Mark Cuban Shreds Dwight Howard, Says He Made 'Mistake' Joining Rockets

Adam FromalNational NBA Featured ColumnistOctober 31, 2013

Little does Dwight Howard know coming off his 17-point, 26-rebound effort in the Houston Rockets' season-opening win over the Charlotte Bobcats, but he made a huge mistake this summer. 

At least, in Mark Cuban's mind. 

Oct 30, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard (12) reacts after a play during the fourth quarter against the Charlotte Bobcats at Toyota Center. The Rockets defeated the Bobcats 96-83. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sport
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Speaking with ESPN Dallas' Tim MacMahon, the Dallas Mavericks owner said, "Obviously, he made a mistake in judgment. Do I blame him? No, that's what young kids do. They make mistakes in judgment."

I'm curious about what exactly this "mistake in judgment" was. Was it joining the Rockets, or was it not joining the Mavericks?

Chalk this up to Cuban acting like a spurned high schooler who just found out he got rejected by his latest squeeze because she wanted to go to the movies with the starting quarterback. Samuel Dalembert obviously wasn't who the Mavericks wanted to enter the season with as the primary center, yet here we are. 

As Fred Katz wrote on ESPN's 2013-14 outlook for the Mavericks:

The Mavs went from winning a world championship only a few years ago to sending Jose Calderon as their main recruiter for Samuel Dalembert. That's quite a drop-off. Waiting for Dwight Howard didn't work and signing Monta Ellis to a $25 million deal probably won't help.

It's hard to argue that Dallas' offseason went as planned. None of the primary targets were acquired, and the team was left scrambling. 

Yet this unfortunate truth isn't going to deter Cuban from continuing his diatribe, saying, "You choose teams. You don't choose players. If he made a choice off of an individual player, yeah, he made a mistake. You choose teams. You choose organizations. You choose coaches."

Oct 30, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard (12) signals after scoring a basket during the fourth quarter against the Charlotte Bobcats at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports


Last time I checked, the past two championships were won by a team that boasts three teammates playing together because...they chose to play with each other. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh decided to join up as members of the Miami Heat because it was the best place for them to become a Big Three, not because they wanted to play for that specific organization. 

Plus, what exactly makes the Mavericks a superior organization to the Rockets? 

Is it the higher lifetime winning percentage? The extra championships? The fact that Dallas made the playoffs last year while Houston watched from home? The success the Mavericks had luring in marquee free agents like Chris Paul, Deron Williams and Dwight Howard, while the Rockets were unable to land any players with beards or dominant centers?

It couldn't be, since none of those are true statements.

Dallas is a superior organization—which is the tacit claim in Cuban's statements—simply because its owner wants it to be the truth. He thinks, therefore it is. 

Unfortunately for the Mavericks, he still hasn't been able to lure any other superstar players to American Airlines Center, and Dirk Nowitzki isn't going to be around forever. Perhaps that's the biggest mistake of all.