Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Rehashing radio gold with Mark Cuban
By Marc Stein
It's been a long week since the Texas Legends played their D-League home opener. LeBron James went back to Cleveland for the first time. The NBA bought one of its own franchises for the first time by taking over the New Orleans Hornets from George Shinn. L-o-n-g week.
And that's why I haven't been able to go back and listen to some of the clips from last Tuesday night's Legends broadcast on 103.3 FM, when Mavericks owner Mark Cuban sat in with Ben Rogers, Skin Wade and I for a good quarter and a half.
If you missed the interview -- I'll leave it to Ben and Skin to keep telling everyone that it was life-changing radio -- here is a handful of Mavs-related highlights:
Should the Mavericks consider renting Carmelo Anthony's services next summer?
Cuban on his willingness to trade for a star player entering his free-agent summer ... although he wouldn't bite on repeated attempts by the interviewers to get him to identify Carmelo Anthony by name:
"It just depends on who the guy is and what we'd have to give up. [But] we'll play rent-a-player, no question about it."
Cuban responding to ridiculously transparent questions about Anthony, such as when Ben asked if the Mavs specifically covet a star free agent-to-be known to cope well in altitude:
"It depends what you have to give up. You don't want to decimate your team. ... The flip side of it is that we have confidence in the organization that, no matter who it is that you bring in, we're going to be able to convince him to want to stay."
"The one thing he would do [with the Mavs] that was a problem [was that] he would hesitate. He would try to line guys up and that slowed him down and created problems for him. [At the D-League level] he feels a lot more confident obviously, so he's just goin'. He's just blowin' and goin' and not hesitating. And that's what we want to see. We want him just get back to the Dojo we saw in college, which is not to hesitate and just play his game."
Cuban on whether Jones' jumper will ever be good enough for him to develop into an impact player:
"You know, I've noticed how it's hurt Rajon Rondo. And it took Derrick Rose a couple years to fight his way through, but he's managed to survive.
"I think he'll work on it and he'll get better. But it's just part of the process."
Cuban on how Jones reacted when told he was joining the Nancy Lieberman-coached Legends:
"He just wants to play. That's more frustrating to him than anything. He's talked to the guys, J. J. [Barea] went through it and other guys have gone through it. So I don't think he sees it as a problem. Plus he's playing with NBA-quality guys. He's not playing with a bunch of scrubs."
Cuban on how seriously Dallas is looking at shooting guard Rashad McCants as a prospective signee, with McCants unexpectedly coming off the bench for the Legends largely because Jones is there on assignment:
"We wanted to see Rashad. [We know] he can shoot. Now we've just got to see how focused he is. Is it important enough for him to come out here and work on both sides of the court? As opposed to, 'I'm just going shoot, it's going to go in and then I'm going to wave to the crowd.' "
Cuban on the recent one-game suspension of Mavs center Brendan Haywood after a blowup at a shootaround in San Antonio with coach Rick Carlisle:
"I've gotta give Coach credit and [Mavs president of basketball operations] Donnie (Nelson) credit, because it wasn't my first inclination to do what ended up happening. But Coach sat down and explained it to me -- it only took about five minutes -- and I was like: 'OK. Your call. You and Donnie do what you think is right.' They did it, we stuck to the rules exactly, no ifs and or buts about it. And that was it."
Cuban on the Mavs' reaction to beating Miami at home on Nov. 27:
"I will say this: One of the conversations we had in the locker room ... just BS-ing: 'OK, what would you do down in Miami?' If they had Jason Kidd, they would have none of these problems. None of these problems whatsoever.
"Are we gonna let them [have Jason]? No we're not. We're not putting him out there by any long shot. ... [But] Jason would take complete control of the ball and make sure everybody got their shots where they needed 'em.
"And he'd also take the responsibility of dealing with the coaches and communicating with the coaches. He's just a leader on the court like that."
Cuban on LeBron choosing not to give greater consideration to playing in Dallas, where he could have teamed with the aforementioned Kidd and Dirk Nowitzki: