Dirk Nowitzki addresses Mavs letting Steve Nash, Tyson Chandler walk
Some pundits, however, believe they could have had more titles under their belt had they not let go of two very important free agents in Steve Nash back in 2004 and Tyson Chandler in 2011.
Per Dallas Morning News, Nowitzki addressed the Mavs’ reluctance to re-sign the two back in the day.
“I think what hurt us really was the lockout after winning it all. It’s just that we made some business decisions after the lockout that hurt us a little bit in the long run. With [Steve Nash], I think that was tough. I think Mark [Cuban] felt like his back was not going to hold up for six-plus years or whatever Phoenix offered him and he where I thought for sure we should’ve kept him,” the Mavs legend shared.
The Mavs had an incredible run in the early 2000s’, as Nash set up the table for the franchise’s best scorers in Dirk Nowitzki and Michael Finley. Prior to the 2003-04 season, Nash tried to negotiate a long-term deal to stay in Texas. Owner Mark Cuban, however, was reluctant to break the bank for Nash who was turning 30 years old at the time.
Nash packed his bags and signed a six-year, $63 million contract with the Phoenix Suns, where he would win two MVP awards.
The Chandler situation, on the other hand, was truly a head-scratcher for Dallas at the time. The seven-foot center was a vital part of the Mavs’ title run in 2011. Many believed that locking Chandler to a long-term deal was simply a no-brainer in the summer of 2011.
Cuban was reportedly wary of a new collective bargaining agreement at the time and only offered the defensive ace a two-year deal, which Chandler declined. He was traded to the New York Knicks where he received a four-year, $58 million contract.
Despite these shortcomings, Nowitzki stands by the Mavs’ front office and lauded them for the marvelous job they’ve done throughout his stay.
“Sometimes you make business decisions that you regret later and sometimes you get lucky with some, as we did in 2011 with some of the guys that I mentioned… Those are two tough decisions we made as a franchise but with Donnie [Nelson], of course we also made some great decisions over my 20-plus years just to be in a position where we can win 50-plus games over 10 years. I think we obviously did more right than wrong,” he added.