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Just Stop: Deron says Cuban's absence helped Nets' cause

Deron Williams

Credit: Getty Images

Deron Williams rejected the Mavs this summer. And he now says Mark Cuban's absence at a meeting with Mavs brass helped sway him. (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images)

by CHUCK PERRY

WFAA Sports Blogger

Posted on October 8, 2012 at 6:22 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 8 at 6:25 PM

Is it possible to beat a dead horse and twist the knife at the same time?
 
Today, New York Times writer Howard Beck tweeted that “Mark Cuban's absence at meeting helped cinch"(we understand, Howard... you were phone-tweeting) Deron Williams' decision to remain with the Nets. Much has already been written on this subject so the whole situation does not bear repeating -- but some quick thoughts:

The Quote 
 
Is Deron serious?  Yes, the question was leading. But according to this report from the New York Daily News, Williams was put off by Cuban not being there to “answer a lot of [his] questions.” You can see the video here.
 
Really? How long would it really take Cuban to text Williams from the set of “Shark Tank?” (It’s reported that the two were in contact.) If Cuban was genuinely concerned that his absence would have an effect on the proceedings, he likely would have been there. 
 
But was it really about ‘answering questions,’ or was it something else?
 
Feelin’ the Love
 
Williams makes a subtle, but telling, comparison in the report above: 
 
“Of course (Cuban’s absence had an effect),” Williams said. “My top four when I was coming out of high school was Illinois, Georgia Tech, Tennessee and Maryland.
 
“Maryland told me they wanted me to come on a visit but Gary Williams wouldn’t be there. So I told them, ‘It’s okay. I’d rather not go.’ So that was that. It’s similar.”
 
Grammar issues aside, this suggests a desire to feel wanted that is often cited by athletes during the recruitment.  If Williams wanted the show, the involvement of upper-management and the sentiment of feelign wanted, then Dallas dropped the ball.  But what if this is a way to avoid admitting it came down to money? 
 
Squandered Strategic Advantage 
 
Regardless, I mentioned this at the time, and it bears repeating now. Cuban’s absence from the meeting represented a squandered advantage for Dallas. The Mavericks benefit from having not only one of the smartest owners in the NBA, but also one of the most passionately-involved.  His absence from the Deron pitch meeting undermined both of those reputations. 
 
This is the second reason Deron has cited for not choosing Dallas. First it was the acquisition of Joe Johnson. Now it seems that Cuban’s absence is the latest excuse for taking a longer contract, more money, and the city of New York over Dallas.
 
Ultimately one can go back and forth ad nauseum with what-if’s and counterfactual hypotheticals.  We will never have access to Deron’s thoughts and what truly swayed his decision to choose the Nets over the Mavericks.  
 
One thing is clear, however: it’s time to just move on.
 
Chuck Perry is tired of NBA offseason drama. Are you? Tweet at him about it at @TheChuckP.

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