Mark Cuban does not like the NBA lending its players for international play.
He especially made sure his prize offseason acquisition – Chandler Parsons, who tried out for Team USA’s World Cup roster – knew the score:
“Like Dirk, I can’t stop him,” Cuban said in an email reply to ESPNDallas.com. “It’s his decision.”
Cuban said he did not specifically tell Parsons that he didn’t want the small forward playing for Team USA after signing a three-year, $46 million deal with Dallas. Cuban didn’t think it was necessary and isn’t allowed to pressure players to not play international ball.
“He knows how I feel,” Cuban said.
Now we know Parsons’ version of the conversation. Michael Florek of The Dallas Morning News:
Parsons said Cuban told him not to play.
"He made that clear to me," Parsons said. "He did. He’s great. If there’s any issue or any conversation that needs to be had I’m having it with Mark. … He obviously told me how he felt. He told the world how he felt about his guys playing for USA basketball. But at the same time he understood it was something that I was really passionate about and it was something that I really wanted to do.
The NBA’s agreement with FIBA, according to Marc Stein of ESPN, stipulates NBA teams can prevent players from participating in the World Cup only with a “reasonable medical concern.”
There’s a fine line, one that might not matter given that Parsons tried out for the team anyway – and also got cut. But I’m also sure Adam Silver wants to avoid an owner violating the agreement.
Did Cuban directly tell Parsons not to play? That’s paraphrased in the article, though not quoted directly to Parsons.
And if Cuban said that, does it matter? Can an NBA owner tell a player not to player if he doesn’t enforce it?
It’s also possible, as Cuban intimated, he danced around the issue by sharing his views with Parsons and not specifically telling him not to play. The real account could just be getting lost in a game of telephone from Cuban to Parsons to Florek to us.
Silver should poke around and make sure Cuban didn’t jeopardize the NBA’s agreement with FIBA, an organization that ensures its teams around the world don’t poach NBA payers who are under contract. But I suspect nothing will come of this.