Saturday, March 28, 2009
Cuban critical of referees after loss
ESPN.com news services
Mark Cuban has never shied away from criticizing the performance of officials working Dallas Mavericks games.
The outspoken owner may have broken new ground with his most recent barbs.
Cuban used the social-networking blog site Twitter after Friday's loss to the Denver Nuggets to express angst about another incident between Mavericks guard Antoine Wright and Nuggets swingman J.R. Smith.
"How do they not call a tech on JR Smith for coming off the bench to taunt our player on the ground ?" Cuban wrote shortly after the 103-101 defeat in Dallas.
"Scary part of that play: Same crew chief from game in Denver where they missed call - last play of the game & 1st JRSmith/Wright issue," Cuban wrote in another post after the game.
Cuban was fined $25,000 in January for walking onto the court and yelling at Smith at halftime during a game in Denver and for actions afterward.
Cuban took offense when Smith threw an elbow that barely missed Wright late in the first half of that game.
Cuban said Wright could have been severely injured and that he was going to ask the league to suspend Smith. Smith was not disciplined for the incident.
The penalty was the 14th the NBA has imposed on Cuban, who has been fined about
$1.5 million total and suspended from three games.
On Friday, fans booed and the Mavs were slow to leave the court after the game. Wright had moved into the Nuggets' bench area after missing a jumper that would have tied it, something that didn't go over well with Denver players.
"It was his emotions, not us," Smith said. "It was just a bad spot for him."
Added Nuggets coach George Karl: "All I saw was a Dallas Maverick getting involved with my bench, and that's our territory. I don't know what he said or how he said it, it's still not right to come into our territory."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.