With 6.4 seconds left on the clock against the Dallas Mavericks, Danny Green inbounded the ball to Avery Bradley, who quickly gave the ball up to LeBron James — the team’s leading scorer that night. Instead of taking it in the paint, where he had two defenders waiting for him, he kicked out to Green for the game-tying 3-point shot.
For Lakers fans, it was one of the most exciting games of the season so far. For Mavericks fans, it was a cruel reminder of what could have been.
During this year’s free agency period, Green (or whoever runs his podcast’s social) was very transparent about his decision-making process, even going as far as naming the teams he was considering. At one point, his decision came down to the Lakers, Mavericks and Toronto Raptors, the team he won a championship with just a few weeks prior.
Then, once Kawhi Leonard — Green’s former San Antonio Spurs and Raptors teammate — committed to the LA Clippers, it came down to the Mavericks and Lakers. During an appearance on ESPN’s “Now or Never,” Green said he nearly joined the Mavericks because of how persuasive the team’s governor Mark Cuban was:
“Very close. L.A. was waiting on Kawhi, and L.A. was obviously my first option. And Dallas was waiting on me, and luckily they waited. But (Mark) was like ‘look, if you make a decision today we can throw this at you.’ And I was like ‘Ah, Rob, this is kind of tough man!’ But I waited it out and I got where I want to be.”
Green said his decision led to some awkward — albeit lighthearted — interactions with Cuban over the last few months:
“It was between L.A. and Dallas and Mark Cuban made a really good pitch, and he made it tough. So after I made my decision I did call them and it was tough, and I did feel kind of bad... I saw (Mark) twice, and he was like ‘you son of a...’ (laughs).”
Green would have been a tremendous fit in Dallas for many of the same reasons he’s such a great fit on the Lakers next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis. It’s also not hard to imagine that Green would have liked playing in Texas again after living there for eight years.
But those are all moot points now because Green plays for the Lakers. Amnesty THAT, Mark Cuban.