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The Basketball Gods Love Karma

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Mark Cuban had it coming.impact

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Now, here at Clips Nation we've always been big on giving the glory to FSM, who, as we all know, is one of the Basketball Gods, and our devotion may have paid off.  As DeAndre Jordan backed away from his agreement with Dallas to sign with the Clippers last night, the Basketball Gods were surely smiling on the Clippers at the Mavericks' expense for the second time in a decade.

In 2007, the Clippers were involved in a brutal fight to make the playoffs.  After losing in heartbreaking fashion in the second round the year before (sound familiar?), the Clippers spent the year with Elton Brand injured, fighting to scrape into the postseason.  Surely enough, coming in to the last game of the season, the Clippers' fate rested with the top-of-the-conference Mavericks, who were playing Golden State, the team tied with the Clippers for the #8 spot.  In one of the most infuriating days times I can remember as a Clipper fan, Dallas threw the game against Golden State, essentially confirming that they'd rather play the Warriors.

What happened?  The Basketball Gods inflicted karma upon the Mavericks as Golden State upset them in the first round in one of only 1 vs 8 upsets ever.  It seemed a fitting punishment, and it was forgotten as time went on and a new Clippers core emerged, leading them back to the post-season.  However, one piece was missing: while Dallas had suffered, it wasn't at the hands of those who they had made suffer.  LAC never got revenge.

Last week, Cuban's squad did it again.  Stealing DeAndre Jordan from the Clippers, while tragic for the hometown team, was not unsportsmanlike or dishonest--it was a good business move.  However, when it became apparent that by agreeing to sign-and-trade for DeAndre, the Mavericks could free up additional cap space to use on a point guard (like Jeremy Lin, who they coveted) and some bench players, Cuban said no.  He had no interest in giving the Clippers a trade exception that could be flipped for a replacement, or orchestrating a 3-way trade that would help all parties.

Cuban had incentive to do the deal--he refused to out of spite, which as we all know angers FSM greatly.

So, as the ClipCast hosts put so fittingly in last night's episode, deus ex machina occurred, and by some miraculous change of heart that one might attribute to divine intervention if they didn't understand that choosing the Clippers was common sense.  DeAndre Jordan chose to back out of his deal with Dallas without warning, and return to the Los Angeles Clippers.  This stealing back of the prized center was Mark Cuban's bad karma coming back to haunt him, and the long-awaited revenge of the 2007 Clippers.

It's worth noting that besides silly "karma" and "revenge" (if this Clippers organization has any holdovers from the 2007 staff, I don't know about it), the Mavericks could have avoided this deal by doing good business.  If they agree to work a three-team trade involving a Jordan S&T, it's much, much harder for the Clippers and DeAndre to backtrack and press undo on the transaction than with a straight-up signing.

What if the Clippers had already agreed to acquire Hibbert in a three-way trade?  Do they dare risk pissing off another front office in Indiana, as well as more agencies representing players involved?  Is it worth it to start a ripple effect that could interfere with the processes of multiple teams and dozens of players and agencies?  It might not be.  The Clippers didn't have to choose whether or not they would go back on their word--DJ was the only one whose actions could be characterized as anything other than "opportunistic".

But Mark Cuban didn't want a three-way trade.  He wanted to steal the Clippers starting center and leave them up the creek without a paddle, and it came back to bite him in the ass.  The law of unintended consequences is brilliantly frustrating, and in this case the unintended consequence of not orchestrating a sign-and-trade was that this became one single transaction, not a string or web of interconnected deals contingent upon one another, and by trying to screw the Clippers as much as possible instead of making the smart objective move, he ended up leaving the door open to get screwed himself.

And screwed he was.  Mark Cuban had it coming.

Thank FSM, king of the Basketball Gods