Referee-bashing Maverick owner fined again


NEW YORK, AFP

Dallas Mavericks billionaire owner Mark Cuban must put his money where his mouth is once again after the National Basketball Association fined him for the third time this season for criticizing referees. Cuban was fined US$25,000 by the league here Wednesday, bringing his 23 day season total for referee bashing to US$45,000. According to NBA senior vice president of basketball operations Stu Jackson, Cuban was fined for verbally abusing and publicly criticizing officials after Tuesday’s 116-110 home loss to the Seattle SuperSonics. It was the second fine in three days for Cuban, who was fined 5,000 dollars earlier this season and on Monday fined US$15,000 for a similar violation after a loss last week to Phoenix. Last March, Cuban bought the Dallas Mavericks and the club’s new arena for US$280 million, a record for an NBA franchise.

He has become one of the league’s most visible owners since then in addition to one of the most outspoken. Cuban’s most notable player move was bringing in Dennis Rodman last season, more as a publicity stunt than a bid to raise the lowly Mavericks from the NBA also-rans.