“Obviously, DeAndre’s going to be our starter at the five position and the rest will just kind of fall in place after that,” Nowitzki said. “If (Harrison Barnes) goes back to the four or we start other ways, I have no idea as of yet. But it’s a great problem to have. We want to be a franchise that is back in the playoffs and plays well and has fun again and doesn’t lose 60 games again.”
Mavericks guard Dennis Smith Jr. came to the defense of DeAndre Jordan this week, backing up the 30-year-old by denying a report from ESPN that Jordan’s selfish play has rubbed some teammates the wrong way.
“That news be fake shawty and we already know it,” Smith Jr. wrote on Instagram with a picture of himself and Jordan. “Our eyes on da prize.”
Jordan appeared to steal a rebound from rookie Luka Doncic in a contest earlier this month, prompting some to believe his own ambitions were being placed before the team’s aspirations. Also coming to Jordan’s defense was assistant coach Darrell Armstrong, who took to social media with a statement of his own (hat tip to the Dallas Morning News).
“I’m just here to send out some good vibes to DeAndre Jordan who is one of our leaders of this team,” Armstrong said. “He’s not selfish. He’s a guy who plays hard, tries and gives energy to these guys. For an article to come out like that, I don’t like it. I’ve been a veteran leader in my career. When you lead you lead by example and then you lead by being vocal. That’s what leaders do. Stealing rebounds? We need rebounds. Mavs fans, you know when we need rebounds. That’s something big for someone to say he’s selfish to take a rebound from Luka.”
There’s more out of Dallas tonight:
- Mavs owner Mark Cuban expressed his support of Jordan, a player he signed to a free agent contract this past summer. “It’s so ridiculous,” Cuban told the Dallas Morning News. “I mean, for godsakes, we’re No. 1 in defensive rebounding after being a horrible rebounding team [pre-Jordan]. And every guy on the team recognizes that.”
- Cuban also made an appearance on Dallas-based radio station 1310 The Ticket to discuss a variety of topics, including the Mavs’ sexual harassment investigation. “All I can tell you is that’s behind us now, and we’re a completely different organization on the business side,” Cuban said, according to Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News. Cuban was asked several different questions in the roughly 10-minute interview.
- Cuban hopes Dirk Nowitzki will stay with the Mavericks for another season, according to a separate article from the Dallas Morning News. Nowitzki has yet to play this season due to an ankle injury after appearing in 77 games with the Mavs last year.