Mark Cuban Won’t Retire Jason Kidd’s Number

To look at the Mavericks’ 2012 offseason from an optimist’s point of view, Dallas has more than enough salary cap room to make one of the best bids for Dwight Howard next summer in free agency. If you’re not an optimist, Dallas had to scramble to sign one-year rentals with Chris Kaman, Elton Brand and Darren Collison to fill the holes its misses in free agency created (i.e., losing the Deron Williams sweepstakes). Collison’s signing was because of two misses, in fact, both with Williams and point guard Jason Kidd, who left to be a Knick at the 11th hour. Kidd wasn’t the only player to leave from last year’s roster but he was the one whose departure made owner Mark Cuban say today: “I was pissed.”

Cuban went on ESPN Radio in Dallas and was the kind of open Cuban fans and journalists love and NBA officials cringe at. According to a report about the appearance from ESPN Dallas:

“I was more than upset,” Cuban said. “I thought he was coming. I was pissed. …

“J. Kidd is a big boy; he can do whatever he wants. But you don’t change your mind like that. That was … yeah. I’m sure I’ll get over it at some point, but as of now, I wouldn’t put J. Kidd’s number in the rafters.”

“He’s a good guy, but I just thought that was wrong,” Cuban said. “You can’t put a guy’s number in the rafters when he decides he doesn’t want to be there.”

Kidd, 39, had been a lock to return to Dallas according to a number of reports in July’s open free agency period. Cuban said he missed a call from Kidd because the owner and his family were in a D.C. museum and when he came out, Kidd had changed his mind and went to New York. A championship is required to have your jersey retired in Cuban’s criteria, and he said he’d consider Jason Terry‘s number for retirement. Rewind a bit to three weeks ago: This is the same Terry who was never offered a contract by Dallas and because of it, was “angry at first” at the team for not even extending the courtesy. By Cuban’s logic you can’t put a guy’s number in the rafters if he doesn’t want to be there, but if you decide you don’t want him to be there you can still honor him later.

“Putting somebody up in the rafters, that’s something sacred in my mind,” Cuban said. “You don’t just do it just to do it, to have a big ceremony, to sell tickets. You haven’t seen me decide yet. I go back and forth on Derek Harper all the time, but Harp will be up there before J. Kidd will.

“I’ve always said my prerequisite was that you played on a championship team for the Mavs. I’d say Jet’s got a shot, Dirk’s an obvious, but as of right now I wouldn’t put J. Kidd up there.”

It should be noted Cuban isn’t the first management type to be “pissed” at a player’s departure this summer.

Should Cuban take this this personally?

Follow Andrew on Twitter at @AndrewGreif.

Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.

Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.