Mark Cuban, Steve Ballmer cleared air in ‘frigid’ meeting

Mark Cuban and Steve Ballmer cleared the air in a tense meeting in Las Vegas.
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

By Steve DelVecchio

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban revealed on Wednesday that he met with his Los Angeles Clippers counterpart, Steve Ballmer, during the NBA owners meetings in Las Vegas to discuss the DeAndre Jordan saga. There was some tension at first, but the two were able to work things out.

Through a message to Mavs fans on Cyber Dust, Cuban described the meeting as “more than a little frigid” at first but said the two men eventually cleared the air.

“I told him exactly what I told other owners, I didn’t have a problem with his hail Mary approach to keeping a player,” Cuban wrote, per Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times. “I understood why they did it. And even how they did it. They got their player back. End of story.”

Ballmer was part of the crew that flew to Houston in an attempt to convince Jordan to back out of his verbal commitment with the Mavericks, and it worked. There were some fun rumblings about the Clippers holding Jordan hostage in his own home until he re-signed with the team, but he had made up his mind before the deadline.

Cuban also said he doesn’t have an issue with the NBA’s moratorium period and left open the possibility that his team dodged a bullet by missing out on Jordan.

“Nothing that happened with this deal was the result of the moratorium,” he wrote. “The thing about the NBA is that you don’t know which deals are the good deals and which arrows you avoided till you start playing the games.”

While there are “unwritten rules” about NBA free agency, Cuban would have done the same thing Ballmer did if he was given the impression that he still had a chance to keep one of his better players. We already know from these comments that Cuban is not going to accept Jordan’s apology, but he’d be lying to himself if he pretended Ballmer made the wrong move.

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