Dallas Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban, was fined $250,000 for "several acts
of misconduct" after game five of the NBA finals between the Mavs and
Miami Heat. Cuban went on to the floor after the game and vented
directly at official Joe DeRosa and then turning to the scorer’s box
where David Stern was seated.
According to an AP report he said to Stern and other NBA officials, who
were seated at the scorer's table and was overheard to shout venomously
in the jubilant din, '[Bleep] you! [Bleep] you! Your league is rigged!'
Later Cuban said that none of the ranting was directed at Stern.
Stern believes that the pressure is starting to get to Cuban. Monday,
on the ‘Best Damn Sports Show Period’, Stern said it was "sad for his
players. I think the pressure of his first finals may be getting to
him." Later Stern told Dan Patrick on ESPN Radio that he thought
Cuban's conduct was hurting his team.
Cuban has denied
saying the NBA was rigged. In response to a Miami Herald Article by
Greg Cote, Cuban said the games are not rigged. He wrote in his
blog “That's a complete insult to the players on the court and the
incredible amount of effort they put into preparing for and playing
the games. All 82 regular-season and postseason games. The NBA
couldn't rig the games if it wanted to. And it doesn't want to. It's
So what sparked his tirade? Cuban was angry over what he considered to
be a series of officiating breakdowns. He was fired-up after the Mavs
lost to the Heat in overtime, 101 to 100.
Towards the end of the game, Miami's Dwyane Wade was fouled on a drive
to the basket, and then hit two free throws with 1.9 seconds left.
Dallas wanted to call timeout after the second attempt, but a referee
heard Josh Howard ask for it after the first.
Cuban was also upset over what he thought was a backcourt violation. An
assistant couch showed Cuban a tape that led him to believe that Wade
should have been called for a turnover when he caught an inbounds pass
to begin the possession.
Cuban said "My understanding from the rule book is: if you are going to
catch the ball in the backcourt, you have to be in the backcourt to
catch it." This is not true according to Rule 4, Section VI, which
deals with frontcourt/backcourt. The replays showed that Wade leaped
near midcourt to catch the ball in the air, landing with possession in
The rulebook says "frontcourt/backcourt status is not attained until a
player with the ball has established a positive position in either half
during a throw-in in the last 2 minutes of the fourth period and/or any
overtime period." Since Wade was in the air when he caught the ball,
league spokesman Tim Frank said his position wasn't determined until he
landed. Since another rule allows for the ball to be thrown into the
backcourt at that time, there was no violation.
The NBA has said that there was no backcourt violation on the play that
that led to Dwyane Wade's winning free throws.