During Dwightmare 2.0 this summer, Dallas, Los Angeles, Golden State and Atlanta all vied for the services of Dwight Howard before Daryl Morey and Co. lured him to Houston. Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban shared the pitch video the Mavericks created to lure Howard to Dallas on his blog yesterday, and it’s got a distinctive Superman slant.
Cuban went into great detail about the roster decisions the Mavericks have made since winning the 2011 NBA Title, including his refusal to trade Dirk Nowitzki even though he’s 35 and at the tail-end of a Hall-of-Fame career.
The truly interesting aspect of Cuban’s long blog post centered on the ballyhooed center who just finished a mediocre (for him) season with the Lakers. Wrote Cuban on his Mavs blog:
“Let me address here the inevitable question of Dwight vs Mavs culture. We saw it as somewhat of a risk, but felt like because Dwight by all appearances and checking we did, is a good guy and with our support systems we believed we could make it work. If not, he was obviously a very trade-able asset. But, as everyone knows, we didn’t sign him. He went to the Rockets. I do have to say the meeting with Dwight was very interesting. He is a smart guy. Much smarter than people give him credit for. He is also a very, very good listener. Unlike most people, he spent far more time listening than talking. And he had the best response to an opening question that I have ever heard from a player, or anyone for that matter. When we asked him what his goal was, his response was very specific ‘I want to be Epic [sic].’ Which was a perfect lead in to the video we created for him.”
Then, Cuban said he’d do it again:
“Would I do it the same way again? In a heartbeat. Why? Because in the NBA, like in the non-sports business world, you have to take chances in order to be rewarded. You have to be smart and you have to be more than a little lucky.”
The Mavs weren’t lucky and Howard went to their in-state rivals, the Houston Rockets. But Cuban was complimentary of Howard’s ability to listen, and it’s a fascinating look at the free agency pitch process in the NBA.
The video itself is more than a little packed with embellishments of Dwight’s career accomplishments up until this point. It’s also got some great animation of Mark Cuban and Dirk Nowitzki. About his own inclusion in the video, Cuban added, “it was not my idea to have my ugly mug in there. I was vetoed by multiple people who thought it should be in there.”
While the Superman theme must have gotten Dwight’s attention, since he considers himself the basketball version of the ubiquitous hero (much to Shaq’s chagrin), the video didn’t end up bringing him to Dallas. Makes you wonder whether the Rockets hired the Pixar people to do their own Dwight pitch video.
What do you think of the Mavericks’ pitch video, and Cuban’s defense of his personnel moves since the Mavs won the 2011 title?
Follow Spencer on Twitter at @countcenci.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.