Written by: Doug Thoreson
Any basketball fan who has been following free agency this off-season was undoubtedly gripped by DeAndre Jordan’s decision last night to spurn the Dallas Mavericks for the Los Angeles Clippers.
In the process, he set off a great controversy, going back on a verbal commitment he had originally made to the Mavericks. This changes the landscape of the NBA, and does serious damage to the Mavericks’ chances of making the playoffs this coming season.
But the real damage here is to DeAndre Jordan’s reputation.
As the off-season began, he was seen as one of the top free agent prizes and regarded as the best center available.
His signing was a coup when for the Mavericks, a game-changer for the franchise. The conversation was plain and simple – he wanted a bigger role, he deserved one, and the Mavericks offered it to him.
And yet, 72 hours later, the conversation surrounding DeAndre Jordan could not have been more different.
The national reaction to the news was now that DeAndre Jordan was childish, immature, overrated – no longer deserving of that bigger role he craved, no longer someone that could be counted on to make decisions in a game, because he couldn’t even make this decision about what team to play for!
In the end, DeAndre Jordan will get to play with the team he seems to have wanted all along – but at the cost of his reputation.
Overnight, one of the league’s most popular players had seen his stock with fans plummet dramatically. His perfidy stands in contrast to some of the greatest stars in sports who choose loyalty and honesty above personal gain.
Ernie Banks once noted that “loyalty and friendship, which is to me the same, created all the wealth that I’ve ever thought I’d have.” Banks is revered by Cubs fans for his dedication and loyalty, despite his Cubs teams never winning an NL pennant. It serves as an example of the importance of being honest in business practices and the public view – the value of which DeAndre Jordan and the Los Angeles Clippers will surely discover this season.
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