But Jordan apparently could’ve spent his post-Bulls years with another team.
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban on 105.3 The Fan:
The day he signed with the Washington Wizards to come back, David Falk — that’s right when I was buying the Mavs — and David Falk said, “Why don’t you go meet him?” So, I went to David Falk’s office, and all the papers were right there. And I was trying to convince MJ to not sign them and do something with the Mavs.
The story doesn’t exactly line up. Cuban bought the Mavericks in January 2000. The Wizards also hired Jordan as president and sold him a share of ownership in January 2000. But Jordan signed to play for Washington in September 2001.
Did Cuban try to get Jordan in the front office or on the roster?
The Mavericks were rising with Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash. Dallas could have used another wing next to Michael Finley. Jordan could have fit well in the starting lineup.
Of course, a good fit on paper wouldn’t have necessarily translated onto the court. Jordan had the stature to commandeer the offense. Maybe he would’ve been less likely to do that if playing with the Mavericks’ talent. But this was still Michael freaking Jordan. He was used to everything running through him.
If Cuban tried to hire Jordan for the front office, there would have been even more room for peril. Jordan’s personnel record, including with the Hornets, is pretty poor. At least he was still a good player during his second comeback.
I’m sure Cuban would’ve enjoyed associating himself with Jordan. But Cuban might be better off with this “what if?” story.