Mavs owner Cuban cites FA fans' 'Jerry Springer'-like 'hysteria'

Mike Fisher

DALLAS - Mark Cuban, no stranger to incendiary comments, unleashed a doozy from NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, comparing some fans to participants on the "Jerry Springer'' TV show.

"NBA Twitter is hysterical,'' the Dallas Mavericks owner said, via the Dallas News. "It’s like if Jerry Springer called up fans from different teams and they said 'You, you, you did this! You promised me this and you said that!' It’s straight out of Jerry Springer. It’s humorous, but it’s not reality."

"The Jerry Springer Show,'' for the unaware, is an infamously trashy hoot featuring guests who appear in order to explain why "My Mom Dresses Like Hitler'' and "I Am Dating My Grandfather'' -- and sometimes, as I recall, "Why My Mom Dressed Like Hitler And Is Dating My Grandfather.''

And then everybody throws chairs at one another.

Cuban is careful not to pinpoint Mavs fans specifically here -- thus his mention of "calling up fans from different teams'' -- but you know who you are.

The owner apparently mentioned that he does appreciate the passion of a fan base that got excited because Dallas employs Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis (newly signed, which counts as a summer positive) and was poised to employ $30 million in cap room, too ...

But then failed to do so in the expected ways.

From Cuban: "It’s like, there was a rumor that you were supposed to get this guy and you didn’t get that guy that you were rumored to get, so because you didn’t get the guy you were rumored to be going after, you had a horrible free agency.”

I will argue vigorously with the owner on this one. Fans expectations were not raised by media "rumors'' -- at least not in this space. Fans expectations were raised by realities. When GM Donnie Nelson said of free agency goals, "We like stars,'' all I did was type it. When Cuban talked of being "opportunistic,'' he certainly was not referring to out-recruiting the rest of the NBA to sign third-string center Boban Marjanovic. When Donnie mentioned "Split Our Aces'' as an as at-least secondary plan, he was talking about acquiring two starters.

Cuban's claim there was only "one guy we didn’t get that we wanted'' is hyperbolic spin.

Dallas did not sign a max newcomer. Dallas did not out-recruit anybody. Given that Seth Curry last year in Portland was a first-teamer just twice all season, it's fair to say Dallas did not sign even one starter, let alone two. And depending on how you look at it, that goes for the Sunday sign-and-trade get of Memphis guard Delon Wright, too. Yes, he'll start here, and yes, it can work. But he's a career backup being elevated to first-team in Dallas -- and whether that's because he's just so good or because Dallas' starting lineup is just so needy ... remains to be seen.

Frankly, while the Mavs front office kept working, its series of talent-acquisition plans did not. Mavs fans may be calling names and throwing chairs (while also celebrating the promise of Luka and KP) and in his heart of hearts, Cuban knows exactly why.

"We certainly are positioned,'' Donnie said as a prelude to summer shopping, "to make some noise."

And unless by "noise'' they meant incendiary quotes from the owner, it's Mavs management -- not the Mavs fan base -- that was wrong.