When center Dwight Howard spurned the Mavericks and decided to take his talents to the Bayou City, it marked the second straight year the team had epically flamed out in free agency. And, for the second straight year, Mark Cuban is trying to rewrite history.
"I think we've put ourselves in a spot where we're in a better spot than we were at if we got just the one max-out deal," Cuban told ESPNDallas.com Wednesday night. "I think it'd be better shorter and longer term. I don't want to make that sound the wrong way. I think we'll be better this year because we added five good players or more."
So, the Mavs whiff on signing the best center in the NBA, and it's a good thing because we get to fill the roster with second- (and third-) tier players like Monta Ellis and Samuel Dalembert? We got the same line after last year's Deron Williams fail. I put Howard with Carmelo Anthony on the roster of absurdly talented players who nevertheless lack the focus and/or maturity to lead a team to a championship. But Cuban still seems to be simply rationalizing/ducking responsibility for/diverting attention from the willful dismantling of the 2011 championship squad.
At Frontburner, Eric Celeste suggests we give a little too much credence to the Mavs' brain trust. And at Fox Sports, Bill Reiter suggests that Mark Cuban is the NBA's Jerry Jones, in the sense that he's smart, funny, has an enormous ego and absolutely refuses to acknowledge when he screws up. Hard to argue with either take.