DALLAS—They arrived early and in droves on Wednesday. Some donned the DeAndre Jordan devil masks from that morning’s edition of The Dallas Morning News, some did not.
But no matter if they were carrying signs or not, Maverick fans had a common goal heading into Wednesday’s first visit by DeAndre Jordan since he spurned the Mavs in free agency over the summer – to let him know exactly how they felt. Well, mission accomplished on that front and in a big way.
Mavs fans tout themselves as being rowdy, proud and loud and they were definitely all three on Wednesday evening in front of a national television audience. Dallas beat LA 118-108 and Jordan’s final line was nine points and 11 rebounds in around 27 minutes, hardly numbers of someone worth $20 million a season, which is what his proposed four-year, $80 million deal would have paid him to come to Big D.
But to his credit, Jordan took it all in stride.
“I thought it (the fan reception) would be a lot worse, honestly. But it was cool,” he said postgame. “They’re obviously going to boo and heckle a little bit, but I thought it was going to be a lot worse. Ultimately, we came out here to win a basketball game and that was it.”
Understandably, the first few questions posed to him in the locker room after this 10-point loss were about his first time in Dallas since his fateful decision over the summer to remain with the Clips. And about three minutes into that line of questioning, he was clearly ready to move on.
“OK, I’m just tired of answering the same questions,” Jordan said. “I talked about this three months ago, you know what I mean? I made a decision that was for me, and hopefully over time people will understand that.”
Mavs fans understand that, it’s just the way the situation was handled, with nary a response from DJ that teed them off.
One number from Jordan’s performance which Mavs fans relished in was the 3-of-9 the former Texas A&M standout went from the foul line as Dallas employed the Hack-a-DeAndre strategy for a bit with Dirk Nowitzki fouling him on several occasions, a game plan which worked.
“My job is to be a defender and a rebounder, stopper for our team. I felt like I did what I supposed to,” Jordan said. “Our defense has to tighten it up a little bit. We play this team four times, so we’ll see them again. It’s not something I’m going to cry about, but we definitely got to tighten some things up.”
Mavs fans are a passionate bunch who wanted their voices heard and despite one notable former NBA head coach criticizing them from his courtside broadcast position, they were right to do so.