Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks were not pleased with how Derek Fisher left the team earlier this season only to join the Oklahoma City Thunder a few months later. And he let everyone know about it during the Thunder-Mavericks game in Dallas on Sunday.
As expected, Cuban led a chorus of boos directed at Fisher during the Thunder’s 107-101 win in Fisher’s first game back in Dallas. The outspoken Mavericks owner and the Mavericks fans feel they were duped by Fisher earlier this season when he asked to be released from the team to spend time with his family. He then, however, signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder last month – the same team he spent the second half of last season with as well.
“My personality is to try to help somebody, particularly somebody that I thought one thing about, even if it didn’t turn out to be that way,” Cuban said, according to ESPN.com. “So I was just trying to be nice and help. Usually when you help somebody, you expect at least some semblance of loyalty back. When you don’t get it, then it’s more disappointing. With his history, I shouldn’t have been surprised what happened. I took the bait.”
Despite Cuban’s comments, Fisher had no ill feelings toward the Mavericks organization.
“I love Mark and I have a tremendous amount of respect for what he’s done and does in terms of this team,” Fisher told the Dallas Morning News after Sunday’s shootaround. “There’s no question about how passionate he is for his team. If it was my team and I wanted to win, I would want as many players that I felt like could help me.”
Cuban and the Mavs may feel betrayed, but it’s still unclear what the exact motive was behind Fisher’s decision. Of course, many think it has to do with the fact that the Thunder are in contention for a NBA Finals title this season and the Mavericks are not.