DeAndre Jordan agreed to a four-year free agent deal with the Mavericks, and shunned a Clippers team that was, by most accounts, much more ready-made to contend for a title in the immediate future.
So, why go? There are two very legitimate reasons.
First off, Jordan would never fully get the praise and recognition that he craved while playing alongside two big-time players in Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. Young NBA players have egos, and that fact undoubtedly played a part in Jordan’s free agent decision.
But so did the reality that he and Paul weren’t always on the best of terms.
On one hand, there was Jordan’s relationship with Clippers All-Star Chris Paul, which sources told CBSSports.com was demonstrably poor. These things are never one man’s fault, but they believe that Jordan’s relationship with the man who got him the ball in LA played a role here.
Paul, like his Staples Center co-inhabitant Kobe Bryant, is among the game’s fiercest competitors, and will ride his teammates mercilessly in pursuit of winning, while prioritizing it above all else.
That act can wear thin on younger players, who want to enjoy the NBA lifestyle more than they necessarily want to win night in and night out, at any cost.
The Clippers locker room wasn’t the most pleasant of places at times last season. And once the opportunity presented itself, Jordan chose an option that wouldn’t harm him financially, but that would provide him with a level of star power and enjoyment that were clearly missing from his current situation.