Mark Cuban opens up on biggest mistake he’s ever made with Dallas Mavericks

Peter Dewey
4 Min Read
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban revealed what he believes is the biggest mistake that he’s ever made with the Mavs in a recent podcast with Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green.

Cuban shared the story of how guard Steve Nash ended up signing with the Phoenix Suns instead of Dallas when he was a free agent after the 2003-04 season.

“I still got the pad where I took the notes where Steve called me to give me that last chance, right?” Cuban told Green. “Where I wrote down ‘Mike Bibby money.’ No lie. I’ve got it written down on that sheet of paper. Mike Bibby money is what he wanted which was like the max out at the time which sounds so insane right now, right?

“But, it was more that Steve had only played 28, 29 minutes a game that previous year, and we were worried about the injuries. And so, that was it in a nutshell. And so – it wasn’t any disrespect to his game. And honestly, I think that propelled Steve, right? The fact that we let him go and etc., etc. Two-time MVP, great guy – love him to death. We’re friends again. But yeah, it was a mistake. The biggest mistake I ever made with the Mavs.”

Nash went on to have a ton of success in Phoenix, winning back-to-back league MVP awards in the 2004-05 season and the 2005-06 campaign. Those two seasons marked the first two of three straight campaigns where Nash led the NBA in assists per game.

An eight-time All-Star and Hall of Famer, Nash played with Phoenix through the 2011-12 season before he joined the Los Angeles Lakers for the final two seasons of his NBA career.

Losing Nash certainly hurt for the Mavs, especially since they had to compete against Nash and the Suns in the Western Conference, but Dallas still ended up winning a title in the 2010-11 season against the Miami Heat.

Star forward Dirk Nowitzki, who was playing alongside another great point guard in Jason Kidd, helped lead Dallas past the Big 3 of Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh in the NBA Finals.

However, Cuban and Mavs fans have to wonder if a title would have come sooner had the team kept Nash on the roster.

While Nash may be Cuban’s biggest regret, it’s possible that he will regret letting another point guard walk in free agency sooner rather than later. The Mavs didn’t bring back guard Jalen Brunson after the 2021-22 season, and he has since gone on to blossom into a star with the New York Knicks, making an All-Star team in the 2023-24 season for the first time in his career.

Still, Cuban and the Mavs have superstar Luka Doncic, who has led the team to a 45-29 record so far this season. Cuban is certainly hoping that Doncic can lead Dallas back to an NBA Finals, as the team has not appeared in one since winning it all back in 2011.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball, football and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.