Outside of a few posts on Twitter, DeAndre Jordan has remained relatively quiet since backing out of his verbal agreement with the Dallas Mavericks to re-sign with the Los Angeles Clippers two weeks ago.
Early Tuesday morning, Jordan finally broke that media silence by writing a blog post on “The Players’ Tribune,” where he admitted he struggled with the “intense pressure” of free agency.
“As everyone knows, I struggled with it. It was nine or ten days of intense pressure. Every night I would have a different scenario in my head, of the city and team where I thought I would fit best,” Jordan wrote. “I had several meetings with teams and even more conversations with my family and friends. I kept thinking about what it really meant to be ‘home’ and I would go back and forth.”
In a video accompanying the blog post, Jordan says he initially considered backing out of his verbal agreement, and return to the Clippers Monday morning — just three days after he committed to sign a four-year $US80 million contract with the Mavericks:
“I woke up Monday morning feeling like there was something missing, something that I didn’t do, something that wasn’t covered. And that’s when I started to begin to have second thoughts. I feel like we’ve all made decision in our lives where we’ve had second thoughts about things and have gone back and had to revisit a situation. And I definitely feel like this is one of those times for me.”
In a separate post on “The Players’ Tribune,” Clippers power forward Blake Griffin claims the entire “fiasco” was actually “super boring.” Griffin said he was already in Houston having dinner with Jordan Tuesday night — before the emoji-filled scene took place Wednesday — and he was initially there to just talk and console his friend.
The next day, Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, and several players, flew to Houston to meet with Jordan at his home. Griffin says the news reports floating around that the Clippers were “holding Jordan hostage” were overblown, and, in actuality, the majority of the evening wasn’t spent barricading the doors and windows, but rather watching TV and playing video games.
“To be honest, the whole thing was pretty boring. It was like a super laid back family party,” Griffin wrote. “Some people were watching TV. Some people were playing video games. After a while, I hopped in the car and drove aimlessly around Houston for an hour just to kill time. When I got back to the house, we were sitting around waiting for 11 p.m. so DeAndre could officially sign.”
By changing his mind, and backing out of his deal with the Mavericks to re-sign with the Clippers, Jordan had spurned Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and forward Chandler Parsons in the process. In the immediate aftermath, Cuban refused to refer to Jordan by name, and Parsons described him as “scared” and called the whole ordeal “unethical and disrespectful.”
While he praised Cuban, and coach Rick Carlisle, Jordan admits he didn’t truly give it “all of his thought” when he agreed to join the Mavericks, and says he regrets letting down an entire franchise upon reevaluating his decision.
“The most emotional part of the entire process was when I decided I was going to stay because I knew I had to upset, and let down, a whole different fan base, and that definitely got to me,” Jordan said. “At the end of the day we’re basketball players and these great athletes, but we’re also human. And we make mistakes, we have emotions and feelings just like everybody else.”
Jordan will answer questions from the media Tuesday afternoon when the Clippers hold a press conference for Jordan and their other notable free agent acquisitions, Paul Pierce and Josh Smith.
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