Mark Cuban may be the most famous NBA owner. The man in control of the Dallas Mavericks brought his huge media personality to Complex Magazine shoe shopping series. On the show, he made the revelation that he was almost able to sign the legendary Michael Jordan when he made his historic comeback.
"So, David Falk called me up after I bought the Mavs who was Michael's agent and I'm like I heard Michael might come back." - Mark Cuban
"I go to meet MJ for the first time and he's got all the paperwork laid out there to sign with the Wizards. I'm like here's your last chance to get it right, I'll ask the same deal." - Cuban
The star of the hit TV show “Shark Tank” was trying to make a major deal way before the show. Jordan coming back to play basketball was one of the major stories in sports at the time. Cuban had just purchased the Mavericks in January of 2000. Signing Jordan in 2001 would have brought all eyes of the basketball world to Dallas, TX.
How Would Jordan have fit in the Mavericks?
The 2001-2002 Dallas Mavericks were a good basketball team. Coached by Don Nelson, the team finished 57-25 in the regular season and lost in the second round of the playoffs to the Sacramento Kings. The question then comes how does the 6’6 shooting guard from North Carolina fits in.
The team had a pretty good nucleus of Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki and Michael Finley. Those guys were supported by veterans Nick Van Exel and Raef LaFrentz. The team could have rolled out the line-up of Steve Nash at point, Jordan at shooting guard, Dirk at power forward, Finely at small forward and LaFrentz at center.
Michael Finley and Jordan have a relationship that goes back to when Finley was a high player in Chicago. The team could have been interesting to watch with Nash distributing the ball and getting Jordan open looks. Maybe Jordan’s championship experience could have been an asset to help this team get over the hump.
The situation would have at least had Michael Jordan playing his last two years in the NBA making the playoffs. In 2001-02 season the Washington Wizards were 37-45 and did not make the playoffs. How would Jordan have faired in a loaded Western Conference and that means would have gotten more match-ups against the great Kobe Bryant.
One of the critiques of those early 2000s Mavericks teams were that they were too soft. Jordan would have definitely helped them their mental toughness. I am sure Michael would have enjoyed playing with Dirk and Nash more than playing with Popeye Jones and Kwame Brown.