Mark Cuban Says He Recruited LeBron to Mavericks
Mark Cuban, the boisterous and often controversial owner of the Dallas Mavericks, says he vehemently courted 'The King' and his business manager, Maverick Carter, during LeBron's free agent bonanza last summer. He did so through a barrage of text messages after the July 1 start of free agency with the main message that James' best shot at a title was with Dallas, and not Miami.
He envisioned James teaming up with All-Star point guard Jason Kidd along with superstar forward Dirk Nowitzki and that he in turn would provide him with a quality set of ancillary parts.
"Before he made his decision, what I told [James] ... and what I told Maverick was no team had ever blown up their team to ground zero -- well, I shouldn't use those words -- blown their team up of all of their core, and then added a couple of free agents and won a championship," Cuban told ESPN's Michael Wallace before the Heat played the Mavericks on Saturday at American Airlines Center. "It's always taken someone to come into a good team, make it better, and put it over the top. That's what I told him, and that's what I told Maverick."
While Cuban said he didn't know whether or not James would regret his decision, it is certainly worth noting that while the Heat have stumbled to a rather pedestrian 9-8 start, the Mavs have jumped out to an early 12-4 record, including a convincing 106-95 win over Miami Saturday night. James, who is averaging a career high 4 turnovers per game, continues to struggle, shooting just 4-15 from the floor and finishing with a season-low 2 assists.
James said Cuban was "a very sly guy" when he was informed before tonight's game that the Mavericks owner had gone public with their text exchanges from the summer. Ironically enough, James never had an official recruiting visit with Dallas, but he did meet with the Heat, New York Knicks, New Jersey Nets, Los Angeles Clippers and Cleveland Cavaliers.
"This is definitely one of the teams I looked at, being a veteran ballclub, they got a lot of winners on their team," James said of the Mavericks. "But you guys know where I ended up at. Mark is a very sly guy, man. He wants to win. He does what's best for his team, and he's very passionate about it."
Maybe after yet another disappointing effort by the Heat, James will think twice about his decision.