other free agents sign elsewhere while Jordan kept them in limbo. In limbo because Jordan never told the Mavs he was reneging on the verbal agreement he gave to them.
Jordan simply let the free agency moratorium clock expire and re-signed with the Clippers. And he didn’t return any phone calls or text messages from owner Mark Cuban, which the Mavs thought was unprofessional.
"We all changed our minds a hundred times in our lives and in our careers,’’ Nowitzki said. "The way he went about it, I think that’s what rubbed people wrong a little bit.
"The not responding to Cuban any more, and just kind of shut everybody out from the Mavs’ organization. I think that’s what everybody was a little mad at back then. But like I said, that was in freaking July. We’ve moved on a long time ago, and we’ve got a season to play.’’
Small forward Chandler Parsons was the main player who was recruiting Jordan to come and play for the Mavs. The two remain close friends, but Parsons already know what’s going to happen with Jordan at AAC on Wednesday.
The Clippers, meanwhile, decided to cancel Wednesday morning’s shootaround at AAC. Thus, that limits a bit of the attention which would have assisted in hyping this game, which will be nationally televised on ESPN.
"I’m sure he’ll get booed, I’m sure the fans will be aggressive and rowdy, but it’s not about that,’’ Parsons said. "It’s about us playing a very good team that got into Dallas (Tuesday) and is resting and waiting on us.
"So we’ve got to put this one behind us and get ready for tomorrow night.’’
Jordan pulled down 15 rebounds when the Clippers drilled the Mavs, 104-88, on Oct. 29. And with the Mavs (3-4) losing all four of their games by 11 or more points, they realize they’ve got issues that are way beyond Jordan playing his first game in Dallas this season.
"We’re there to win a game,’’ Nowitzki said. "To us players, that’s long over with.
"We’re focused on playing a lot better of a game than we did today, and that’s what we should be focused on. What the fans are doing is their business. I’m sure the building will be loud and fun to play, but we’ve got to make them cheer for us. We’ve got to play better.’’
Dwain Price can be heard every Wednesday from 3-4 p.m. on dfwiradio.com.