It all started when The New York Times’ Howard Beck found that Williams’ decision to re-sign with the Brooklyn Nets over inking a deal with the Dallas Mavericks in free agency came down to Cuban’s actions.
D-Will revealed to Beck that because the Mavs owner was in Los Angeles filming his reality show, Shark Tank, the two were not able to meet face-to-face, a scheduling conflict that had a clear impact on which organization D-Will opted to sign with.
Cuban didn’t seem to take kindly to those comments and floated this quote out to Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News:
I’m a big D-Will fan, but I’m kind of surprised that he would throw his front office under the bus like that by saying that I would make a difference. I would have expected him to say – like I’d expect one of our guys to say – "Hey I’m so thrilled with the front office and the moves we made and our team that it wouldn’t have mattered what he did."
In his brilliant and malicious way with words, Cuban has made it seem like all Williams wanted to do was play in Dallas with Dirk Nowitzki, but had to settle with Brooklyn because it sent some more representation to a meeting.
Regardless, even if the Cubes was fishing for bonito with Chris Daughtry, Jeff Probst and super chef Bobby Flay, he should have cleared some time to meet face-to-face with the coveted free agent.
UPDATE: Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 2:00 p.m. ET
It seems that this verbal battle between D-Will and Cuban is now over.
Deron says he's not talking Cuban or Mavs for rest of the season: "Im not going to go back-and-forth with Mark Cuban."— Stefan Bondy (@NYDNInterNets) October 10, 2012
Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News is reporting that the Nets' star recently revealed that he's done speaking to the Mavs' owner.
It's probably for the best, as their sparring through the press was creating an unnecessary distraction going into the 2012-13 season.
---END OF UPDATE---
While Dallas could have only offered four-year, $80 million deal compared to the five years and $100 million that D-Will agreed to, the former Illinois star would have had a better chance to win a championship in the Lone Star State.
Cuban is a savvy owner who knows how to put together contending teams, while Nets GM Billy King has concocted a roster that surrounds D-Will with decent talent. Joe Johnson will fill the role of second banana, while Gerald Wallace and Brook Lopez are mediocre “stars” that can help win some regular-season games but aren’t going to be raising a banner at the Barclays Center anytime soon.
Because Mavericks president Donnie Nelson and coach Rick Carlisle were unable to alleviate some of Williams’ concerns in person—namely about what happens when Nowitzki retires—it does reflect poorly on Cuban.
There was a chance—albeit minuscule—that Mavs fans could be rooting for D-Will and getting ready watching him play in the American Airlines Center in 2012-13 right now. Cuban blew it by putting Shark Tank ahead of basketball decisions, but he certainly made D-Will look bad for revealing that little secret.
It’s highly doubtful that this entertaining banter between the star guard and brash owner is finished, so keep checking Bleacher Report in the coming days for more updates.