TO soften the impact of his decision to renege on an agreement with the Dallas Mavericks and return to the Los Angeles Clippers, DeAndre Jordan produced a video to repair his damaged reputation.
“I felt like I didn’t give it all of my thought. 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 just like everybody else,” said Jordan.
With a running time of three minutes and 38 seconds, the black and white video was produced by Jordan himself for the website The Player’s Tribune and was meant as an answer to the criticism leveled at him after his much-publicized turnaround this summer.
Presented from the player’s point of view, the clip revealed how the 27-year old center from Texas faced a ‘tough decision’ as a coveted marquee free agent who had just verbally agreed to play for the Mavericks.
“I woke up Monday morning feeling like something was missing. Something that I didn’t do, something that wasn’t covered and that’s when I started to have second thoughts. I thought we all made decisions in our lives where we had second thoughts about things and have gone back and addressed the situation,” Jordan began.
Jordan said the most emotional part of the entire process for him after he decided to stay with the Clippers was the knowledge that he had ‘upset and let down a whole different fan base.’
“That definitely got to me,” said the big man who felt that he initially ‘needed change’ and that the Mavericks, which he described as a ‘championship team,’ made ‘a great presentation, they have a great owner, a great coach.’
The ‘great owner,’ Mark Cuban, has since publicly maligned the center every time the topic was raised and rejected Jordan's apology.
Ultimately, Jordan’s history of playing with the Clippers made him stay in Los Angeles, where he averaged 11 points, 15 rebounds, and two blocks per game last season.
“I decided to stay with the Clippers because I’ve been with this team for seven years and being with one team for seven years was definitely important to me. Been here since I was 19, so this is what I know. I love this city. I love the fans. I love my teammates and I love this organization.”
The Houston native recalled how dismal and seemingly hopeless the Clippers were during his first season after leaving Texas A&M University as a freshman.
“When I first got here it was definitely tough. We had a really good team on paper but when I was 19 -- that was how many games we won, we were 19 and 63… we were pretty bad,” Jordan said.
The Clippers’ fortunes began to change after several changes, notably drafting high flying forward Blake Griffin and acquiring All-Star point guard Chris Paul as well as the removal of owner Donald Sterling from the NBA.
“Now we’re a destination where people actually want to come and play and contend for a championship. Just to be with this team and this organization when we were here and then growing every year and getting better, that’s cool to be a part of,” Jordan noted.
At the end of the video, Jordan stated his main reason for staying.
“I want to be a part of that when the time comes where this team is hoisting a trophy. I want to be a part of that. Winning a championship with this group of guys would be… I hate to put it into words, We’ve been through so much… the time we’ve been together. The emotional roller coaster with these guys would be like everything’s worth it and that it all paid off. It will be a great moment.”