DeAndre Jordan took coward's way out, leaving Mavs in ruins

ESPNAPI_IMG_NO_ALTEXT_Value

DeAndre Jordan had every right to change his mind, put his family first and renege on his commitment to join the Dallas Mavericks.

But he took the coward's way out, refusing to accept phone calls from the Mavs' front office or his good buddy Chandler Parsons. Nor did he return text messages or tell owner Mark Cuban face-to-face why he changed his mind -- a decision that will take the Mavs years to overcome.

Emotionally, this franchise might never recover from Jordan's decision to re-sign with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Every MFFL -- Mavs Fan for Life -- has the right to boo him as long and as loud as they can until the day he retires.

If you're old enough to remember, the Mavs drafted Kiki Vandeweghe with the 11th pick of the first round in 1980, but he didn't want to play on an expansion team. The Mavs traded him six months later, and Mavs fans booed him literally every time he touched the ball for years.

Jordan should be prepared to get the same treatment. At least the Mavs acquired a couple of first-round draft picks in the Vandeweghe deal.

Jordan left nothing but a wrecked franchise. How wild is that? A few days ago, the Mavs felt good about their two-year plan to build a legitimate contender.

Now, the entire franchise is in disarray because a 26-year-old free agent changed his mind.

Without Jordan, who led the league in rebounding last season, the Mavs are a raggedy team with no assets worth mentioning. It's the worst place a franchise can find itself, because it can no longer sell hope.

Bad teams such as the Boston Celtics that have a ton of assets -- young talent or No.1 draft picks -- sell hope to their fan bases. Even awful franchises such as the Sacramento Kings or the Philadelphia 76ers can sell hope because they have young players with potential.

The Mavs have ignored the draft for so long, they don't have any young assets.They must rely on free agency to replenish their roster because they either can't draft good players or they can't develop them.

The Mavs won't make the playoffs next year, and we have no idea when they'll make it again.

Their entire offseason was built around getting Jordan, which they did. The problem, of course, is his commitment lasted just five days.

Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised. Maybe Donnie Nelson and Cuban and Parsons, their chief recruiter, were so busy chugging champagne, smoking stogies and congratulating each other that they didn't ponder what it meant that Jordan never made a single public statement pledging his allegiance to the Mavs.

Not that it matters.

This franchise had a heck of a 15-year run, but it's over. Jordan was supposed to be the link to the future, a piece the Mavs could build around.

Instead, he'll forever be known as the man who destroyed the franchise.

The Mavs essentially let center Tyson Chandler go to Phoenix because they went all in on Jordan, which made sense considering he had been linked to the Mavs for months.

After all, he was a Texas kid who played high school and college ball in the Lone Star State. And in Dallas, he could have been the team's focal point, a star if you will.

That's never going to happen with the Clippers, where point guard Chris Paul is the face of the franchise and Blake Griffin is a star.

Jordan could've been The Man in Dallas once  Dirk Nowitzki retired. Still, Dirk's selfless approach would've allowed Jordan to get all the shine he deserved this year.

He took a similar approach with Monta Ellis, because Dirk's secure with his legacy, and winning is all he cares about.

All that's left now is for the Mavs to rebuild. That means a team that has not finished below .500 in the 15 years since Cuban bought the team must lose at least 50 games next season.

Sixty losses would be even better.

Boston gets Dallas' pick unless it's in the top seven, which means the Mavs need to be as awful as they can possibly be to secure the highest pick possible.

They don't need to acquire center Roy Hibbert or any other average center who will help them win too many games. Losing must be the Mavs' top priority for at least the next year.

The sad days have arrived. It's your right to boo Jordan forever.