For most people this is just another year, but for NBA fans around the world, this has been a long time coming. It is the free agent class of 2010 that includes LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, Amar;e Stoudemire, and Joe Johnson. There hasn’t been a class quite like this one since Tim Duncan, Tracy McGrady and Grant Hill became free agents way back in 2000. NBA teams have been trying to clear space for quite some time so that they can be in a position to land one of these max-contract, free agents. This is the time for NBA fans, like myself, to start dreaming of your team doing the unthinkable and signing one of these superstars. As an Atlanta Hawks fan, it is fun to dream about a scenario with Chris Bosh or Dwayne Wade playing alongside Joe Johnson and Josh Smith at the Highlight Factory but that is not a reality. The reality is that most of these players will stay with their current team and finally get the money they have dreamed about since they realized their potential.
Mark Cuban joined the Dan Patrick Show to talk about how many NBA players he thinks would take less money to win a championship, whether LeBron would stay in Cleveland or leave if he wins a championship, and whether he monitors his players’ Facebook pages and Twitter accounts.
How many NBA players he thinks would take less money to win a championship:
“Most because they recognize the opportunities and the bragging rights that come with it. It is kind of like winning on a golf course. If you could kick some guy’s butt on the golf course, you might take a little bit less than best just to take the bragging rights.”
Whether Karl Malone and Gary Payton or guys like them that took less money to try and win a championship should be criticized for it:
“Yes and no. I mean you could criticize them for chasing and kind of being the add-on pieces, the fill-in-the-blank guy as opposed to the core guy, but you can’t blame them though. I mean it is just a unique scenario that those guys…I mean these are guys that have never even been to the Finals and let alone win a championship. It is just completely different. The opportunity to experience you can’t really… Personally I would never blame a guy. We have only been to the Finals, we didn’t win just that experience was unique and you hope that every player gets a chance to experience it.”
Whether LeBron would stay in Cleveland or leave if he wins a championship:
“I can’t tell you about LeBron specifically, but I would tell you that I think a player that had just won a championship in a town is very unlikely to leave. A player that hasn’t won and is a top five player is very likely to… All players think that they are gerenal managers at heart. They think they understand better where to go to win a championship. If you look at any of the top five players and if they don’t win or don’t think they have a chance to win they are going to get the same money if they go to free agency or if they can force a sign and trade. I think they try to give them the best chance to win.”
Why a player would leave to go to another place if they can make more money staying where they are:
“Well there is always sign-and-trades so you say to them look you con go somewhere with free agency money. You lose a year, you make less money by just taking cap room or we can work with your team and give them a package that leaves them if not completely whole, somewhat whole, makes you more money and someone that makes you the bad guy in that city. If it happens to be a city where you have been there for a long time or close to where you grew up in your home city and your home state you don’t want to be the guy that just took off. You will be forever hated and there is always that opportunity to entice them through a sign-and-trade so you know the most interestingly thing to me that also has to do a lot with their relationships between teams and general managers and owners. If you look at the Kevin Garnett trade, that was facilitated because Minnesota and Boston had that Boston connection with Danny Ainge and Kevin McHale. It was just easier to communicate and understand each other and a deal got done that everybody was trying to pull off.”
Whether he monitors his players’ Facebook page and Twitter:
“Oh hell yeah you do. It is not so much, it is funny because I don’t monitor it so much because i worry about what they are going to say because you usually have a good understanding of a guy’s personality just by knowing him and if the guy has the potential to be a problem. At least with me, I tend to be proactive and say you know, ‘shut the hell up’! It doesn’t matter if it is Twitter. If they are volatile enough to say something on Twitter, they are also volatile enough to say something right to news media and go onto the Dan Patrick Show and spout off. So you know who you have to be careful with but, on the flip side the guys who you are not worried about are not saying something that creates a PR nightmare. Just monitoring their Face and Twitter gives you a better understanding of them. You don’t always get a chance to just sit down and talk to a guy, particularly if something is on their mind so you know it might be something that is going on at home or their girlfriends or the other part of their life. I monitor Twitter for free agents because how they deal with approaching free agency or potentially getting signed in the off-season. What they say gives you an indication about what is going on in their head.”
How many games he thinks he would try and schedule inside Cowboys Stadium if he were to sign a marquee free agent:
“Just maybe one or two. You couldn’t do it all the time. You couldn’t go to the well it would just be too tough. Just the excitement being in it one or two times a year would be phenomenal.”
Whether he thinks Josh Howard played hungover while he was playing for Dallas:
“Well he sat out a game, but I talked to him before the game and he didn’t look hungover to me. He looked, he certainly wasn’t feeling well and I thought I had a good relationship with Josh so I didn’t think he wasn’t hungover but he certainly wasn’t feeling well.”
Whether he looks at players like a parent to try and gauge if they are attempting to put one past him:
“It depends on the player. I certainly didn’t have that feeling about Josh that day. I was like, how you feeling? What’s going on and we just chatted about it and he didn’t feel well. He wasn’t the first player to sit out because he wasn’t feeling well.”
Tags: 2000 free agent class, 2010 Free Agent Class, Chicago, Chris Bosh, Dallas Mavericks, free agency, LA, LeBron James, Mark Cuban, NBA Free Agency, New York, Where will LeBron go?, Will NBA players take less money?