Dallas Mavericks owener Mark Cuban has been on record admitting his regret for allowing Steve Nash walk away from the Mavs in free agency in 2004.
Nash made two All-Star games in six seasons in Dallas and developed a tight bond with Dirk Nowitzki, on and off the court.
The NBA icon was looking to re-up with the Mavs back then, but Cuban didn’t want to commit long-term to Nash–thinking his best days were behind him. Dallas offered Nash a four-year deal at about $9 million annually, which was outmatched by the Suns’ offer of six-years, $63 million.
When Cuban didn’t match the deal, the point guard took his talents back to Phoenix—where he began his Hall of Fame career.
Speaking to Etan Thomas on “The Rematch“, Cuban re-iterated his regrets about not re-signing Nash.
“I’ll never forget, because he called me up and he goes: ‘They offered me more than Mike Bibby,’ and Mike Bibby had just gotten a big contract. “And I have it down on this calendar at my office at the arena still, it says: ‘Nash: Mike Bibby Money.’
At the time, Bibby signed a seven-year, $81 million contract with the Sacramento Kings.
Nash elevated his game to a new level with the Suns, winning 62 games in his first season on his way to back-to-back MVPs in 2004-05 and 2005-06, though never a title.
Despite all the success he instantly achieved in Mike D’Antoni’s “Seven Seconds or Less” style, Nash evidently held a two-year grudge against Cuban, according to the Mavs owner.
For what it’s worth, Dirk Nowitzki led Mark Cuban’s Mavericks to an NBA championship in 2011. Jason Kidd, Steve Nash’s fellow 2018 Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, was the starting point guard during that championship run.
Nash was hired as the next head coach of the Brooklyn Nets in September.
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