The NBA announced Saturday that Dallas owner Mark Cuban has been fined $100,000 for "confronting the game officials on the court after the conclusion of the game and directing inappropriate language" following the Mavericks' 129-127 loss to the Clippers in Los Angeles on Jan. 15.
With less than 15 seconds remaining and the Mavericks leading 127-126, Jamal Crawford attacked the paint to create a pull-up, mid-range jumper. As Crawford went up for the shot, Shawn Marion reached in slightly before pulling both of his arms back, and the officials awarded two foul shots on the play. Crawford hit both shots and the Clippers held on for the victory.
Following the game, cameras captured Cuban walking onto the court and yelling at the referees. That night's crew consisted of Ron Garretson, Karl Lane and Leroy Richardson.
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban yells at the referees following a Dallas loss. (NBA TV)
As it turns out, Cuban was just asking to be fined, literally.
"I couldn't let the [commissioner] go without a proper farewell," Cuban tweeted on Saturday, referencing the retirement of NBA commissioner David Stern. "It's been a fun 14 years of trying to create change and donating to the [doughnut] fund!"
ESPNDallas.com reported that Cuban, who has been sanctioned repeatedly by Stern for his comments about the league's referees, told reporters before the Clippers game that he planned to draw one last fine before Stern retired on Feb. 1.
"We talk about it all the time," Cuban said. "I'm going to have one final fine before he leaves."
Reached Thursday in London, where he is attending the Brooklyn Nets-Atlanta Hawks game at the O2 Arena, Stern said of Cuban's plan to get fined: "I know he is trying, but our muffin fund coffers are overflowing."
Cuban, 55, has been fined nearly $2 million by the NBA since he took over as owner of the Mavericks in 2000.
Twice this season, the NBA has acknowledged errors made by referees in late-game situations that led to wins by the Mavericks. The league said that Shawn Marion should have been called for a late foul on Timberwolves forward Kevin Love on Dec. 30. Less than two weeks later, the league announced Monta Ellis should have been called for a last-second foul on Pelicans guard Austin Rivers on Jan. 13.
Those announcements prompted Cuban to call for even greater transparency that extends past game-deciding, last-second plays.
“I love the transparency,” Cuban said, according to the Dallas Morning News. “Now if I can just get them to do the same level of transparency for the other 47 minutes, 55 seconds, we’ll really be making progress. ... If you’re evaluating and you’re being held accountable and you’re proud of the work you do, why wouldn’t you? ... It’s better if it’s public. “Why not? What’s to hide?"
Video via YouTube user NBAshowtimeHD8