Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was fined $250,000 on Tuesday for his outbursts following Game 5 of the NBA finals, and commissioner David Stern said he's getting tired of off-court antics drawing attention from the series.
Cuban was cited for "several acts of misconduct" committed after Dallas lost 101-100 in overtime to the Heat in Miami on Sunday night. The list includes Cuban going onto the floor to vent directly to official Joe DeRosa, screaming toward Stern and a group of league officials in the stands, then using profanity during a postgame session with reporters.
"If we are going to hold coaches, players and fans accountable, then we have to hold owners accountable, too," Stern said.
The fine - Cuban's second this postseason and 10th in 6 1â2 years owning the team - was announced hours before the Mavericks faced the Heat in Game 6 of the NBA finals. Miami won 95-92 to claim the championship.
Cuban said Monday he was expecting to be fined. It showed in his reaction to the penalty: "I'm fine with it," he wrote in an e-mail. "Get the humor there. Fine with it."
He later referred to it as "just a business expense," adding that he wouldn't have done anything differently.
Well, it's also the latest salvo in the battle between Cuban and Stern.
Stern said in many TV and radio interviews Monday and Tuesday that he didn't like seeing Cuban get more publicity than the games. He told Fox Sports Net's "Best Damn Sports Show Period" that "I think the pressure of his first finals may be getting to him."
In Dallas for Game 6, Stern told reporters that he thought twice about taking any action against Cuban because he knew it would keep the focus where he didn't want it. However, he felt there was no choice.
Cuban got a kick out of Stern saying his approach was hurting the Mavericks.
"Last time he said that, we were down a game to Utah in 2001, and we came back and won," Cuban said. "So hopefully it's good karma."
Stern added that he'll consider further punishment after the finals. That could include a penalty on Dallas coach Avery Johnson also for his criticism of the league following the suspension of Jerry Stackhouse from Game 5 for a hard foul on Miami's Shaquille O'Neal in Game 4.
Stern said Johnson got a pass for being upset immediately after the ruling came down. The problem was that Johnson was still angry at a news conference the next day.
"I was just being brutally honest," Johnson said Tuesday.
Cuban was irate over the way Game 5 ended, starting with Miami's Dwyane Wade getting fouled on a drive to the basket. He then hit two free throws with 1.9 seconds left to win it for the Heat.
Dallas wanted to call timeout after Wade's second attempt, but DeRosa heard Josh Howard ask for it after the first. An assistant coach later alerted Cuban to what team officials thought was a backcourt violation at the start of the play; a league spokesman has since noted the exact passage explaining why Wade was within the rules when he crossed midcourt.