Sports

Cuban’s two-year plan wasted Dirk’s best years

Mark Cuban’s plan is now a two-year plan, which means it originally was a four-year plan, which, when you break down all of the campaign hyperbole, means it’s nothing more than a giant waste.

If Cuban’s plan was pitched on his hit Friday night TV show, Shark Tank, the Sharks would banish him to Celebrity Apprentice.

Sorry, Dirk.

You deserved better.

On Tuesday, Cuban appeared on the Mavericks flagship radio station — ESPN/103.3 FM — where he safely stated: “We want to be a championship team. We’ve never said we have to be a championship team this year.”

Sure glad he cleared that up: Who wants to be a championship team this year?

Apparently Cuban graduated from the DeLoss Dodds’ School of Lowered Expectations so we’ll appreciate the good times.

The two years since the Mavs won their championship have successfully made us appreciate the good times, like the playoffs, relevance and a capable starting center (sorry, I can’t let that one go).

They also have reinforced something that simply should never be taken for granted in the NBA — their superstar.

Since Cuban entered the league, he had Dirk Nowitzki, a player so good he alone made the Mavs competitive. Few teams ever have a player of this caliber, and now Nowitzki’s final years are anchored by the notion his boss is smarter than everyone else. Sure hope he is right.

Which brings us back to Cuban’s words of wisdom: “We want to be a better team, a top-seed team. If we get the top free agent, that doesn’t leave us a whole lot of flexibility to add a lot of players, but we have a good nucleus around them. We know we’ll have a good team, but we won’t know if we have a great team. If you look at this like a two-year plan, then we think we’re on a track to have a great team by the end of next year.”

This is the biggest pile of revisionist history since Jerry Jones tried to get us to believe he was the architect of the ’90s Cowboys dynasty.

Cuban gambled big that, when the league’s latest collective bargaining agreement came into full effect, teams without flexibility would be in serious trouble. He may be right, or there may be just enough owners who don’t care and will accept the salary cap tax to keep together a nucleus of high-priced players.

The problem was not only to get here he had to flush two of Dirk’s best seasons, but he’s chasing ghosts. The money is no good if the guys can get more elsewhere, or play in a prettier place.

This two-year plan talk ignores that the initial reason to clear the cap space was not for this year’s free-agent class of Lakers center Dwight Howard or Clippers guard Chris Paul but rather Deron Williams.

But that didn’t work because Williams didn’t want to take less, even to sign with his “hometown” team.

What D-Will didn’t know was that Cuban “never really wanted him in the first place,” which is why the Mavs offered him a contract. The players you don’t want you offer deals.

Now the Mavs are banking that the final two best years of the best player they have ever had will be aided by another free agent who probably is not coming here.

When the Clippers elected not to bring back coach Vinny Del Negro, it all but meant that CP3 could pick his coach, and that he would stay with LA’s “other” team.

That leaves Howard, whom the Mavs are going to go all in to land.

All it’s going to require is for Howard to take $30 million less to leave Los Angeles, Calif., for Dallas, Texas.

The sad part is, from a money standpoint, what Cuban did was right — the Mavs would have been dumb to commit big dollars to Jason Terry, J.J. Barea or DeShawn Stevenson. Notice I didn’t say Tyson Chandler.

Being tied up to stupid contracts — such as the max deal the Nets gave D-Will — is hamstringing.

The sadder part is from a basketball standpoint what Cuban did was sports tragic: He wasted two of Dirk’s best years to chase ghosts.

Hope he can bag one, but the smarter money is to assume this two-year plan is as bad as the four-year plan.

Even the Sharks on Shark Tank would laugh this one off the set.

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