As if the two teams weren’t already linked to each other in an antagonistic sort of way, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban threw a few more logs onto the fire while expressing his disdain for the Los Angeles Clippers.
Prior to the Mavs-Clippers game Thursday night at the STAPLES Center, Cuban said: “I just don’t give a (expletive delete) 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 deep-rooted immediate past that was the hot-button talk of the NBA this past summer.
It all occurred in July when Clippers free agent center DeAndre Jordan verbally committed to sign a contract with the Mavs. But five wild days — with a lot of controversy — later, Jordan changed his mind and instead decided to re-sign with the Clippers.
That infuriated the Mavs. But over three months later, Cuban downplayed any cat-fighting between he and the Clippers where it pertains to 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.”
Even Cuban and Clippers coach Doc Rivers had some unpleasant words about each other during the summer. Through it all, Cuban said it all provided some comic relief.
“The guy [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.”