- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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DALLAS -- Mavs owner Mark Cuban and legendary Lakers coach Phil Jackson have exchanged many jabs via the media throughout the years.
Don't take any of it too seriously. Cuban surely doesn't.
"I like him a lot," Cuban said. "Anybody who can intellectually give you some [expletive] instead of ‘Your mother wears army boots’ quotes, you’ve got to like that. He takes it and then he gives it back."
Cuban's most recent jab at Jackson was referring to him as "Jeanie Buss' boytoy" in response to pretty tame comments from the Lakers coach, who had said that the Mavs would have a tough time replacing injured Caron Butler.
Ms. Buss, Jackson's girlfriend and a Lakers executive who is the daughter of owner Jerry Buss, saw the humor in the quip. She tweeted Tuesday that she missed her "boytoy Phil," adding "thanks Mark for his new nickname."
Cuban said he knew Buss "would laugh her ass off" and that Jackson was just a convenient subject to have some fun with the media.
"You know, I didn’t say it because I thought I really wanted to mess with Phil," Cuban said. "I said it because I wanted to mess with these guys [in the media]. It’s like saying to yourself, 'How can I get everybody in the entire sports media to use the word boytoy?'"
Cuban said he'd miss Jackson if this is his last season coaching in the NBA. But he figures Jackson won't be tough to keep tabs on.
"I’ll go to boytoynation.com and see what he’s up to," Cuban said, cracking himself up.