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Mark Cuban: "I'm not so proud of the NBA."

Apr 30, 2010, 8:55 AM EDT

Memo to Dwight Howard, Stan Van Gundy, Phil Jackson, Matt Barnes, Rasheed Wallace and anyone else trying not to get fined while criticizing the referees:

Follow Mark Cuban’s lead. The Dallas Mavericks owner went with the use of code words rather than just come out and say the officiating sucked. Here, from the ESPNDallas:

“I’m proud of our guys, the way they kept on fighting back. I’m not so proud of the NBA. I’m not proud of my inability over the last 10 years to have the impact like I want to have, so I kind of feel like I owe fans an apology,” Cuban told ESPNDallas.com. “But, that’s just the way this business goes. But, congratulations to the Spurs.”

Just a note of clarification, a personal little pet peeve of mine in that quote, the line “Cuban told ESPN Dallas”: Cuban did not tell that to ESPNDallas, he told it to every member of the media there in a big media scrum in the hallway. There were 20 or so media members there. It was broadcast on NBATV. The hot thing in journalism now is to take comments made to every available member of the media and say “as told to ProBasketballTalk” or whatever, but it’s misleading. It tries to sound exclusive when it’s not. Okay, stepping down off the soapbox now.

Cuban was smart, you just need to be able to read through the lines to get his meaning. He also refused to elaborate on his comments, not that he needed to. He was pissed about the officiating, but he has tried to work on that on a macro level. He has tried to change the way the officials are instructed, trained, monitored and assigned. So he put the blame on the big picture, not the night’s referees, and avoids a fine that way. While still saying the same thing.

Problem is, the referees were not the reason the Mavericks were down 22 in the first half. And that is why they lost the game, not the referees.

  1. TStull - Apr 30, 2010 at 12:13 PM

    That’s ok Cuban, the NBA is not so proud of you either. GO to “Professional Wrestling”. Your mouth would fit better there.

  2. Roger - Apr 30, 2010 at 12:20 PM

    Wrong-o. It’s a lack of journalistic integrity that has allowed “infotainment” to masquerade as legit journalism. America’s unfamiliarity with journalistic principles has allowed many to be manipulated by opinion and sensationalism over fact.
    A simple “told ESPNDallas among others” would have accomplished the objective of getting ESPNDallas’ name out there while not suggesting they were enjoying exclusivity of Cuban’s comments.

  3. James - Apr 30, 2010 at 12:25 PM

    Until Mr. Cuban reaches maturity, he and his team will always be treated like a whiney little boy. While his words may be heard, noone takes a whiner seriously. He has been successful in recruiting very talented players, HOWEVER, when they hand out contracts and paychecks in Dallas, they must also hand out a lifetime supply “whiney ass”.

  4. John - Apr 30, 2010 at 12:38 PM

    Suns fan here…
    I applaud Mark Cuban and his attempt to fix up the league and its officiating because, frankly, it sucks. The WWE is more consistent with how it calls its matches.
    David Stern is a joke and needs to be publicly made out as such. Fining owners and players for stating the truth about the way games are called is draconian since the problems are so widespread. Saying he needs to fine players and coaches for criticizing refs for the good of the game is flat out stupid and the owners should fire Stern.
    Of course they won’t because they are all scared of him.

  5. Matthew - Apr 30, 2010 at 12:42 PM

    Did anyone watch the Bulls Cavs series?
    It was 8 to 5 basketball; the refs should have been wearing Cleveland Jerseys.
    I’m not saying the Bulls could have or should have won the series, but that game 5 was clearly stolen by either bad or outright fraudulent officiating.

  6. KC - Apr 30, 2010 at 12:58 PM

    Cuban can cry about the officiating, but believe me, it wasn’t a one-sided affair. I saw countless times where Terry for Dallas is going in for a layup, and he has his left hand and arm crammed up into the jaw of a Spurs defender. No foul called. Towards the end of the fourth when the Spurs were only leading by 4, Manu drove into the basket for a layup, and was almost mauled and literally knocked to the floor. No foul called. I evewn saw a photo of the previous game where a Dallas player was literally grabbing Duncan’s jersey as he was going in for a layup, no foul called. It’s all relative. The refs don’t see everything the fans do. When it comes down to it, if you want to win the game, you have to put the ball in the basket. The only Dallas player that was capable of doing that was Dirk, Dallas’ version of a Kobe wannabe. Next year, get some players that can shoot at crunch time.

  7. cc007 - Apr 30, 2010 at 12:59 PM

    Cuban is a self absorbed spoiled brat.
    Why are we even talking about what this idiot has to say? He’s just pissed because he didn’t win, instead of accepting the responsibility he’s doing what every spoiled brat does, he blames someone else, anyone else. Because everyone knows it couldn’t possible be his fault. This guys is just another moron with a lot of money. Some needs to drag him into the parking lot and beat his ass.

  8. jbol - Apr 30, 2010 at 1:43 PM

    The mavs are 1-16 in playoff games when Danny Crawford refs – it would interesting to see if the NBA has any other hit men they send out to deal with any other teams it does not approve of.

  9. bob dole - Apr 30, 2010 at 1:52 PM

    basketball is fun!

  10. jane - Apr 30, 2010 at 1:55 PM

    I’ll bet Avery Johnson is still smiling!!!

  11. Smasher - Apr 30, 2010 at 2:07 PM

    Who cares whether anyone claimed exclusivity?!? The facts are the same: Mark is, has, been and will always be a cry baby. Every loss or business problem has always been someone else’s fault. Marky doesn’t ever acknowledge that every win and business success has also been someone else’s “fault”. He should man up. Congratulate the Spurs and the Spur’s coaching staff for a great series. Not the lame”But congratulations to the Spurs.” I am Dallas and you embarass us all, Mark.

  12. kent - Apr 30, 2010 at 2:15 PM

    Stop your crying Mark Cuban, your team just don’t play defense and not mentally strong as usual. I think you are part of the problem with your choice of words. When you speak publicly like you do, it make your team have a bullseye on it. Be a owner and sit in your box seat and shut your mouth.

  13. jsprunner - Apr 30, 2010 at 2:17 PM

    Well, he blamed Avery Johnson for previous meltdowns, so I thought Rick Carlisle might catch a little flak for this one. But I guess not – it was the refs all along. Didn’t see that one coming….

  14. TK - Apr 30, 2010 at 2:20 PM

    I agree in context with Mark Cuban. The refs and the tv commentators seem to favor certain players and teams. For instance in a recently nationaly televised game, Kevin McHale suggested that the Bobcats should put little Jameer Nelson on the ground with a hard foul send him a message. Never heard such a comment directed toward Lebron James. He contantly lowers his shoulders and drive through opposing players looking to get, and getting, fouls called in his favor. Sort of reminds me of the WWF where the announcers and refs follow scripts given out by the WWF officials.

  15. jbol - Apr 30, 2010 at 2:26 PM

    Mark Cuban is unpopular because is actually involved with his team and shows that he cares – I prefer him to owners that show up twice a month in their luxury boxes and sip a few martinis while they check the bottom line.

  16. luterbob - Apr 30, 2010 at 2:31 PM

    Suns all the WAY!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. grndizz - Apr 30, 2010 at 2:53 PM

    What is offensive interference? I’ve never heard that called in the NBA.

  18. loogylou - Apr 30, 2010 at 2:56 PM

    The missed call on the offensive goaltending by Duncan is an example of the special treatment that the Spurs have gotten for years and years.
    We viewers could see the goaltending from our seat in the virtual nosebleed section; how could the officials miss it?
    It was a critical blown call that possibly turned the game around. (And I am not a Mavs fan).

  19. TheRealThing - Apr 30, 2010 at 3:10 PM

    The NBA is a fixed league. Free agency is there so the richest teams can collect the best players. The referees control the outcome of every game and playoff series dependent on what David Stern and his cronies think will get the best TV ratings and advertising dollars. That’s it. The winners will always be who David Stern and a few owners want it to be, so stop your griping on both sides….

  20. Kobe rules - Apr 30, 2010 at 3:14 PM

    Well Lebron is the chosen one (isn’t he?)! Over the last few years I’ve noticed a pecking order for referee assignments and certain NBA teams; the better refs get assigned to winning NBA teams (eg Lakers, Spurs, Cavs) and the newbie refs get assigned to losing teams (Kings, Clippers, Nets).

  21. Shipwrecksam - Apr 30, 2010 at 3:32 PM

    TheRealThing is so right. The league is about making money, nothing else. The championship will circulate among the Lakers, Spurs, Celtics and maybe Cavaliers for all time. Never again will a small market team winn – it’s bad for ad revenue.

  22. Kaygee - Apr 30, 2010 at 3:35 PM

    You guys saying that cuban is complaining for no reason, obviously have not been watching the playoffs. It is the most inconsistant officiating I have seen in years.

  23. Spur Fan #1 - Apr 30, 2010 at 4:40 PM

    It must really suck to be Mark Cuban…

  24. Mildred - Apr 30, 2010 at 5:23 PM

    I agree with Mark even though I’m not a fan of his. The Lakers and Spurs always get the calls and the poor underdog gets nothing.. The refs shoud get paid by how well they ref a game not by how many games they give away to certain teams..

  25. Mike - Apr 30, 2010 at 8:15 PM

    Cuban NEEDS ti STFU!
    This guy is SUCH a Baby!!His Team Is SOFT and will NEVER win a RING

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