- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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DALLAS -- Mavericks owner Mark Cuban considers the NBA office's willingness to acknowledge officiating mistakes that occur late in close games to be an encouraging first step.
But Cuban, whose crusade to improve NBA officiating has resulted in seven figures worth of fines during his 14-year ownership tenure, is asking for much more.
"I love the transparency," Cuban said Monday. "Now if I could just get them to do the same level of transparency for the other 47 minutes and 55 seconds, I'd really be making progress."
Cuban, whose team benefited twice in the last two weeks from last-second no-calls the league office later acknowledged should have been fouls, is lobbying for a list of blown calls to be published for every NBA game.
This doesn't necessarily need to be done on a timely basis, Cuban said. He would strongly prefer that it would be done publicly, though.
"No one ever wants or expects perfection, but when you're not transparent, people tend to think you're hiding something," Cuban said. "And I think that hurts us. That hurts just the connection we have with our fan base. That's my opinion."
Teams can currently request calls to be reviewed by the league office via a private Internet site. The Mavs exercise that right on occasion.
"It's not so much the missed calls I get upset about," Cuban said. "It's the communication after the fact."
Cuban isn't nearly as critical of officiating as he used to be, in large part because of steps taken by the NBA office to address the issue. However, he will always firmly believe that poor officiating played a critical role in the Mavs losing the 2006 Finals. He was fined $250,000 after Game 5 of that series, when Miami's Dwyane Wade hit the deciding free throws after a controversial foul call.
"After all this, I firmly believe that every 14 years it does balance out," Cuban cracked about the two recent no-calls that benefited the Mavs.
Yet Cuban is completely serious about his concern regarding NBA fans' lack of trust of referees, an issue that was especially sensitive in the wake of disgraced former referee Tim Donaghy's gambling scandal. The desire to prove that the integrity of officiating in today's NBA is beyond reproach is why Cuban argues the league would benefit from making every call subject to review publicly.
"Why not? What's to hide?" Cuban said. "All you've got to do is just do a tweet search for 'NBA refs' during any multi-game night and it's an interesting source of knowledge. I think the more transparency we have, the stronger connection we make with our fans."
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