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Mark Cuban says he'd be interested in LeBron as a Maverick, NBA investigating as tampering

May 20, 2010, 11:31 PM EDT

UPDATE 11:27 PM: cuban.jpgThat didn’t take long. Well, of course it didn’t, if there is one thing the NBA league office seems to love it’s a good investigation.

The NBA is officially investigating Mark Cuban’s comments to see if they are tampering, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Brian Windhorst. No timetable for a decision.

In an email to ESPNDallas, Cuban said that the comments were not tampering.

8:24 pm: Mark Cuban wouldn’t mind having the best player in the world on his team. You think?

It’s not really shocking news, but it is the first time Cuban has really said this in a public venue. In an interview with CNNMoney (via ESPNDallas) Cuban flirts with NBA tampering rules — and David Stern doesn’t joke about tampering rules — by saying he’d have interest in talking with LeBron James after July 1 if the free agent to be decides to test the market and has interest in a strong organization.

“Come July 1st, yeah, of course, anybody would be interested in LeBron James, and if he leaves via free agency, then it’s going to be tough. If he does like I’m guessing, hoping he will, which is say, ‘I’m not going to leave the Cavs high and dry,’ if he decides to leave — there’s still a better chance he stays — then he’ll try to force a sign-and-trade, and that gives us a chance.”

Cuban’s fellow Mavericks fans have his back — they even have the Website. However, here is what the league wanted — and by league rules required — him to say.

“I can’t discuss LeBron, he is still under contract with the Cavaliers.”

That’s not nearly as much fun, but the guys in suits in New York can be that way sometimes. Don’t be shocked if Cuban’s rather obvious comments earn him a fine from the league. It’s not what he said, it’s that he said anything.

The Mavericks do not have the cap space to sign James as a free agent (they don’t have any cap space at all). And right now the Cavaliers are not talking sign and trade at all, they won’t even begin to discuss it.

But if James tells the Cavaliers he is gone for sure, he could force a sign-and-trade deal — the Cavs would want to get something back if he leaves. They will not begin to get equal value — on or off the court — but some picks and expiring contracts might help speed a rebuilding process. They may nave no choice.

And if it comes to a sign-and-trade, the Mavericks become an interesting dance partner with players and expiring deals to offer. But we’re a long way from talking about that. Plus we don’t want a fine.

  1. DT - May 21, 2010 at 1:34 PM

    LeBron is not that special…He reminds me of Dominique Wilkins, who was considered the best player during the height of his career, not Michael Jordan. He also reminds me alot of Bill Russell, who really is the best player the NBA has ever seen (I am NOT a Celtics fan, quite the opposite, Jerry West has always been my favorite player). LeBron can go either way as well…he could be like Dominique or he could be like Bill Russell…he will never be like Mike and I don’t even know why they compare them (Kobe vs. Mike makes more sense). The biggest difference between those two was that Bill Russell had good players around him and he trusted them…Dominique was quite the opposite. From what I have seen (and I have been an NBA fan for a long, long time), right now LeBron is heading down the wrong path…he is very selfish and it is very visible. His ‘spark’ to win leaves alot to be desired. He needs to change his nature not the team surrounding him. You know, he also reminds me alot of Clyde Drexler (also once considered the greatest player the NBA has ever seen).

  2. dearkobehater - May 21, 2010 at 1:48 PM

    time to wake up from your hypothetical world missy

  3. Anonymous - May 21, 2010 at 1:55 PM

    Lakers suck, they’re nothing but a celebrity team just like the New York Yankees.

  4. What Planet are you from? - May 21, 2010 at 2:15 PM

    Yeah…. no.
    Basketball has this tiny thing that baseball doesn’t – a real salary cap.
    And you can call the Lakers and Yankees celebrity teams if you want, but they still win.
    Unlike the teams you root for it would seem.

  5. terry - May 21, 2010 at 2:33 PM

    Dan Marino, Boomer Esiason, Charles Barkley, Ted Williams, The Detroit Lions of way-back-when, and ALL those in pro sports who never won the big one:
    They ALL sing the same song, and it goes like this:
    “It don’t mean a thing if you ain’t got that ring.”

  6. bigjay677 - May 21, 2010 at 2:35 PM

    lebron cant be known as the best player in the anywhere without a low post game or a consistent mid range jumper. so all yall need to get off queen james bandwagon and recognize kobes all around game is only rivaled by michael jordan himself. serious basketball fans and students of the game know this.

  7. paul58 - May 21, 2010 at 2:49 PM

    Hey genius, no one wins a championship alone and having other good players on your team, or getting to coach them, does not diminish your accomplishments. I know it is much less fun to actually think but give it a try

  8. BostonAndroid - May 21, 2010 at 3:18 PM

    THE team to beat is the Celtics. Rough season. Spectacular in the post-season. Got to get a new patch to iron on my 2008 Championship jacket (that’s #18). Can’t wait to see LA get beat again, and again, and again, and again. Somebody got a BROOM!

  9. al - May 21, 2010 at 3:23 PM

    Now i read alot of stupid things and resisted responding.Until reading dominique was considered the best player in his era.WHAT?????You must have lived on mars then.It was Magic Johnson, Larry Bird (the MJ and LB of that era) and Julius Erving.Nique didn’t even make the top 50 of nba.And you’ve been a fan for a long time?And to all those that agreed with nickLA???He said not only lebron going to okc???(actually labron more than once which shows how much basketball he’s watched)but also it is a assumption that the best basketball player in the world is in the nba???wtf??where is this guy from??He is about as smart as Tammy.Tammy do you know how much semen and from how many people was found in that girls underwear??Google the facts.Either she was a whore, or she got raped alot. I got my money on the former….

  10. In My Crystal Ball I See... - May 21, 2010 at 3:58 PM

    In my crystal ball I see Al, sitting alone in his basement, banging his head on his computer keyboard because no one likes him. He sticks his hand into a fresh bag of Cheetos and whimpers. Through his tears, he Googles “Dominique Wilkin’s career stats” and grows angry at the assertion Wilkins was good. He Googles “Oklahoma City Thunder” and is reminded why he is superior to anyone who believes Lebron may go there. He Googles “Kobe’s semen” (which he actually has bookmarked in his favorites) and smiles at the thought of having an autographed vial of his very own.
    Despite his best effort at restraining himself, Al then posts on this board, lashing out at all of his imagined enemies who have made his life so miserable by forcing him to live in the internet where he can exhibit his superiority over all others.
    Al wipes away the tears from his eyes. The orange Cheetos dust from his fingers mix with his tears forming a sticky orange/cheesy paste. He wipes it from his eyes and eats it.
    Al has no friends and needs to learn how to get along with others in the real world. In the meantime, Al will Google the facts so he may teach us all a lesson.

  11. Anonymous - May 21, 2010 at 6:27 PM

    Well, I never said Shaq got his rings because of Kobe. If you read what was written, you’ll see that it was a pre-emptive strike at people who like to use the “Kobe didnt’ get a ring ’til Shaq got there” argument to denigrate Kobe. That is true, and like I said, Shaq didn’t get one without Kobe up to that point, either. Obviously, it was a team effort. Neither guy could do it without the other. I’m just saying. And by the way, Kobe didn’t “land on a team that had a big man”. If you’ll recall, Kobe was there first.
    But you bring up an interesting point about Jordan. He DIDN’T get a ring without Pippen. And Pippen deserves just as much credit as Jordan.
    And as for comparing LeBron to Kobe, I say look at the way they play. LeBron is a front runner and a quitter. Kobe is a hard-as-nails assassin. I know which one I’d want.

  12. al - May 21, 2010 at 10:16 PM

    Thanks for riding my jock, but you can get off now loser….I know the sport and i don’t speak from ignorance so no need to google stats.How long did it take you to get that corny, or were you born that way…

  13. In My Crystal Ball I See... - May 24, 2010 at 10:53 AM

    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
    I must have been right!!!!
    In my crystal ball I see Al, sitting alone in his basement, banging his head on his computer keyboard in rage that yet another person beneath him has failed to realize Al’s obvious superiority in all things. Al Googles “amazing killer comebacks” and finds a reference to someone being “corny.” He cuts and pastes the “…or were you born that way” insult and hits the Post Comment button satisfied that he has silenced yet another pretender to his self-conferred title of “Greatest Person on the Internet….EVER”. Al dips his hand into the now half-empty bag of Cheetos and enjoys a satisfying snack.

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