DeAndre Jordan was beside himself. He was supposed to have a free agency meeting with Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks, but now that he was in Dallas, he realized he had no idea how to get to the Mavs’ front office. Any time the Clippers had played in Dallas, the team bus took him to and from the arena, and Uber took him everywhere else. He occasionally saw signs directing him to the American Airlines Center, but he knew for a fact that the front office was located in an entirely different building.
Dallas’ downtown was a confusing jumble of tall buildings and one-way streets which DeAndre was only half paying attention to. The other half of his attention was directed to his phone, where multiple conversations through text were occurring. The one he was currently responding to was with one of Mark Cuban’s children.
“u gotta tell me where mark is” DeAndre begged. He knew that, with each minute the passed, Mark’s enthusiasm to sign him would wane.
“idk probably in his office,” was the reply he received a minute later. “i blocked you now so you stop bothering me.”
Frustrated that he wasn’t getting any information, DeAndre again typed the words “dallas mavericks” into his maps app. However, just like previous attempts, this yielded only directions to the arena. Periodically looking up at the road to make sure he wasn’t hitting any pedestrians or missing any signs that said “Dallas Mavericks Office This Way”, he added the phrase “mark cuban office” to his search. This revision to his query did not have the intended effect; now, the app told him there were no results at all for his search.
“where the hell does your dad work anyway,” DeAndre texted another Cuban family member that he had somehow acquired the phone number for. He randomly turned left onto the next street he came to as he waited for a response.
Soon, DeAndre’s phone buzzed with a new message, but when he read it, it wasn’t helpful at all. “He works for the Mavs. Type it into your phone.”
“i already did that!!! didn’t work!!!!” DeAndre replied in anger. “tell me how to get there!!!! im begging u!!!!”
Cars were honking at him, and DeAndre realized that the stoplight he was stopped at had been green for some time. Dropping his phone and casually flipping off the person behind him, he peeled away from the intersection and sped down the street. Logically, if he drove faster, he would cover more ground and be more likely to happen upon the place where the meeting was supposed to take place.
His phone played a distinct tinkling xylophone melody which indicated that he had gotten a message from his agent. Weaving around slower traffic with one hand on the wheel, DeAndre picked up his phone and read the newest message: “Where are you man? I can only keep these suits entertained for so long.”
“On my way,” DeAndre texted back. He didn’t want to admit to his agent that he was driving around downtown Dallas, begging (through texts) Mark’s family for directions to Mark’s office. Just as he hit “send” on that reply, he received another message from the second of Mark’s kids that he had been contacting.
“Just use Google bro. Apple Maps sucks.”
DeAndre almost threw down his phone in rage. He didn’t have time or the patience to install an entirely new app just so he could maybe have the chance of getting directions to the Mavs’ front office. It would be easier to just stop at the nearest gas station and ask for directions, but there weren’t many of those in the downtown area, and besides, he couldn’t afford to lose time by stopping and parking his car. “no,” was his short reply.
He came up to a red light, and while he impatiently waited for it to turn green, he looked at the cars on either side of him. To his left was a nondescript office worker type, but to his right was a much more interesting character: a middle-aged man who seemed disconsolate as he alternated between typing on his phone and banging his fists in anger on the dashboard of his car. His windows were open and he was peppering his surroundings with barked swear words. DeAndre felt a kind of kinship with him; both of them were obviously having bad days.
Then, something clicked in DeAndre’s mind, and he rolled down his window. “Hey! Cubes! Cubes!”
The man looked up in surprise, staring for a second before recognition hit him. “DJ! I was just trying to find you but none of your family members knew where you were!” he said, holding up a phone which had a long-winded text conversation on the screen. “I’ve been beside myself, driving around downtown for hours!”
“Same here!” DeAndre yelled back over the noise of the downtown traffic.
“I’ve got a contract ready for your signature!” Mark said, grabbing a document off the passenger seat. “There’s a Starbucks a block ahead, we’ll do it there and forget about our fancy video presentation pitch and ‘surprise’ visit from Dirk.”
“Got it!” DeAndre yelled back just as the light turned green. “Tell your kids that they suck at giving directions.”