Sportress of Blogitude

Dirk Nowitzki on acquisition of Rajon Rondo by Mavs: ‘We had to do it’


The Dallas Mavericks were eliminated from the postseason on Tuesday night, losing its opening round series to the Houston Rockets in five games.

One of the most damning stories that helps explain the Mavericks’ incredibly short run in the postseason is how the mid-season acquisition of Rajon Rondo didn’t turn out as expected. Not even close. In fact, it turned out to be an unmitigated disaster that no one could have possibly envisioned.

Dirk Nowitzki, the Mavericks’ elder statesman, nevertheless defended the move to bring in the point guard, even though Rondo was benched in Game 2 and never saw the court again after being shut down with a back injury.

“We had to do it,” Nowitzki said, as quoted in a report in The Dallas Morning News. “I thought Cubes [owner Mark Cuban] and Donnie [Nelson, general manager] did everything to put us in a position to win. It’s unfortunate, but we’ll see what happens this summer.

“If you can get a player like Rondo, I think you go for it every time. I don’t think anybody is looking at that now. It was a deal that was there and that we went for. It just didn’t pan out for both sides and both sides moved on. Mark and Donnie always try to make this team better. Sometimes it works, sometimes it’s a gamble, and sometimes it doesn’t.”

A gamble, indeed.

Still, considering Rondo’s acquisition was initially thought to be the move that would transform the Mavericks into a championship contender, just how badly everything ultimately played out in the end is nothing short of shocking.

Nowitzki’s comments arguably are due in some part to his loyalty to the Mavs, especially given the moves to bring in Parsons and Rondo were mostly done to give him perhaps one last chance to make a run at another NBA title.

No one knows where the Mavericks will go from here, although Nowitzki has given no indication he intends to hang up his sneakers anytime soon. And given the gunslinger mentality of both Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson, there’s no chance how the Rondo trade backfired will make them reluctant to pull the trigger on another possible big move, if possible, heading into next season.