ESPN’s Tim MacMahon has a fascinating story about Chandler Parsons and Mark Cuban up today. The story is essentially a timeline of all the behind-the-scenes events that led to Parsons leaving the Mavericks for Memphis this offseason, but what it is really about is the death of a bromance.
What you get in MacMahon’s story is a great many scenes in which Parsons, who is 28 years old, and Cuban, who is 58 years old and was at the time Parsons’s boss, were boozing it up at fancy steakhouses and night clubs across the United States. MacMahon characterizes Parsons and Cuban’s relationship as uncommonly close, and reports that Parsons had considerable sway over Cuban when it came to personnel matters. Parsons doesn’t deny this, and even tells MacMahon that his ability to influence Cuban led to rifts in the locker room:
“The main reason why I went to Dallas was because I had an owner that was my boy and who believed in me,” Parsons says. “That’s an awesome combination to have. As my years went on there, I think there was a huge jealousy factor of how cool I was with him, how I had some power and input in decisions that they make. I think that hurt some people’s feelings. I think that made them jealous.
“Looking from the outside looking in, I could see how that could rub people the wrong way. My relationship with him — like, we were so cool, we were so close, I had his ear on a lot of decisions — I think that ended up biting me in the ass at the end.”
The relationship started to sour when Parsons tore his meniscus last season and suddenly became a risky investment for the Mavericks going forward. MacMahon reports that Cuban tried to convince Parsons to opt in to the final year of his contract instead of becoming a free agent this offseason, and wait to discuss a long-term deal until the following summer. Such a move would have cost Parsons millions of dollars, and he was insulted by its suggestion:
It was a pitch that Parsons considered “pretty ludicrous,” even borderline disrespectful. He never remotely considered it.
“Obviously that sounds nice, but why risk it? My concern is the same as them. You’re worried about paying my knee,” Parsons says. “You don’t want to pay me long term. These other really, really good teams do. If it’s too much of a risk for them to pay me for four years, it’s way too much of a risk for me to turn down guaranteed $94 million right now. It would make no sense, and no fan, no human, no one in the right mind would not do what I did.”
And then came the end of the bromance. Parsons’s texts and calls to Cuban reportedly went unanswered, and the distance between the two grew wider. Parsons tells MacMahon that he began feeling the same way Cuban did when DeAndre Jordan started ignoring his texts during the Sleepover Affair of 2015. Read the words of a bro who has truly been spurned:
“I was being avoided. I was being pushed out. I was being ignored. So awkward.”
Will Parsons and Cuban every become ride-or-die boys again, or will things remain unchill and hella awk? Read MacMahon’s story, and decide for yourself.