NBA Hall of Famer Steve Nash opened up about why he left the Dallas Mavericks back in 2004.
Nash claimed that maybe it was his reluctance to shoot the ball in his last season with the Mavs that led Dallas owner Mark Cuban to not offering him a better deal.
“Our franchise tried to take steps to get over the hump [after losing in the 2003 Western Conference Finals to the Spurs], so we signed Antoine Walker and Antawn Jamison that summer. And it was ballsy, they tried something, but really you’ve got both (Walker and Jamison) and Dirk playing the same position, they’re all kind of mobile fours. And so, it just didn’t work. It was difficult.
I was always a pass-first guy. So, I tried to make this thing work. So, the first part of the season, half of the season my numbers were really down, but the second half of the season I think I shot over 50% and played well. But I think it was like a sign to Mark Cuban that maybe he thought I was coming to the end because I didn’t have the full year I had prior.
That summer, he (Cuban) really didn’t make a big effort to keep me. I think he thought he didn’t want to overpay — I think he’d overpaid a few guys, and didn’t want to overpay an aging point guard — and that’s how I ended up in Phoenix, really. I don’t think he was confident in my future at that point,” Nash told Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes in the All The Smoke podcast, via the Dallas News.
Cuban offered Nash a four-year, $36M deal, yet the Canadian signed a six-year, $63M contract with the Phoenix Suns, winning the MVP award twice (2005, 2006).