‘Chubbygate’ ends with chuckle in Dallas


VIDEO: Parsons says he’s pleased that coach Rick Carlisle apologized for his comments

DALLAS — When Mark Cuban was asked to weigh in on what has become a sensitive issue around here, the Dallas Mavericks owner peered down from his step machine, sweat beading on his forehead and said: “I have to talk about Chubbygate?”

The hubbub started in the early stages of training camp when Mavs coach Rick Carlisle called out prized new acquisition Chandler Parsons for being out of shape. Carlisle suggested that Chandler was a bit too paunchy around the mid-section.

It’s quite the accusation against a heartthrob and bona fide blue-jeans model.

The 6-foot-9 small forward has said he wanted to bulk up some above the waist to help him better guard power forwards when needed. Still, Carlisle shoved on with his ill-fated motivational tactic following Friday night’s preseason game.

“An increase of 18 to 20 pounds is just too much,” Carlisle said. “We talked about it today. We talk about it a lot. He’ll get there, but he looked tired out there and a little heavy-legged, and the extra seven or eight pounds aren’t helping.

“I don’t mean to call him out in public or ridicule him, but it’s just a fact. He’s an important guy for us. We just need him to get to his right conditioning and weight level so he can play his best because we’re going to need him to play a lot of minutes over the course of 82 games.”

Chandler, who signed a $46 million offer sheet from the Mavs in July and officially joined the franchise when the Houston Rockets decided not to match, wasn’t appreciative of such motivation. He could have just rolled his eyes understanding that in years past Carlisle had called out Lamar Odom a few seasons ago and Samuel Dalembert last season.

Of course, neither of those players had instantaneously become the franchise’s second-highest-paid player in a very public courting, and is arguably the Mavs’ most important player for title contention.

Over the weekend, Chandler wanted the world to see just how “overweight” he is, so he snapped a shot of his bare washboard torso while standing on a balcony of a Dallas high-rise and posted it on Instagram. It made the social media rounds, quickly. A lot of people took notice, including, Carlisle said, his wife and daughter.

“I received my punishment,” Carlisle said. “My wife and daughter became full-time Chandler Parsons Twitter and Instagram followers.”

At that point, Carlisle must have felt he was seeing a different body image than everybody else, so he felt compelled to apologize? Carlisle issued a statement Sunday prior to the Mavs’ preseason game against Indiana:

“It was unfair and inappropriate to single out Chandler Parsons after the game Friday night. I have apologized to him and the entire team for this error in judgment. Not only is Chandler Parsons one of our best players, he is also one of our hardest working players and the kind of high-character person we strive to bring to our city and franchise.

I also made it clear to our players and staff this morning that this type of bad example is not acceptable and beneath the dignity of a championship organization like the Dallas Mavericks.”

Well then.

The apology was well-received by Parsons.

“It just shows what kind of guy he is,” Parsons said after Sunday’s game. “We’re in this together. Everybody makes mistakes and he came to me as a man. We have a great relationship. It’s in the past, and we’re going to move forward. It’s over with.”

Thank goodness.

But was Carlisle really wrong for publicly airing his concerns? Or was it bad judgement to take such a tact? Was Parsons, 25, just overly sensitive? And either way, was an apology of such conviction truly warranted from one of the league’s most successful coaches?

Cuban, known at times to fuel his own headlines by speaking out to the media, called “Chubbygate” a non-event and said he doesn’t know if it was necessary for Carlisle to apologize. But, he’s glad Carlisle did.

“Rick’s smart,” Cuban said. “When he feels like somebody’s sensitive about something or he touched a nerve, he deals with it. He doesn’t run away from it. He doesn’t pretend it didn’t happen. It was no big deal. It’s a non-event.”

We now return your regularly scheduled programming.

9 Comments

  1. Ruggerman says:

    Ask Chandler Parsons when the picture on the balcony was actually taken …..not recently!

  2. T gas TT ako says:

    that only shows how great of a coach carlisle is,, RESPECT is very important on a TEAM!!! he has my respect bcoz of that

  3. xenon36 says:

    Best leadership advice I was ever given. “Praise in public and criticize in private.” The coach shouldn’t have said anything publically, and is right to apologize. Parsons posting a pic of himself to prove he wasn’t out of shape does make sense, he’s protecting his reputation. Carlisle was right to apologize, and Parsons is right to let it go, handling it with maturity.

  4. TTKIN says:

    “Rick Carlisle called out prized new acquisition Chandler Parsons for being out of shape”

    He didn’t call him out of shape. He called him too heavy. There’s a difference. I am 6′ 140lbs but would proly be winded after running for 5 mins. I may be about 20 pounds underweight but that doesn’t mean im in shape.

  5. ball don*t lie says:

    while it is hard to envision playing in the nba without a sizeable ego, d12 is the hardest ego to watch. give me the days of the dream.

  6. harriethehawk says:

    I agree. Parson already looks happier and he is playing for a better team, a better coach and correct, no big egos there. I think Dallas will win more games and possibly go farther in the playoffs, but not much else, sorry. Too much competition in the west..

  7. chubby gate is better in dallas than in that hell pit houston with a terrible coach and players full with ego

    • Ruggerman says:

      Parsons in his heart knows where he would rather be and that is in HOUSTON. He only went to dallas for the money. He was part of the family in HOUSTON and was devastated when the Rocket did not match the offer sheet. It will never be a family atmosphere in dallas. Harriethehawk … your crazy if you don’t think Dirk N. doesn’t have a big ego !

      • Sam Reyes says:

        Parsons, is a great pllayer heavy or not, he will show that and Harden and Howard will miss him, maybe not, because of their ego. but they could have him, they made their choice and for Parsons good. Dallas its his new Home and he will be in a playoff team with an elite coach, Rick Carlisle. he will defend and Dallas will rock this season, cant say the same about Houston,D12 or Harden.

        #MFFL