Mark Cuban Tried to Get Michael Jordan to Sign with Mavs over Wizards in 2001

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 6, 2020

ATLANTA, GA - FEBRUARY 22: Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban watches on from behind the bench during the second half of an NBA game against the Atlanta Hawks at State Farm Arena on February 22, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

Most NBA owners surely dreamed of having Michael Jordan on their team at one point, but Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban actually tried to make it happen.  

Cuban joined 105.3 The Fan on Tuesday and said he attempted to talk Jordan and his agent, David Falk, into signing with the Mavericks instead of the Washington Wizards when His Airness returned to basketball in 2001 (h/t Jason Owens of Yahoo Sports).

"The day he signed with the Washington Wizards to come back, David Falk—that's right when I was buying the Mavs—said, 'Why don't you go meet him?'" Cuban said. "So I went to David Falk's office and all the papers were right there. And I was trying to convince MJ to not sign them and to do something with the Mavs."

Jordan ultimately joined the Wizards and averaged 21.2 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.5 steals over the course of two seasons.

While he was nowhere near the singular force he was in his prime on the Chicago Bulls when he became the most famous athlete on the planet and won six championships, he was also a solid scorer who was likely better than he gets credit for, especially after taking three years off and in his late 30s.

The question remains about what him joining the Mavericks for the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons would have looked like for both him and the team.

For one, he would have been more successful from a team perspective. Dallas reached the second round of the playoffs in Jordan's first season with the Wizards and the Western Conference Finals in his second season.

He likely would have been much more of a secondary option than he was accustomed to being given the trio of Dirk Nowitzki, Steve Nash and Michael Finley, but playing alongside so many talented players would have given him more space to hit his patented fadeaways and mid-range jumpers.

Just playing with a facilitator as talented as Nash would have meant Jordan saw far more open looks.

Perhaps the Mavericks would have gone the extra step in 2003 with a veteran leader like Jordan and reached the NBA Finals. Cuban surely wanted him on the team as it was pursuing a championship.