Cuban: NBA has 'taken huge strides'

Updated: April 24, 2014, 5:44 PM ET
By Tim MacMahon | ESPNDallas.com

SAN ANTONIO -- The NBA office has started providing teams detailed analysis of officiating after every game.

For several years, the detailed officiating analysis has been used internally by the league office. The decision was made to make the analysis available to the teams this season.

"For the teams, it gives them an idea of how we're seeing the game, how it's being graded," NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn told ESPNDallas.com, adding that the analysis increases confidence around the league about the commitment to quality officiating. "It's no longer a mystery, if you will."

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who was the first to publicly mention the reports, has long lobbied for more transparency regarding referees.

Cuban describes the league as "far more proactive and far more transparent" since Adam Silver replaced the retired David Stern as the commissioner in February.

"I think they've taken huge strides," Cuban said. "You can always improve, but you've got to take that first step before you can improve it."

The league has continued its policy of making statements to acknowledge when a critical call late in a game is made incorrectly, such as after the openers of the Golden State Warriors-Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers-Houston Rockets series. The reports sent to the teams, which cover all calls made throughout games, are confidential.

"I'm happy with what they're doing," Cuban said. "We're not allowed to talk about any of the specifics of them, but I think we've made huge steps. What [Thorn and his staff] have done up there is phenomenal, because it's not like we just gave them an extra 20 people. They've been able to really bust their asses and do some great things."

The league office has fined Cuban at least $1.9 million during his 14-year ownership tenure, largely for criticizing officiating. He has not been fined since Silver became the commissioner.

At this point, Cuban suggests the league should take the transparency a step further by making public statements when referees get controversial, critical calls right.

"I'd also like to see the correct ones that are mentioned as well," Cuban said. "With transparency, you get rid of all of the conspiracy theories. That's the whole goal. You want to send the message that we get them right, too, because we do."

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