Last night I had the opportunity to witness the Clippers’ first visit to American Airlines Center in Dallas since the Great DeAndre Jordan Free Agency Fiasco of 2015. This date had been circled on my calendar since that fateful night this summer when Twitter emojis and rumors of a scorned Mark Cuban driving aimlessly around Houston briefly took over our collective lives. I knew the AAC would be electric, and a late-arriving crowd didn’t disappoint. The few that were there pre-tip off even booed DJ in warmups as he practiced clanking free throws. Here was his official introduction:
As the game got underway, we were amused that each time DeAndre touched the ball he was booed mercilessly. I was even more amused when another fan in my section lamented that he doesn’t really touch the ball all that much, so he couldn’t boo as much as he wanted. See DJ, you could have been the centerpiece here in Dallas!
For the record I think Jordan made the right decision for his career to stay in L.A., he just made it in the most clumsy fashion imaginable and hurt Dallas’ chances to land another big free agent in the process. But as the crowd booed every rebound and post up from DeAndre, it got me thinking of the irony. Perhaps Dallas dodged a bullet with Jordan’s change of heart. They aren’t going anywhere this season anyway. How much better could they have been with DeAndre? Not enough to make much of a dent in the West, and while he would have boosted Dallas’ porous defense, his one-dimensional offensive game doesn’t seem to fit the mold of a Rick Carlisle attack. I looked to Twitter for backup on these jumbled thoughts and it delivered. Here’s a tweet from Eric Freeman that perfectly captured the irony that was unfolding before me:
Eric Freeman (@freemaneric)
Mavs fans just cheered the failed DeAndre Jordan post-up that was supposed to be the focus of their offense.
The fans left happy as Dallas pulled out a close victory, led by Dirk Nowitzki’s 31 points. It was an impressive win for the Mavs, in what may amount to the highlight of their season. DeAndre and the Clips have bigger fish to fry, but for one night Dallas had the last laugh.