Monday, May 11, 2009
Report: Cuban called Martin a 'thug'
ESPN.com news services
The NBA is reviewing a postgame confrontation between Mark Cuban and the mother of Denver Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin during which the Dallas Mavericks' owner referred to Martin as a "thug" or a "punk," according to a report in The Denver Post.
Cuban told the Denver newspaper by e-mail that as he walked off the court after the Mavericks' Saturday night loss in Dallas, he saw Martin's mother, Lydia Moore, as a fan was yelling that the Nuggets were "thugs."
"That includes your son," Cuban said to Moore, according to his e-mail to The Post.
Martin's agent, Brian Dyke, had a different take on the incident, The Post reported. According to Dyke, an unprovoked Cuban told Moore, "Your son is a punk."
Either way, NBA spokesman Tim Frank told the paper the "situation on the floor postgame is being reviewed."
According to The Associated Press, Frank said Sunday the league was still reviewing the wider postgame scene on the court, when Dallas' Josh Howard and Cuban were among those visibly upset after Carmelo Anthony hit a game-winning 3-pointer with one second to play.
The shot, which came after Antoine Wright's obvious attempt to draw a foul on Anthony, took the Nuggets from two points down to one point ahead, giving them a 106-105 victory and a commanding 3-0 lead in the second-round series.
Cuban came onto the floor near the front of the Mavericks' bench after Anthony hit the shot, before Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki took the inbounds pass and missed a long shot at the buzzer.
As he left the court after the game, Cuban slightly shoved a TV cameraman, pushing his forearm to move him aside as the owner walked by.
Martin remained on the court more than a minute after the game and could be seen making comments to Mavs players as most of his teammates had made their way to the locker room.
Martin, a Dallas native known for his physical play, was fined $25,000 by the NBA on Monday, a day after knocking Nowitzki to the court in Denver's series-opening win.
After that game, Nowitzki downplayed the contact as "just a hard playoff foul." The Mavericks All-Star has no beef with Martin, either.
"We both played hard, had some great battles and left it at that," Nowitzki said Tuesday. "We were laughing at one move that I made on the block where I had like 10 or 11 fakes and he was just standing there. He asked me what the hell I was doing."
On the play in question, Nowitzki was off-balance when Martin put a shoulder to him, causing him to stumble and then slide across the lane. Nowitzki disputed that he made the foul look worse that it was.
"I don't think I really acted on that play," he said. "It was pretty obvious."
Nowitzki said then he didn't think Martin would change his style because of the fine.
"K-Mart is K-Mart. He's an aggressive player, an aggressive defender," Nowitzki said. "He goes to the basket hard. I don't think that's going to be in the back of his mind."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.