Nobody saw the Dallas Mavericks’ 2010 championship campaign coming. Nobody. The Miami Heat were supposed to win the title that season. Or the Los Angeles Lakers. Or the Boston Celtics. Or the five-plus other teams that most people consistently ranked above the Mavericks heading into the year. When it was all said and done, though, Mark Cuban and his mishmash of oddly-fitting parts emerged victorious. They proved the doubters wrong.
And then Cuban broke them up.
There were a lot of mixed reactions to the Mavs basically conceding their title defense in the summer after their first championship, but the dissenting voices seemed to be louder than the supporting ones. Cuban’s plan, for what it's worth, was clear. He thought that his squad got lucky (sort of), and he wanted to find a superstar to play alongside Dirk Nowitzki. He didn’t think that team, as constructed, could compete for another title. That’s why he let Tyson Chandler and J.J. Barea leave, and why he didn’t overspend during the summer just for the sake of spending. He saved his money for a run at Deron Williams. (Which ultimately didn’t work.)
It was an understandable strategy, if you agree with the general premise that the Mavericks -- as constructed -- couldn’t compete for another title. Not everyone buys that premise, though. Chandler recently said this much during an interview with the New York Post.
“I’m glad because I’m here,’’ Chandler said. “It’s a great situation. I’m very happy with the situation. I definitely think we had an opportunity to win back-to-back. Unfortunately things were blown up. That’s the business side of it.’’
And on the topic of Kidd coming to New York, one year later:
“I wasn’t shocked because the direction of their organization,’’ he added. “Jason was coming down to the last years of his career. I’m just happy to have him here. There’s great personnel here and he feels like he has another chance to win a championship.’’
Personally, I agree with Cuban’s thought process. Those Mavericks did get (sort of) lucky, and they wouldn’t have won a second title with that roster. He was smart to try to reload with Williams – it just didn’t work out. Either way, he now has plenty of cap space to play with next summer, and he can still lure a max player to town with relative ease.
You can understand why Chandler is saying what he’s saying, but you also have to take his opinion with a grain of salt given the circumstances.
(Kudos New York Post)