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Thursday, March 10, 2011
Mark Cuban wanted flagrant 2 called

By Jeff Caplan
ESPNDallas.com

DALLAS -- Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban agreed with the NBA's ruling Thursday to fine Marco Belinelli $10,000 and upgrade his flagrant foul Wednesday on Shawn Marion, but Cuban said he wishes the officials had initially ruled it a flagrant penalty 2, which would have allowed them to review the play and then downgrade it if necessary.

Belinelli shoved Marion in the back as he went up for a breakaway layup, causing Marion to crash into cameramen along the baseline. Marion bruised ribs on his left side and exited the game for good with 5:03 left in the third quarter.

A flagrant foul 1 is reviewable only after the game. Had a flagrant penalty 2 been initially called, reviewed and upheld, Belinelli, who finished with 21 points and hit a key 3-pointer in the Hornets' improbable 93-92 comeback Wednesday in the game's final 73 seconds, would have been ejected.

"What bothered me was that they didn't rule it a flagrant 2 on the court and then go to the videotape and review it, which would've been the common sense thing to do," Cuban said. "They upgraded it after the fact, which was the right thing to do. But the refs have the opportunity to rule it a flagrant two, review it, and if it's not a flagrant two, downgrade it.

"Common sense would've been rule it a flagrant 2, review it, and then make the decision you think was appropriate. You can review any flagrant 1. You can rule it a flagrant 2 and downgrade it and you get the right call. Maybe they still would've called it a flagrant 1, that's their choice, but it would've been the right thing to do."

X-rays showed no broken ribs Thursday night and Marion will play tonight against the New York Knicks despite ranking the pain emanating from his ribs a 9 1/2 on a scale of one to 10.

"I'll be all right," Marion said. "You just can't think about it. It's how much pain you can tolerate at the end of the day. What you can fight through and what you can't fight through."

Jeff Caplan covers the Mavericks for ESPNDallas.com.