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Mark Cuban drops verbal bomb on officiating

After a loss to Oklahoma City, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban calls the officiating 'off-the-charts bad.' That was just the beginning of his comments, which will cost him $75,000.

February 04, 2012|By Ben Bolch
  • Mavericks owner Mark Cuban voices his opinion during a game against the Denver Nuggets in Dallas.
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban voices his opinion during a game against the… (Brandon Wade / Associated…)

Another Cuban crisis

Mark Cuban is back.

The Dallas Mavericks owner who had been strangely restrained with his comments going back to last season's championship run lashed out at officials Wednesday for what he considered a rash of bad calls in the lockout-shortened season.

"These were officials that have been part of the league for years, and it was just off-the-charts bad," Cuban told ESPNDallas.com after Mavericks Coach Rick Carlisle had been ejected following a pair of fourth-quarter technical fouls in a loss to Oklahoma City. "And, if no one ever says anything, nothing ever happens."

Cuban was mostly miffed about no-calls on drives by Dallas' Jason Terry and Rodrigue Beaubois in the final minutes that helped the Thunder retain a 33-25 edge in free throws attempted.

"It all comes down to this: I understand that it's tough for the officials now," Cuban said. "They're going through the same travel stress as everybody else, but there's absolutely no transparency right now. I mean, you get games like tonight where it was just horrible."

"Some of these guys are having really bad nights, and it's having an impact. The league's got to come out and say, 'OK, look, we understand they're going through some tough travel or whatever. It's just the way it is.' Otherwise, if that's not an impact, you have to wonder how some of these crews are still on the court."

Something else to ponder: How little being fined $75,000 by the league for his comments will deter Cuban from speaking his mind.

On second thought

If the Chris Paul trade sounded like a bad deal to New Orleans Hornets fans before it was consummated, just imagine their angst now.

Shooting guard Eric Gordon, the Hornets' biggest acquisition in the trade, has played in only two games because of a knee injury that is expected to keep him out several more weeks.

Center Chris Kaman was so unhappy about his reduced role that he agreed to be held out of games until the team could find a trade partner.

That leaves forward Al-Farouq Aminu, who was averaging about five points per game off the bench, and a first-round draft pick who may or may not develop into a serviceable player for the last-place Hornets.

Well, at least the Clippers are happy.

Much ado about dunking?

Clippers forward Blake Griffin's tomahawk dunk over Oklahoma City's Kendrick Perkins on Monday had basketball junkies scanning old highlights from Julius Erving, Michael Jordan and Dominique Wilkins in search of a more ferocious throwdown.

Not that everyone was enthralled with the potential dunk of the year.

"I have no appreciation for it at all," Thunder forward Kevin Durant said. "It was a layup, I think. He threw the ball in and got fouled and made his free throw, so it was three points at the end of the day, no matter how it happened, how it went in the basket. I really wasn't impressed. He finished it. So what? We've moved on."

Talk about hard to please.

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