Cuban embarrasses himself, NBA - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Cuban embarrasses himself, NBA

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Posted: Wednesday, June 21, 2006 1:05 am | Updated: 2:54 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

So the NBA fined Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban $250,000 for his temper tantrum after Game 5 of the NBA Finals. Too bad the league can't send Cuban to his room, as well.

I understand why Cuban was irate after Dallas' loss in Game 5. The officials blew it when they called a foul on Dirk Nowitzki as Dwyane Wade drove to the basket with 1.9 seconds left and the Mavericks ahead by a point. The players should have been left to decide the game in that situation; instead, Wade got a superstar call, made both free throws, and the Heat took a 3-2 lead in the series.

But there's a right way to handle disappointment and there's a wrong way.

In going onto the court to scream at official Joe DeRosa, yell at commissioner David Stern and then curse out a reporter who asked a reasonable question, Cuban acted like a petulant 8-year-old instead of a grown man who should know better.

Had Cuban calmed down after his outburst and apologized, his actions might have been forgiven — if not forgotten. We've all lost our cool at times. None of us is perfect.

But Cuban compounded his mistake with a silly and infantile blog at his Web site. Here's a sample, with the profanities excised:

"Does it really matter if we say Poo Poo or (expletive-deleted)? Of course not. Unless of course your (sic) married and your wife tells you it matters. She doesn't want to be the one who gets phone calls from teachers and other parents getting blamed for all the 3 year olds in the little gym class screaming, "Kiss my (expletive deleted) you (expletive deleted) . . . Me, I couldn't think of anything I would rather see and hear. But that's me."

Yes, it is.

Cuban went on to say that the reporter deserved a cussing out because, "If he doesn't think enough of either of our time to invest the brainpower and minutes it takes to come up with something different than has been asked a thousand times . . . (expletive deleted) em."

How clever. Perhaps Cuban could use his next blog to discuss the North Korean missile crisis if he isn't too busy readying his Father of the Year speech.

Look, I'm not saying Cuban should put on a suit and become a corporate shill. His honesty is refreshing, and his unorthodox thinking is good for the league.

But it's one thing to be a rebel; it's another thing to embarrass yourself and the league you represent.

"I think everyone associated with our sport has a responsibility to behave appropriately," Suns chairman Jerry Colangelo said. "One's actions have a great impact on our fans and the viewing audience. "We go back to this whole role model thing. You set a bad example, that's not healthy at all for the sport and for the business."

Colangelo admires Cuban's business acumen, but he has little regard for Cuban's antics. He seems to view Cuban the way a parent would an unruly teenager.

"It's OK to be demonstrative," Colangelo said. "It's OK to do a lot of things. But if you cross the line then it has to be dealt with."

The problem is, hitting Cuban in the pocketbook does nothing to change his behavior. He's been fined 10 times for at least $1.45 million and he still hasn't grown up. Perhaps it's time Stern takes the next step and suspends Cuban. Take him off the Mavericks bench, away from the game, and maybe then he'll act with some dignity. "When somebody has no problem writing a check because he has the resources, it's not the same impact as not being around," Colangelo said. "That would sting a lot more than money."

Unfortunately, Cuban is just the alpha male among the new breed of owners. Here in the Valley, Suns owner Robert Sarver sits at courtside and orders the Suns' staff to replay questionable fouls on the giant video screen above midcourt. If it looks like the Suns have been jobbed, Sarver will wave his foam finger and scream at the officials.

Classy.

"Everyone in this business is competitive," Colangelo said. "Some have a need and desire to be out front and they enjoy and love the spotlight. Others don't. Everybody is different. My experience in my 40 years is that it's a lot better to handle matters behind closed doors."

I checked Cuban's blog late Tuesday afternoon to see if he had anything to say about being fined. There wasn't a word.

Good.

Maybe somebody took his computer away.

Listen to Scott Bordow every Monday at 3:30 p.m. on KDUS (1060 AM) with Bob Kemp.

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