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Basketball - Mark Cuban Fined $250K Because of Outburst After Game 5 of NBA Finals - Miami Heat Dallas Mavericks Series at 3-2 Now

June 20th 2006

Basketball - Mark Cuban Fined $250K Because of Outburst After Game 5 of NBA Finals - Miami Heat Dallas Mavericks Series at 3-2 Now

O'Neil and Wade

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 that simple.”

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 backcourt.

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. 

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Dan Wilson
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