November 17, 2015
Howard Eskin went on the WIP Morning Show, and as Eskin (Howard, that is) is wont to do, he spent part of his appearance bashing the Sixers. That plane is still cruising at 30,000 feet.
Before Mark Cuban spent Dallas’ 92-86 win over the Sixers cheering for his team/commenting on the officiating behind the Mavericks’ bench, he apparently spent some time with Eskin. Today on WIP, Eskin told Angelo Cataldi and the morning team that he asked Cuban about the Sixers. Of course, he did. From Andrew Porter of CBS Philly:
“I talked to Mark Cuban last night and I said how do you like what this team does? ‘They have no idea what they’re doing,’ is what he said to me.”
Let’s assume that is true. It would hardly be the first time someone in NBA circles expressed skepticism about the Sixers’ plan. There is no argument from here that Cuban’s stewardship of the Mavericks since 2000 has been excellent, even if he inherited perhaps the greatest shooting forward of all-time. They have been good in the ultra-competitive Western Conference forever.
Mark Cuban is also good for the NBA, mostly because he’s interesting and unafraid to speak his mind. So does it matter that a super smart and rich guy doesn’t think the Sixers are rebuilding correctly?
Nah, not even a little bit. In fact, Cuban and the Mavericks’ history since the 2010-11 season is evidence of that.
That year, the Mavs caught lightning in a bottle, made a million 3s, rode that wave to the NBA Finals, and toppled LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and the Miami Heat in triumphant fashion. It was awesome. He responded by breaking up that team right after winning the title, trying to use free agency to build around an aging Dirk Nowitzki ever since, and striking out at the highest level (even if he got screwed by DeAndre Jordan and the NBA’s moratorium period this summer).
Dallas will likely fork over their first-round pick to Boston this season thanks to last year’s disastrous Rajon Rondo trade. Nowitzki is 37-years old, and the Mavs only have long-term money committed to a guy who is predictably struggling coming off an Achilles injury last season in Wesley Matthews.
Was Cuban wrong to break up that title team? Not necessarily, it just didn't work out as well as he might have hoped.
Cuban will have a ton of cap space in the next few years as the cap explodes, so he and the Mavericks shouldn’t be counted out. Heck, I know that I would want to play for him. But you know who will also have a ton of cap space on top of a bunch of high draft picks and future goodies that Cuban and the Mavs don’t possess?
The team that apparently doesn’t know what it’s doing.
Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann