Mark Cuban draws on WWE history

Updated: April 11, 2012, 1:51 PM ET
By Tim MacMahon | ESPNDallas.com

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has never been one to back down from a challenge, especially one from a fellow NBA owner and billionaire -- in this case Mikhail Prokhorov of the New Jersey Nets.

Prokhorov, who has attended only one game this season because of his campaign to become president of his native Russia, took a joking jab at Cuban while discussing soon-to-be free agent guard Deron Williams with reporters Tuesday.

Recognizing that Dallas is the primary competition to sign the Nets' superstar, Prokhorov threatened to inflict pain if Cuban convinces Williams, who grew up near Dallas, to play for the Mavs next season.

"Let the best man win," Prokhorov said, joking about his competition with Cuban to sign Williams. "If he wins, I will crush him in a kickboxing throwdown."

The 6-foot-9 Prokhorov has a significant reach advantage over Cuban, but it wouldn't be Cuban's first brawl with a much bigger foe.

"He obviously didn't see me be the first in WWE history to put Sheamus on the mat," Cuban replied Wednesday night via email, referring to his guest host appearance on "Monday Night Raw" in 2009. "He knows not what he gets himself into."

Of course, Cuban doesn't mention that he ended up being slammed back-first through a table by Sheamus. Or that he was put in Randy Orton's famous move -- the "RKO" -- during Cuban's first Raw appearance in 2003.

But that'd be a small price to pay for getting an All-Star point guard in his prime.

Tim MacMahon covers the Mavericks for ESPNDallas.com. Mike Mazzeo of ESPNNewYork.com contributed to this story.

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