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Mark Cuban says David Stern was right to fine Spurs

Dec 2, 2012, 11:17 AM EDT

Mavericks owner Cuban argues a call during NBA basketball game against Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City Reuters

Mark Cuban sticking up for David Stern. Maybe the Mayans were right, the end of the world might be nigh.

That said, Cuban will be quick to remind you that the NBA is a business. And the first rule of business is “the customer is always right.” When Gregg Popovich sat Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili against the Miami Heat in a nationally televised game on Thursday, he was doing what was best for his team (resting older players in what was their fourth game in five nights).

But he disappointed a lot of customers — people who bought tickets and a national television audience. And David Stern came down hard on the Spurs because of those fans (for the most part, he was also sending a message to other teams).

Cuban told he thinks Stern made the right move because you have to protect the television interest, the NBA’s “money train.”

“If he would have done the same thing the next night, it’d be a completely different conversation,” Cuban said. “Common sense. Recognize who pays your check.”

“Look, I respect the Spurs,” Cuban said. “Pop is the best coach in the league. I understand why he did it. I might even take the fine if it was us, but I understand why the league [fined the Spurs]. It maybe should have even been higher, because the amount at stake is enormous.”

But this is Cuban, you didn’t think he was going to let Stern completely off the hook, did you?

“It’s just as stupid to put a team in their fourth game in five nights on national television,” Cuban said. “That’s just as dumb. You’re not going to get as good of a performance, and that’s what you want to show. So I guess you can make the counter-argument that even though the Spurs did what they did. The league was just as guilty for putting them in that position, which was pretty stupid.”

  1. sellahh - Dec 2, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    I say Kenyon Martin was right to bark at Mark Cuban.

  2. geraldthecat - Dec 2, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    Best owner in sports

  3. rayray5227 - Dec 2, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    Another idiot speaks lol

  4. kindasporty - Dec 2, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    I understand it is a business. But a lot of people don’t even care until the playoffs come around. I would make the argument that in resting their players like they did, the Spurs were helping to make the product better by making the playoffs better. The NBA is better off if they have the Spurs not looking old and tired on the biggest stage.

    • deadeyedesign23 - Dec 2, 2012 at 4:55 PM

      I’m sure it was a business when he left half of his championship team walk to take a shot a Howard and Williams.

  5. bucrightoff - Dec 2, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    One-time championship owner or four-time championship coach…I wonder who knows how to win better?

  6. twreck13 - Dec 2, 2012 at 2:02 PM


    Yah because cubes said anything about pops decision being bad for the spurs w/l record

  7. pastabelly - Dec 2, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    4th game in 5 nights says it all. If nothing else, Popovich brought Stern’s ridiculous scheduling out as an issue. Stern should be fined by the owners for garbage like that.

  8. rayburns - Dec 2, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    Cuban will probably get a stern letter (no pun intended) from the league office, if not fined, for being too truthful. Despite all Stern’s words about the integrity of the game and keeping the fans happy, this was really all about two things: money and pride.

    The money was the huge amount that television brings into the league and when one of the ‘marquee’ teams can (and will) show up to a nationally televised game without their stars, the networks might not be so happy to spend all that money to see a game without starpower, no matter how competitive the game actually was.

    And, Stern was shown up and shown up on national television. You don’t mess with Stern. If I could hazard a guess, I would say that it was the latter, more than the former, that motivated the fining of the Spurs.

    And Cuban knows that, so he tweaks the nose of the commissioner while agreeing with him.

  9. tontoepstein - Dec 2, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    Cuban’s own team has sat guys for the same reason. What a hypocritical blowhard.

  10. tuberippin - Dec 2, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    So what you’re saying is the owner of one Texas basketball team thinks that David Stern was right to fine one of the other Texas basketball teams? Can’t be any conflict of interest there…

  11. mashoaf - Dec 2, 2012 at 5:20 PM

    With Cubans logic you could say that he should refund a prorated amount of money to season ticket holders because Dirk is hurt. You know it’s a business and the customer is always right.

  12. BigBeachBall - Dec 2, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    I would have fined the spurs an even billion, just to make a statement.

  13. nycalldayz - Dec 2, 2012 at 10:54 PM

    Cuban has been grumpy this season. LOL

  14. 32magicman - Dec 3, 2012 at 4:23 AM

    Spurs should NOT have been fined. There should have been a warning letter sent out to all teams before any action was taken. They should refuse to pay this as no official rule is in place. Very grey area

  15. zerole00 - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:20 AM

    I think we all understood the business side of this issue, but the television ratings ended up being the same as any other night. In any case, the league was the original source of this problem with their scheduling.

    In the end however, I don’t think the fans really give a crap about regular season games. We can pretty much guess 80% of the teams that are going into the playoffs anyway. If the NBA was really concerned with their business they wouldn’t scam entire marketshares with teams like the Bobcats.

  16. pellypell - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:03 AM

    The Mayan’s were right, Mark Cuban just backed up and supported a David Stern decision, the world is coming to an end.

  17. davidcl77 - Dec 3, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    That idiot just can’t keep his trap shut. What a moron.

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