It was bound to happen…and it did.

It was probably but just a matter of time ’till it happened, but I didn’t want it to go unnoticed. I got fined for my comments in a previous blog entry regarding opening night in the NBA.

I’m sure thisfine for a blog entryis a first in professional sports, and in a lot of respects it’s amusing and will be fun for others to write and talk about, but it raises a bigger question.

Do the customers and fans of the NBA or other leagues, feel it makes theleague appear stronger, weaker or unaffected when a player, owner, coach,GM, or executive publicly criticizes the league?

Are you as a consumer more likely to purchase, watch, recommend our products, or are you more likely to reduce your attachment and purchase of our products? How does it affect how you interact with us?

I’m curious about what the blogosphere thinks about the topic.

thanks

215 thoughts on “It was bound to happen…and it did.

  1. I think this is ridiculous.

    I don’t mind too much when the NBA fines people for criticizing the officiating in a particular game. But when you get fined for a general, business criticism, that’s a whole different matter.

    It’s easy and cowardly for Stern to hand out fines to anyone who criticizes him. Stern can bash Sprewell publicly with impunity, but what if a player did the same to Stern?

    Comment by Ted -

  2. I agree with Ed. A code of conduct is important; but, nothing and no one is beyond reproach.

    I can’t believe they opened on election night either. Many of us were up half the night watching election results – some of us didn’t sleep well. I voted early; but, still, I was not interested in sports that night.

    While I don’t personally care to hear alot of complaining about league issues, I think you should have the right to voice your opinion. Naturally, if the player, owners and GMs are constantly disgruntled – I’ll get sick of the whole thing.

    To me, this is similar to an employee complaining about company policy. We should do it when the policies stink; but, constant complaining tags you as a whiner who’s never happy. I know there’s a process and a chain of command for all of this; still, we should be able to speak out!!

    Comment by js -

  3. Put it in this context….You own a company and one of your employees posts on his blog that the huge deal that your company just entered into was the dumbest move ever and nothing good will come out of it. You, the owner, read his comments. What do you think? (Gosh, that guy is right. Maybe we should go back in their and rethink this deal through.) I would venture to say that the reaction would be a nice tongue lashing discussing the finer points of teamwork and backing your company 100% or finding a new job. You being a member of the Owners association of the NBA need to adopt and display their beliefs and idealogy or suffer the consequences (fines).

    As far as the effect these fines have….I think the fact they are publicized makes the league look stupid as a whole for the fining such an obvious thing but I understand why they did it.

    Comment by Jay -

  4. Seems to me your being fined for being honest and stating your opinion. When in doubt always go with honesty.

    Comment by Bob -

  5. by the time someone from within the NBA makes a comment about the league, it is already old news with the fans.

    for example, we’ve known for years the officiating in the league was terrible. by the time you started raising a stink about it, i’m sure the fans were saying “well, of course.” thus i’m not sure if anything you say actually takes away from the fan base, since the fans already know what they’re getting.

    if anything, i think your comments lead to a sloooow reform, since it starts a debate among the newscasters and radio people, which can then pressure the NBA. i think the officiating so far this season is quite good (with the charge/blocking calls), probably because of your comments from a couple years back.

    on another note, i actually enjoyed election night and opening night on the same day, i had a good “watch nba/flip over to watch election results” groove going.

    Comment by larryh -

  6. Save the NBA, fire Stu Jackson.

    Comment by Will -

  7. I don’t think you should care. You can afford it. It’s constructive and lateral. Not quite rebellious. Keep it up. Strange that they’d fine you outside the field of play and a greater percentage of your comments were well thought out and very positive. Go figure. Personally I think you enjoy the fines – ‘better to be talked about then not at all’.

    Comment by C. Bryant -

  8. What ? The NBA is still in business ? Why wasn’t I informed ? Sorry, I stopped paying attention a while back: NBA basketball is BORING. It reminds me of by-the-numbers porn.

    Free speech ? Please, folk, pay more attention in civics class. This has nothing to do with free speech. The NBA isn’t the government. Mark Cuban is a member of a club, and he broke a club rule, so he got fined.

    Was it stupid to open the season on Election Night ? Yes.

    Was it stupid for Mark Cuban to say so publicly ? No.

    Was it stupid to fine him ? Yes.

    Was it a violation of all we hold sacred to fine him ? No.

    I think David Stern must be a dirty commie, yeah, that’s it. No respect for the Electoral College, the President, and the Government of the United States of America, that’s your David Stern for you.

    You heard it here first: David Stern is a no-good dirty commie, a godless stinking filthy commie who spits on the Constitution at every opportunity.

    Comment by Former Hooper -

  9. To me, the fine smacks of Gestoppo-ish tactics. Are you supposed to check your opinions and your brain at the door? Any moron can see placing Opening night on Election night is a hairbrained move. You were just the lucky one to speak to it. It reminds me of the children’s story “The Emperor’s New Clothes” where only one speaks the truth despite the fact it’s obvious to one and all! For myself and my family, the move makes us less likely to buy NBA related products (outside of the Mavs, that is! :-))

    Comment by Darin Wood -

  10. Mark, you of all people should know that telling the truth in public is never popular, especially when you’re dealing with an entity that controls its messages as tightly as the NBA does.

    Now, if they fined Alonzo for what he’s been saying, THAT would be news.

    Comment by Tom Guarriello -

  11. I think the fines are great for the NBA. It’s yet another story they get to advertise in sports columns across the country. Can you beat getting free advertising and generating immediate funds from thin air?

    Comment by Mehdi -

  12. In all honesty, if I was looking at purchasing a hummer, and you, an owner of a hummer franchise were to put down the way they’re made, I would not buy a hummer. That’s a quick answer, but to me it’s the same thing.

    Comment by Mike -

  13. Mark –

    Sorry to hear that you’ll be writing another check because of the NBA’s inability to accept feedback. It’s amazing that an organization with such a presence in the market, and such a desire to extend it’s product beyond the reaches of our borders wouldn’t be more open to feedback from the people who know the impact it’s actually having better than anyone else, the owners.

    You, as an owner, recognize if the impact the NBA desires is indeed occurring because you can see the results on your financial statements. You can see if tickets are selling, if people are buying merchandise, and I would imagine you can gauge how many people are watching the games on television. Those are truly the benchmarks that matter with a sport because if people are not giving you their money you obviously won’t be around for long (see: XFL).

    I, opposed to the NBA, do appreciate the feedback you consistently give on your own product. If you able to look at yourself and your organization with the constant mind of being better you’ll achieve that result. However, if you take the approach that what you have is perfect and that you are above reproach or negative comments than it will be difficult, if not impossible, to grow.

    Thanks for always keeping it’ real. I truly wish you all the success in reforming the mindset in the NBA. But as a fan I can only wish you, at best, second place with the hope that my beloved Nuggets will be first🙂

    Be Well…

    Comment by Alex -

  14. I think you should be applauded for you outspokenness on how the league is run. Its your right as an owner to have a say in how things should be run. Your opinion is just that, an opinion. I don’t agree with the fines.
    As a hockey fan, I wished more people would stand up against what’s going on. More people on the inside (owners, player) that bitch about the current situation. Its shows fans (the people who provide the league(s) with funding) that some guys, like Mark, are driven and love what they do. Passion for the game shows a lot!
    The current NHL situation could learn from your outspoken voice Mark…. Please help!!

    Comment by Trent Pattison -

  15. Doesn’t everybody get what they want with this fine?

    The league gets to flex its muscles. The fans get something else to talk about. Mark gets his money’s worth in publicity from the fine. Some charity benefits from Mark’s matching the fine with a contribution.

    Next time elections roll around, maybe they move the election date, not the date for NBA opening night…..

    Comment by Topher -

  16. Wow, you got fined for those comments. I can understand the NBA league office does not wished to be critizced and that allowing players execs etc to do so might cause them to do a lot of pr that they perfer not to but as a consumer I am not sure controversey ever weakened a sport and some times good may come out of it. Hell some entertainment is based upon starting controversies.

    Comment by bob -

  17. THANK GOD YOU’RE BACK! Hopefully the alien that took over your body and made you into a Donald Wannabee is banished forever. Should you have gotten fined for something in the blog, probably not, but the fact that you are out there speaking up and being fined thrills me and I’m sure the charity that receives the matching donation.
    I like you tons better as the controversial owner of the Dallas Mavericks rather than a billionaire trying to be a TV star.
    I would come closer to quitting being a MFFL by your actions in the off season than your actions during the season.
    I was crushed that Nash left but understood and now I am totally into the new Mavs.
    Be Mark Cuban the owner!!!!!!

    Comment by Deborah Merrick -

  18. I have questions; if a player starting making noise in the locker room and then posted what he felt on his personal blog and his criticism would be directly at the franchise, its owners and other upper level management; would he deserve a fine? Would it be because he is under contract by the team? That said what is your relationship with the NBA, obviously you are the owner of the team but is the NBA over you? If so dont they have the right to fine for your actions, same as an owner has the right to fine a player. Or is the league a partnership between owners & the NBA and if so would you ever fine a partner because of what he said or wrote about the partnership’s practices? What would have you done it Todd criticized Broadcast.com publicly? I guess what I am getting at is why the public bashing? Why not do it in private; you may have when the schedule first came out but to publicly criticize makes the NBA appear weak. The act of fining you looks as an attempt to offset that showing of weakness but I think it only hurts them more because usually you just come back with more comments. I believe people should speak their minds; however bashing something your invested in or a partner in doesnt make sense to me. All that said I think most will be more intrigued to watch and follow the story, your team & NBA; therefore bringing more customers to your product.
    –Luis
    http://www.dallaspartyrental.com/

    Comment by Luis -

  19. Your piece was incredibly positive about the Mavs. I especially enjoyed reading your observations about the players. It would be hard to find too much in the post to even construe as negative toward the NBA, (except about the pictures…)

    Not knowing the terms of your agreement with the League, I would guess that what really ticks off the finers is that you discussed the money.

    To answer your questions, if anything, your post would make me more likely to watch the Mavs, but disgusted with the NBA.

    I agree with others who have noted that its action sets a dangerous precedent with regard to freedom of speech.

    This action also perpetuates and reinforces the idea that it is wrong to question authority in any way, even (or especially) when justified. That is an idea threatens the very integrity this fine was supposed to “protect.”

    If this incident in any way damaged the league’s reputation, it was due to the NBA and its petulant fine, not the blog.

    BTW, from a customer perspective, anyone could see that you were 100% correct about the scheduling issue. If it isn’t apparent to the NBA that there might be a conflict with the election, then that means the NBA not only looks petty and vindictive, it looks pretty clueless, too.

    Comment by Susan F. Heywood -

  20. It really doesn’t effect me or my relationship with the NBA and it’s products. My feelings are similar to those I hold about Augusta National. When you join an elite or exclusive club, there are membership rules that are well known prior to joining. Your choices are to join or not based on those rules. Of course, once you join you either live within them, fight to change them, or face the burden of the penalties by violating them.

    I’m not sure that public opinion will go very far in changing these rules or policies (albeit the Augusta National analogy), but it does seem to add promotional attention and for the owners this could well be a “good” thing.

    I must admit, as an observer of the ownership elite, I enjoy one “Maverick” amongst a rather staid and boring bunch.

    Comment by John Farrell -

  21. Mark,

    When was the last time you heard an executive from Goldman Sachs or Yahoo (two institutions I reckon you admire since they created much of your wealth) publicly criticize their company. I’m sure serious debate occurs internally but I reckon that someone would be fired, yes even the owner by the board, if the executive continued to make public such negative comments. You come across as a spoiled billionaire upset that things aren’t going your way. Fortunately, for a die hard Mavs fan like me, you have have assembled a great team, which is much more important to me. I watch the Mavs all the time in spite of your public antics as opposed to because of them and yesterday even bought tickets to the Mavs/Suns game on the 16th so I’m lining your pockets. Nothing would please me more than to no longer see you screaming at the refs because I strongly believe your behaviour negatively affects the refs view of our team. Is that right? No! Does it happen? Yes! You have been the best owner of the Mavs; however, it would great if you just let the players play and let the owner (you) pay.

    Comment by Texas Wisdom -

  22. Why is it that during an election year the President can be called just about everything under the sun, his actions can be called almost those of a traitor: and then you get an owner of a basketball team who questions the wisdom of opening night being on election day and he gets fined. Somewhere in this free speech amendment (that we are quaranteed) there seems to be a loophole.

    Comment by Mary Bollinger -

  23. contrary to popular belief, this isn’t a matter of freedom of speech. The rules are the rules, but the question at hand is are they good rules?

    And Mark’s constant NBA bashing does have an effect on my desire to watch. I like the way he points out the inconsistencies in the officiating, but the NBA drops the ball by not making any effort to improve it. So my interest wanes, because bad officiating is a major pet peeve of mine when it comes to enjoying sports.

    But I don’t see how comments like the ones in question have any impact on the league. Heck, I didn’t even realize they were starting on election day until I read that (the Magic started Wednesday anyway so I didn’t miss that), and then I completely agreed. It’s moves like putting it on election day that make a fan scratch his head and wonder just who’s running this thing, and it actually diminishes the credibility of the league.

    So in a nutshell, Mark’s criticisms are not the problem, but they expose problems in the league that cause me to be less and less interested. If the league would respond to the criticisms instead of just trying to start a pissing contest, they’d look much stronger and more credible.

    Just my .0155 Euros (it’s an international league, right?)

    Comment by Josh -

  24. That’s gotta be hard to swallow huh MC

    Dang, Mr Stern definitely runs a tight ship. I wonder if it happens in other places where one can be fined by a company for being outspoken about it.

    BTW Your Mav’s are playing great and hope it continues.

    Comment by Mitchell -

  25. If the NBA feels it has to fine for off-message public writing on the Internet, the NBA is in deeper trouble than I had ever imagined. Why would they even bother unless they were insecure as to their future?

    Comment by Richard Soderberg -

  26. If I were still in charge, the fine would have been worse, but only because you would take that bad contract Kidd contract off my hands? By the way, do you have a bag of peanuts within 15% of Mourning’s salary? I’d love to unload that mistake too.

    p.s. Mark, you were right. I was wondering what in the hell we were doing playing on a night with one of the largest voter turnouts in history.

    Comment by Rod Thorn -

  27. Wow. I guess I shouldn’t be suprised, but I am.
    I would really be interested to see the rationale for the fine. Technically, you only called him a “genius”. Granted, you were being sarcastic, but come on, they can’t fine you for being sarcastic, can they?
    My guess on the rationale behind the Tuesday start: TV. Can’t start Monday due to MNF. Can’t start Wed because I’ll bet they had some back door deal with TNT, so they had to start Tuesday rather than wait for Thursday night TNT.

    Anyways, Mark you are great for the NBA, don’t ever change. I really appreciate the fact that you aren’t afraid to speak your mind and I truly believe you are the closest thing to the voice of the fans.

    Really like your team this year. Despite pundits writing you off this summer, your team has improved defensively and is much more athletic, and you still have Dirk! Hope the young ones mature enough to take you deep into the playoffs… I am rooting for you.

    Comment by Jarod -

  28. Mark, I love your honesty and I wish there were more owners like you. I get tired of seeing people tip toe around things and not force their opion. To be honest the NBA needs to worry more about improving their product than giving people fines for being honest. The people who get fined just want things to improve. They should worry more about players getting multiple women pregant. People like Shawn Kemp, and things like the whole Kobe debacle gives the NBA a bad rep. If they want to make the game more watchable, they should make all the players learn how to shoot a mid-range jumper and make a bounce pass. The NBA style is ruining college and even high shool. They wonder why we got beat in the Olympics and why there is an influx of Foreign player. The reason is simple…they play the game they way it is supposed to be played.

    BTW, I still love the moves you made this offseason, and Harris is a STUD. I have watched him here in Big Ten country for a while, and I know how damn good he is. I like the team you have assembled, and I think this is your best team since you got there. I am glad to see you got some good defenders in there.

    Just keep on doing what you are doing Mark. The league dosen’t have a clue what the people like.

    Comment by BJ Ruble -

  29. Fines associated with comments are just stupid. Especially, when the comments are right on the mark. All it tells me is that the NBA doesn’t want its players and owners to be honest with the public. Instead of fining someone for criticizing a ref for blowing a call, how about just upgrade the officiating? Same goes for something like this. I watched opening night, but that was only because of the Pistons ring ceremony. Your comment was dead on and the NBA shouldn’t have fined you for it. It will only draw more attention to it than it would otherwise receive. Mark, maybe you can explain something — why do the owners put up with such stuff from the league office? I mean, collectively, don’t you and the other owners own the league? (I’m sure it is more complicated than most would think, but it always strikes me like the student giving the teacher detention.)

    Comment by James K -

  30. As a college student, and also speaking for many other people my age I can say that I would be more likely to pay attention to how your team is doing and interested on what is going to happen next. It seems as if my generation likes to see when people challenge authority and it adds an extra something to the event you are attending. A lot of people hate Terrell Owens but will watch him just because they don’t know what he is going to do next. The fine will also probably be talked about on radio shows throughout the country and I already saw them talking about it on PTI which will reach millions of people throughout the country. So keep up the good work!

    Comment by Scott Wandzilak -

  31. I heard somewhere that you match every dollar you are fined to charity. If this is the case, the more fines the better. Yeah the league goes over board I think. If you want you can send me your comments and I’ll make them for you. This way you wont be fined. I can post them for you on my website and then we can arrange for the media to view them. That way everything you say is reported but since you never said it publicly you can’t be fined!

    Comment by Tim -

  32. I don’t know where the NBA gets off fining a team owner for stating something that should be obvious. Yes, for me and the rest of the household, watching the election results took priority over the Rockets vs. Pistons game that night (I’m in Houston and a loyal Rockets and Comets fan). I am baffled as to why the NBA would shoot themselves in the foot the way they did, but there could be some logistical reason I do not know about that kept them from starting the season on Wednesday night (I am assuming Monday night is not really an option due to competition with the NFL’s Monday night football game, which is not much better).

    Comment by Shawn K. Quinn -

  33. Comments are only detrimental to the person who says them. The cause for the comment is what’s detrimental to the League, not the comment itself. The comment only points it out to everyone. If the comment makes total sense, then it’s the not the fault of the commenter. I’d like to know really how many people would agree with the logic of setting up the openers on Election Day.

    It doesn’t make a difference to me if you think it was a bad move. It makes me think you’re involved in the league. If Latrell Sprewell wants to bitch about not being able to feed his family, I’m not thinking that the T’Wolves are being made to look greedy, so he should be fined. I’m thinking Sprewell chose his words poorly and probably made himself look like a jackass.

    I can see that the League would want to curb any kind of comments that would lead down the road to overall mutiny, but I don’t think comments that question the wisdom of playing openers on Election Day is going to overthrough or weaken the League.

    But the League’s a business, and hey, if they can make free money off of billionaires, especially off of those whom they feel they can get away with because of previous media controversy, then why not add a little more money to that Christmas Party fund at the office? They’ll get a little more rippin’ drunk this year.

    Comment by Shon Webber -

  34. I think it is a shame that we can not state what is on our minds and how we feel out loud any more without the fear of someone fining or sueing us. I do not feel as anything that was said would change how I felt about the Mav’s or about the NBA. That is, until they placed the fine on Mr. Cuban. That tends to have me feeling less respectful of the NBA.

    Why can they not take complaints, be it said to them personally or via a blog or print entry? Mr. Cuban is not advocating anyone to throw rotten veggies at them or tie up their phone lines with complaint calls. It seems to me he was just sharing his opinion and a justified one at that. Seems the NBA needs to grow up a little (ought oh – do you think I may now be fined for saying that?).

    Comment by Wendy -

  35. Mark,
    As long as the public criticism of the league is fair, warranted and not just sour grapes it makes me as a NBA fan more interested in the league. The question is, where were you and your fellow owners when the original draft of the 2004-05 NBA Schedule came out? That was the time when launching a complaint could have possibly brought about change.

    — RG

    Comment by Rich G. -

  36. Toronto Star – Page E3
    Written By Megan Ogilvie

    Article called “Fines in pro sports a PR stunt, report says” – Story includes a picture of Mr. Cuban.

    In my opinion, Mark seems to enjoy getting fined to send his message. It is obvious it is PR.

    No body, and I mean no body, likes to be told they are doing something wrong in public.

    If anything, I think Mark is mocking the NBA as opposed to doing anything constructive.

    Do you think a business leader if he wanted to accomplish something would get on the PA at work, or create a web site stating what is wrong with the business and still have a job?

    I honestly believe that Mark is not trying to accomplish any changes whatsoever. He is just trying to get his name in the public domain and have some fun.

    Cheers
    Patrick – Mark Cuban Fan For Life – despite his public critical behaviour of the league

    Comment by Patrick Muldoon -

  37. Ditto what everyone else has already said. I don’t think you said anything outrageous in that last post and your blog only tends to make me more interested in watching and following the NBA. Not less.

    Comment by Mark Washington -

  38. I love the NBA. Where else can you find a group (NBA league office) who is so worried about a brand that they gag their owners, players, and coaches. Regarding your question of whether it changes my view of the product, the answer would be no. If the members of the league (owners, players, coaches) speak out on topics important to them, why should they be censored? Again what true impact on the brand are they going to have. It is one thing to have an opinion, it is another when the aforementioned group commits a crime, act of stupidity, or is an all around nuisance. It is your team Mark, last time I checked you were the cat who dropped the dollars to buy the team. With that I would expect that you should have some latitude, but I guess I am wrong.

    Comment by Paul Sedillo -

  39. Mark
    If you are able to can you discuss why they are allowed to fine you for your comments. To tell you the truth your comment was not at all that bad compared to what alot of media people are allowed to say. It has to make you laugh to think that the people you have to deal with are so anal. Did you at one point have to sign some kind of contract? And if so are you allowed to discuss the terms on your blog.

    Comment by thats the funniest thing ever -

  40. Sounds a little shortsighted to me that the NBA would fine you for freedom of speech. Sure, you belong to their ‘club’ and there are rules for belonging. For a minute I got confused, NBA=FCC? You are the Howard Stern of the NBA. Keep it up! In the last week alone, I am getting turned off by the NBA. First you have a player wondering how he is going to support his family on only $10 million per year and then the NBA slaps the only person in the league with enough balls to voice his open and make the NBA appear more human. Personally, I’m getting a little fed up with players whining and the league acting like God. I actually think twice before going to a game now, not because of the money but who it’s benefiting. I would rather take the $200 for tickets and give it to a charity. Thanks for listening.

    Comment by Bill Flitter -

  41. I agree with some of the prior comments that controversy is never bad from a marketing standpoint. The league office obviously comes off looking like micro-managing autocrats, but I don’t think that’s going to drive people away from watching games. What you and others need to do right now is appeal to lapsed fans; scoring is up through the first week, we’ve had a couple of really exciting overtime games, dwyane wade is completely going off, and lebron is the most exciting player to enter any of the major sports leagues since michael (yes, I’m putting bron ahead of mike vick)…I have several friends who used to follow the NBA and no longer do, and I keep telling them these things. The national libertarian party has had some success (from what they tell me–I’m just a member) over the past year with an effort to renew connections with lapsed members; the NBA could have some success alonge these lines with its dwindled (no longer dwindling at this point, I think) fan base, just because all those people who were watching and going to games in 1990-1995 didn’t all die; they merely stopped watching. For the good of the league (as it’s far and away my favorite sport), I wish you and your fellow owners luck.

    Scott Wickett
    Fort Myers, FL

    Comment by Scott Wickett -

  42. While the criticism of the league makes it “look” weaker, in the end it makes the league stronger because it forces the league execs to make better decisions to prevent being called out for the stupid ones.

    Usually whenever the “top” tries to stifle the speech from “below”, it’s because the message is right.

    Comment by Jason Leib -

  43. I AGREE with Peter Hoskins post. The best way to get over the powers that be is when you take a “kicking” you keep on “ticking”. Great game last night, and many more like that to come, Mark. Good Luck on your season.

    Comment by ann massey -

  44. More thoughts on the NBA’s ongoing jihad against Mark Cuban….http://section917.blogspot.com/

    Comment by Bruce Castleberry -

  45. I have been an NBA fan for over 25 years. The product as it exists today is a far cry from the quality of basketball that used to be the trademark of the league. With scoring down, shooting percentages down and the focus purely on the highlight dunk, the league has become almost unwatchable. What is even more amazing is that people, like you, are investing tens of millions (if not hundreds of millions) of dollars into helping make the leage BETTER. You are not any different than any other owner in the league. You simply want the absolute best product possible for your fans, the league and yourself. The problem is that the league has lost touch w/ the game and become a marketing entity. All outward appearances are that the league is far more concerned with basketball in China and other new markets than in the quality of play. When owners speak out about the system it is seen, wrongly IMHO, as an attack on Mr. Stern himself. The inability to separate oneself from one’s company typically ends in disaster as a revolution is required to alter the landscape. What would really be great is to see the league step up and let the “And One” series on ESPN be just that – fundamentally unsound hoops while worrying about the quality of play and what they can do to bring more casual fans back to the game. I can easily afford to take my kids/family to a game any time I want – yet I never do b/c the quality of the product has declined so far over the past 10 years. I would rather take them to a college game where the kids are playing their hearts-out, their is more emotion in the buliding and I know I am not simply reinforcing a system I believe is broken by letting my dollars re-enter the NBA economy. Nothing personal Mark – I am 100% behind your comments. The most hotly contested political event in memory and the league schedules the season to open that night. Brilliant planning. Although I don’t believe it was election night in China. ???

    Comment by Chris -

  46. I have been an NBA fan for over 25 years. The product as it exists today is a far cry from the quality of basketball that used to be the trademark of the league. With scoring down, shooting percentages down and the focus purely on the highlight dunk, the league has become almost unwatchable. What is even more amazing is that people, like you, are investing tens of millions (if not hundreds of millions) of dollars into helping make the leage BETTER. You are not any different than any other owner in the league. You simply want the absolute best product possible for your fans, the league and yourself. The problem is that the league has lost touch w/ the game and become a marketing entity. All outward appearances are that the league is far more concerned with basketball in China and other new markets than in the quality of play. When owners speak out about the system it is seen, wrongly IMHO, as an attack on Mr. Stern himself. The inability to separate oneself from one’s company typically ends in disaster as a revolution is required to alter the landscape. What would really be great is to see the league step up and let the “And One” series on ESPN be just that – fundamentally unsound hoops while worrying about the quality of play and what they can do to bring more casual fans back to the game. I can easily afford to take my kids/family to a game any time I want – yet I never do b/c the quality of the product has declined so far over the past 10 years. I would rather take them to a college game where the kids are playing their hearts-out, their is more emotion in the buliding and I know I am not simply reinforcing a system I believe is broken by letting my dollars re-enter the NBA economy. Nothing personal Mark – I am 100% behind your comments. The most hotly contested political event in memory and the league schedules the season to open that night. Brilliant planning. Although I don’t believe it was election night in China. ???

    Comment by Chris -

  47. This is still America right? Free speech and all? Besides, criticism often can be a great dource for discussions and feeedback which can lead to positive change. I guess it just depends on who is receiving it.

    Sorry Mark, but personally I think ownership in US professional sport teams are bad investments. The single entity concepts hamper the total invesment in sport here. If I am A Baseball and win everry game and the Braves lose e ery game, we are both still in our same respective leagues. You can’t win your way up, you pay your way up. AND you have to deal with a single entity league that often doesn’t accept criticism from the very same people that employ it (the team owners). Good thing they are not in Europe of South America where the press rips them a new one daily!

    I’ll save my money to invest in Europe where I can buy a small club, win my way up the leagues and get a nice ROI and satisfaction from earning the way up’ be able to speak freely and get ripped a new one from the press🙂.

    Seriously Mark, I appreciate your investment in sport here and the fact that you speak your mind, but these guys have taken it to a new level with the blog! What’s next, wiring you up like the Real World?

    Comment by localsports.com -

  48. WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DON’T PAY YOUR FINES????

    Comment by pooof -

  49. >It was probably but just a matter of time >‘till it happened, but I didn’t want it to go >unnoticed. I got fined for my comments in a >previous blog entry regarding opening night in >the NBA.

    I belive you have tradionaly matched fines with charitable donations. If anyone has anything negative to say, you were simply complaining for a good cause.

    >Do the customers and fans of the NBA or other >leagues, feel it makes the league appear >stronger, weaker or unaffected when a player, >owner, coach, GM, or executive publicly >criticizes the league?

    In most scenario’s, any organization that is unwilling to accept criticism without retribution, let alone consider the potentially valid points that have been made, is extremely weak and typically nervous. Those who seek to quiet discontent despite accuracy typically manage and lead through a position of dominance and power, not one of respect and faith.

    >Are you as a consumer more likely to purchase, >watch, recommend our products, or are you more >likely to reduce your attachment and purchase >of our products? How does it affect how you >interact with us?

    In many ways it is like you said relative to the Koby Bryant trial, even negative attention benefits the leagure. People are inherently drawn to dispute in any form, be it a heavyweight fight or you running onto the court when a fight breaks out, an argument in a bar between a vouple, or you getting fined for criticizing the league. You are the first owner that I ever remember people wanting to watch as much as the tean. The only thing they want more than to watch you own the team is to watch you fight the NBA.

    Most people who take the time to properly analyze the situation and have a fundamental understanding of history, politics and organizational management will see the fine for what it is, control the populace via punishment for revolutionary behavior.

    But the majority will simply confuse your passion and commitment to winning with the all to common in Dallas poor little rich kid who didn’t get his way. n

    Comment by Andrew_G7921 -

  50. I think whether or not they fine you, has no effect on the consumer.

    The consumer will buy based on the product on the court and on the TV, etc.

    Your dealing with the league are sort of a separate and amusing entertainment.

    By the way: great mini-interview in Investors Business Daily. You are so right: it is not about the idea, it is all in the execution.
    I cut it out and pinned it up.

    Comment by Chris Nystrom -

  51. I think everyone above has made some excellent points about your fine. Sounds to me like Stern has little man’s complex. Anyway, how bout Big D… Congrats on the big win.

    Comment by David -

  52. If you specifically signed something saying, say, “I will not trash talk the league under penalty of fine,” well, you’re pretty screwed. Gotta play by whatever rules you agree to.

    If you didn’t sign anything that could even remotely be interpreted that way, well, the league is in the wrong and (as the second posted noted) wholly micromanaging. It’s a freakin’ blog.

    I’ve never been motivated to comment to your blog before, but First Amendment disputes that bump up against contractual disagreements kind of whet my whistle.

    Comment by Hannibal Tabu -

  53. When a company like the NBA takes criticism like yours from the other day, and their only reaction is to levy a fine, it makes them seem petty and weak. So long as the criticism is constructive in nature, and refrains from being subversive, I would think the league should welcome your comments. The leagues policy on criticism doesn’t make me any more or less likely to enoy the NBA product because I’m a huge Mavs fan and I always will be. Unless you somehow anger the league enough that they end up contracting the Mavericks, I will probably always be a fan of the NBA product.

    I think the NBA should welcome some constructive criticism. Any business should be interested to see what its employees think about the way the company operates. Open discourse often leads to improvements. If a business refuses to listen to the feedback they recieve, the run the risk of damaging themselves in the long run by ultimately becoming resistant to change. It seems some of your past comments fell on deaf ears. I always thought they should have taken your crticim of the way the league evaluates its referees more seriously.

    However, I can understand a business not wanting its employees disparaging the product, especially publicly. Allthough the criticism wasn’t particularly harsh, the overall tone made the league office seem bungling and inept. I think this is a case where both you and the league office could have handled the situation better.

    Something I’ve always wondered… Do you get a chance to appeal these fines? I know players are allowed an appeal, but I don’t remember ever hearing of an owner being granted that privelege.

    Comment by Hunter -

  54. It seems like the NBA will not take any criticizm from anyone irrespective of its validness.
    You dont have to be Einstein to realise that playing on election night is just plain illogical. Ahh well Sterns an idiot, not much more needs to be said.

    Comment by Jonathon Bates -

  55. I don’t follow the NBA at all but I’m interested in what you think, so I read your blog. My main feeling — ick — whatever happened to freedom of speech? I don’t see ANY reason why you should be fined for something you say on your PERSONAL blog. It’s not the official Dallas Mavericks blog, is it? It’s yours. Sheesh. Whatever happened to boundaries? They should respect YOURS.

    Comment by Lily -

  56. Mark,
    The NBA is a weak league now. There are too many teams and too few good players. Any of the teams from the 1980’s: Lakers, Celtics, Pistons, 76ers would crush the 2005 NBA Allstar team. Hopefully the NBA gets a clue before it ends up like the NHL.

    Joe

    Comment by Joe S. -

  57. Mark,
    everyone seems to have an opinion about sport, why shouldn’t an owner have one…

    the NBA is shooting itself in the foot again for attempting to threaten one of basketballs strongest proponents.

    if they had any cajones, they’d repeal the fine and thank you for being sensible.

    Comment by kurt -

  58. I think it’s just an individual stating what they believe are facts. It can look bad to the public but I’d rather hear the truth from someone.

    Comment by Michaelle -

  59. I believe the league is just power hungry. The NBA is the only professional league in the United States that continually fines it’s players(and ejects them for cussing) and owners for arguing or disagreeing with the referees decisions. Referees are human, but more often than not they make horrible calls that often seem to favor the home team or a fan favorite. They know, as well as the commish, that they have the power to influence the outcome of games. This is really sad since the players are the real stars and should be the ones controlling the outcomes, not the refs (who I guarantee get paid off by someone) or “higher ups”.
    Mr. Cuban you are a real asset to the league. You need to keep voicing your opionion the way you do, no other owner has the intestinal fortitude to do so.

    Comment by Scott Conant -

  60. This depends on the intent. If the criticism is for constructive reasons then open dissent should be encouraged and should not be fined. The NBA appears weak when it penalizes those for lucid commentary. A strong entity should be able to withstand criticism without having to resort to fiscal censure.

    I love the NBA, so it is hard for me to lose attachment to this league. I have lost some respect.

    Comment by Shawn McKenna -

  61. If it weren’t for the fine, I wouldn’t have known about this great blog you have here. There’s always opportunity in tough situations, and in this case you probably increased your fan base and enhanced your credibility while the league made themselves look foolish.

    Comment by Tom -

  62. Dear Marc,
    Fines are the way we tell you..YOU HAVE TOO MUCH MONEY …
    What do you think the NHL Players think about that?

    Comment by Stan Bernard -

  63. I saw the article in the newspaper today about you considering starting a hedge fund that bets on sporting events. It does sound intriguing. However, I was also somewhat disappointed at your cynicism towards the equity markets. It sounds like you have had some bad experiences. From my personal experience I can tell you that the majority of brokers are very lazy. But, there are also good ones out there and someone is willing to do the work then you can learn more than the average person, or what is “common knowledge,” and it those people that reap the rewards of their investments.

    You have made a great success out of the Dallas Mavericks because you have worked hard at it. And, you hired the right people. You probably just haven’t dealt with the right people in the investment arena.

    Comment by Chad -

  64. I’m not a basketball fan, in fact I’ve never watched an entire professional game in my life, but I am a fan of the Constitution.

    Let me clear up some misconceptions. The First Amendment does NOT protect you from private censure. It only protects you from prior restraint by the government. That means they can’t tell you ahead of time that you can’t say something.

    Of course the government can just fine you millions of dollars afterwards if you dare commit the heresy of having an opinion that differs from the current administration. Kind of like what they are doing to Howard Stern.

    Now on to the issue at hand. The NBA “leadership” is acting like a petulant child; stomping its feet and screaming till its red in the face. Sounds like someone needs a spanking…

    Comment by Kai Tain -

  65. Thats the stupidest thing ive ever ever heard. This is proof positive that America is going to hell in this day and age. Soon enough I believe we’ll go back into the dark ages. Enjoy your tv and internet while you have it. I give it maybe 5 years at most before they censor the hell out of everything.

    Comment by Alt -

  66. This is an outrage. Why should whether or not you own a team matter when you are voicing an opinion?

    Is Freedom of Speech not allowed in the NBA? I’m appalled and shocked.

    Comment by Evan -

  67. Fined for a weblog entry?? Way to look stupid, NBA.

    Who made the NBA into the speech police?? Do they even have a copy of the Constitution as quoted above??

    A%%hats!!

    Comment by David R. Block -

  68. Mark,
    Could this be the NBA”s subversive way to drum-up more excitement for this season? You are a lightning rod figure in the sport. A sort of Mc Enroe of owners. It makes for great spectating. Maybe there was some genius in the opening night date. Because I would hate to think that the NBA execs are so paranoid that an owner who openly criticized a faulty decision of theirs in the middle of his blog, would make them feel justified in publicizing a hefty fine they placed on you.

    Have fun thus season Mark. You are a hero of many.

    Brett

    Comment by Brett & Jennifer Porter -

  69. Hey Mark! What’s up? IMHO, the NBA fined you because they want to pay for their salaries using fine money. Doesn’t that mean more profit for the NBA? The fines are so stupid most of the time. I really liked the case last year when they fined GP for not participating in All-star weekend. The amount they fined him was the same amount for the prize money to the winner. Anything to not actually have to pay the prize money.🙂

    Comment by Michael Onstad -

  70. It looks like the NBA is beginning to follow the NFL footsteps. The NBA stopped VC from listening to tunes before the game on his iPod. What’s next? Only approved music allowed over the PA? Whatever it is, the league should only concern it’s thinking when it comes to gameplay, intentional fouls, flagrant fouls, stupid a** game deciding ref calls, the current CBA agreement, the NBDL and how much money the NBA is keeping from it’s players. But should never act on something that is unique to the individual and harming absolutely nothing.

    Comment by FuManChu -

  71. Your comments were interesting and made me feel more attached to the NBA. Rather than a faceless entity I could see the people behind the curtain, and that was a good thing.

    Their fine is bad PR. It makes them look childish and unable to accept criticism. I have no respect for it … and you don’t watch what you can’t respect.

    Comment by Brock -

  72. They should have just fined the person who decided the opening match was on that day.

    Comment by Umang -

  73. I read your comments, and I’m not really sure who
    designed the ivort tower that the NBA apparently
    lives in, but as I once said in my own LJ
    “People with fat heads and tight asses shouldn’t
    be left alone with the KY…”
    Good luck with all of this, sorry you have to go
    through this.

    Comment by nirargala -

  74. Please keep speaking your mind.

    Amendment I

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    Comment by Stephan Childs -

  75. This is one more proof that Professional Athletics has become an over-bloated, self important, elitist world where the only thing that seems to matter anymore is the almighty dollar (No offense, Mr. Cuban).
    When a “Spectator” activity reaches a level in which the average spectator has to spend between 100 and 300 dollars to attend an event, it shows the true concern of the sport for the fan base that has built the activity to begin with.
    It is not, in the least, suprising that they (Officiating body) will tolerate no dissent in how they manage, considering their lack of concern for managing how the true fan base is denied access through exclusionary pricing.
    It isn’t the multi-millionaires and corporate block buyers that make the sport what it is. It is the kid who scrounges together his Christmas or Chanuka money, mows lawns and walks dogs just to afford the 150.00 sports Jersey to express his pride and envy in a player or a team. It is that same kid who has parents that can’t afford the 250.00 minimum cost hit to take the kid to a game and will most likely NEVER see that player or team in a live game.
    So, if you are at all suprised that you were fined for expressing a dissenting opinion, you shuld not be suprised. You live, work and play in a world that tolerates no dissent that isn’t staged for the benefit of more cash.
    Your opinion posed a threat to the money making machine on that day and that alone prompted the fining.
    Work with selfish, rich, elitist ingrates who can’t see where the real fan comes from and you too suffer at their hand.

    Comment by Mark Gardner -

  76. This is one more proof that Professional Athletics has become an over-bloated, self important, elitist world where the only thing that seems to matter anymore is the almighty dollar (No offense, Mr. Cuban).
    When a “Spectator” activity reaches a level in which the average spectator has to spend between 100 and 300 dollars to attend an event, it shows the true concern of the sport for the fan base that has built the activity to begin with.
    It is not, in the least, suprising that they (Officiating body) will tolerate no dissent in how they manage, considering their lack of concern for managing how the true fan base is denied access through exclusionary pricing.
    It isn’t the multi-millionaires and corporate block buyers that make the sport what it is. It is the kid who scrounges together his Christmas or Chanuka money, mows lawns and walks dogs just to afford the 150.00 sports Jersey to express his pride and envy in a player or a team. It is that same kid who has parents that can’t afford the 250.00 minimum cost hit to take the kid to a game and will most likely NEVER see that player or team in a live game.
    So, if you are at all suprised that you were fined for expressing a dissenting opinion, you shuld not be suprised. You live, work and play in a world that tolerates no dissent that isn’t staged for the benefit of more cash.
    Your opinion posed a threat to the money making machine on that day and that alone prompted the fining.
    Work with selfish, rich, elitist ingrates who can’t see where the real fan comes from and you too suffer at their hand.

    Comment by Mark Gardner -

  77. This is one more proof that Professional Athletics has become an over-bloated, self important, elitist world where the only thing that seems to matter anymore is the almighty dollar (No offense, Mr. Cuban).
    When a “Spectator” activity reaches a level in which the average spectator has to spend between 100 and 300 dollars to attend an event, it shows the true concern of the sport for the fan base that has built the activity to begin with.
    It is not, in the least, suprising that they (Officiating body) will tolerate no dissent in how they manage, considering their lack of concern for managing how the true fan base is denied access through exclusionary pricing.
    It isn’t the multi-millionaires and corporate block buyers that make the sport what it is. It is the kid who scrounges together his Christmas or Chanuka money, mows lawns and walks dogs just to afford the 150.00 sports Jersey to express his pride and envy in a player or a team. It is that same kid who has parents that can’t afford the 250.00 minimum cost hit to take the kid to a game and will most likely NEVER see that player or team in a live game.
    So, if you are at all suprised that you were fined for expressing a dissenting opinion, you shuld not be suprised. You live, work and play in a world that tolerates no dissent that isn’t staged for the benefit of more cash.
    Your opinion posed a threat to the money making machine on that day and that alone prompted the fining.
    Work with selfish, rich, elitist ingrates who can’t see where the real fan comes from and you too suffer at their hand.

    Comment by Mark Gardner -

  78. This is one more proof that Professional Athletics has become an over-bloated, self important, elitist world where the only thing that seems to matter anymore is the almighty dollar (No offense, Mr. Cuban).
    When a “Spectator” activity reaches a level in which the average spectator has to spend between 100 and 300 dollars to attend an event, it shows the true concern of the sport for the fan base that has built the activity to begin with.
    It is not, in the least, suprising that they (Officiating body) will tolerate no dissent in how they manage, considering their lack of concern for managing how the true fan base is denied access through exclusionary pricing.
    It isn’t the multi-millionaires and corporate block buyers that make the sport what it is. It is the kid who scrounges together his Christmas or Chanuka money, mows lawns and walks dogs just to afford the 150.00 sports Jersey to express his pride and envy in a player or a team. It is that same kid who has parents that can’t afford the 250.00 minimum cost hit to take the kid to a game and will most likely NEVER see that player or team in a live game.
    So, if you are at all suprised that you were fined for expressing a dissenting opinion, you shuld not be suprised. You live, work and play in a world that tolerates no dissent that isn’t staged for the benefit of more cash.
    Your opinion posed a threat to the money making machine on that day and that alone prompted the fining.
    Work with selfish, rich, elitist ingrates who can’t see where the real fan comes from and you too suffer at their hand.

    Comment by Mark Gardner -

  79. What the hell were they thinking? I’m going to fine the NBA for fining you. In fact I’m going to fine myself for fining the NBA for fining you.

    Comment by GodHead -

  80. Doesn’t the NBA understand that you like to get fined yet? Maybe they like bad publicity too.

    Comment by Shaun Root -

  81. Good Morning Mark,

    I’ve been a fan for years now, advidly watching the Mavs on TV… and going to games as often as I can. I am proud of how you handle every situation that comes along, even if you are harshly critisized for it. I think the NBA crossed the line with a fine here. It wouldn’t even be understandable if it was said at an interview at the half, someone just felt personally offended for making a bad decision and decided to have the NBA strike back. The NBA shouldn’t have the power to smite those who speak out. If they can reach this far, fining you for comments outside of an NBA condoned website, what are their limits? And can I start fining people for telling me that I made a bad decision somewhere in life, or that I am wearing an ugly shirt? I think its absolutely rediculous. On a lighter side… GO MAVS!

    Comment by Chris McLaughlin -

  82. Mark,
    I didn’t think it was such a bad idea to start on Election Day because a lot of people get tired of politics, politics, politics and welcome the opportunity to tune in to something else. Plus, the way sports is covered these days, it’s on different networks for the most part. It hardly mattered to ESPN and TNT that it was Election Day.
    That said, it didn’t make a lot of sense if you cost you that much in ticket sales. Someone outside the business wouldn’t necessarily realize that without you saying it, but that does sort of bite.
    As for you being fined, I’ve never understood why the NBA treats you like it does. You’re a walking marketing opportunity. It’s like when you made the crack about managing a Dairy Queen, and then you went out and managed one for a day. How many times over the years could the NBA have generated some positive publicity for itself by employing variations on that theme? It’s like the ESPN guy said on Dream Job the other night — we work here, not at CNN. This is sports. This is for fun. The NBA needs to lighten up, to quick taking itself so seriously.

    Comment by Brian McNicoll -

  83. If it’s within the rules and regulations of the NBA to fine you for your blog entries – I say too bad. If you don’t like it get out of the NBA. Don’t like that response? I get it all the time. Don’t like the asinine restriction of freedoms to immigrate to the USA? Too bad – stay out. Don’t like the tax laws? Too bad – go to jail. Don’t like the electoral system – too bad, move somewhere else.

    Let me ask you this – If I was to blog about my company and get fired for it, how much sympathy would I get? not a hell of a lot. Bitter, party of one – your table is ready.

    Having said all that, I think you SHOULD have the right and the freedom to comment on the NBA up to the point of revealing confidential information. However you don’t, because of the screwed up set of laws and contracts constraining us all. Until we’ve fixed it, bloggers everywhere beware.

    Comment by Morry Veer -

  84. Simply substitute *government* for *corporate whores* and enjoy…and yes, I’m from Austin.

    fas·cism ( P ) Pronunciation Key (fshzm) n.

    1. A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.
    2. A political philosophy or movement based on or advocating such a system of government.
    3. Oppressive, dictatorial control.

    -Chris-

    Comment by Chris -

  85. I realize that I am a young naive college student, but honestly how can this even be legal? Yes, the NBA is a business but it’s treated more like a club. Yes as a member you have to pay your membership dues and adhere to their rules, but fining you for stating you opinion???

    This makes the league look like Communist Mother Russia! Fining people for public disent is the watermark of a weak and faultering governing body.

    I find it despicable and it only furthers my distaste for the entire league.

    Comment by Justin Cervero -

  86. I’m more “likely” to turn off the TV and go throw some hoops in the yard to vent off my frustration being regarded as a “key demographic”, “focus group” or a “market segment”.
    Are we talking about basketball, the sport, or basketball the “product-financial stock”
    I’m turning to NCAA on my quest to find what is real vs. a “170 Dlls” Mavs Jersey.
    Get Real!

    Comment by Javier Isassi -

  87. Perhaps you can get the NBA to let you make a charitable donation to some needy cause instead of a fine directly to the NBA. I suggest the Fund for Bandwidth Challenged Bloggers. There’s a PayPal tip jar err a link to this worthy charity on my site.😉

    Comment by Bill Dennis -

  88. I’m amazed the NBA would do this. Of course, it is the standard monolithic corporate thing to do, but evidently not only do they not like being told in public that they’re wrong, but they don’t realize what a good thing they have in you owning the Mavericks. Finally, an antidote to the stereotype of heartless-vulture-pro-sports-team owner.

    Comment by Daniel -

  89. Just like anything, if an organization is curbing honest opinion and statements for the good of proctecting face and investment, I’m going to watch less, and support less of that organization. Why should I trust them to grow and develop when the people who are the closest, with the most educated (if not experienced) opinions are silenced?

    This is the same for employees getting fired for speaking out about minut issues with their company… it promotes distrust. You’d start to think the NBA is the new Catholic Church (and as a Catholic, let’s not target me for that statement).

    Don’t let anyone own you, say what you will. Your fans will listen.

    Comment by Brady J. Frey -

  90. Hi Mark, Love the Benefactor show. Me and my wife were hooked til the end. I found this site somehow looking at microsoft financials…go figure. I used to be a big fan of the NBA until the tremendous shift to what I call the ThugBA. The game no longer has what I would call a family friendly cast. I hope influence from innovative thinkers like yourself will bring a more possitive element to a wonderful sport. I agree with your take on opening day.

    Comment by Wayne -

  91. heck, i was fired for a comment made in my blog back in june (no names were mentioned. neither was the company… yet there i was… on the dole.)

    Comment by erin -

  92. Are you kidding? You were FINED for that post? Holy crap that money better go to a good cause… perhaps the protection of free speech campaign?

    Comment by Stephanie -

  93. I think I misunderstood the question at first. I thought you were asking us if we agreed with you about the timing of opening night. I do.

    In answer to your real question… I think to fine owners for expressing this kind of opinion makes the commissioner look petty and weak. What is he so afraid of?? And why doesn’t he find more constructive things to do with his time? But I’m not sure I would watch less basketball because of it. If anything, I think this constant wrist-slapping for silly things has made you and the Mavs even more popular.

    Maybe that’s what he’s so afraid of.

    Comment by Laurie -

  94. You gave them a jab, the gave you a fine. Rinse n’ repeat. In my opinion, it takes a strong league to be able to take criticism. Executive public criticism will always win more respect from the league than the drunk guy at the bar commenting on the ref. Keep it up, the league needs someone who isn’t afraid to take shots when they are needed.

    Comment by Richard -

  95. aah Mark!
    Everytime you open your mouth you should probably just spit out a few bills.
    Talk isn’t cheap for you!!!!!

    Comment by Diane -

  96. Only in American can a sports writer get paid and the owner get fined for making the same sort of commentary. Freedom of Speech must only apply to “newcasters” or “journalists” and everyone else falls in the catagory of “fines pay for lawyers to research new and improved stupid ways to create more fines”

    Comment by deborah allen -

  97. I haven’t read the other comments, but I just wanted to add that I like reading your perspective on the NBA here. It probably doesn’t effect how I approach the NBA and consume the product, but if it does have any effect, it would be a positive one. I know reading this blog has made me more interested in the Mavericks, though I don’t know if that’s really translated to any extra revenue for the NBA (maybe I’ve watched a game I wouldn’t have otherwise.)

    Fining your for comments on a blog, however, is stupid. Period. Fining you for criticizing the league is, for the most part, stupid. There might be some cases it is warranted, such as if the comments were inflammatory and false. Then, MAYBE it would be warranted. But if it’s honest criticism–a simple opinion backed up with some reasoning–then you should be fined, period. That’s just stupid.

    Criticism of the league makes me more interested. It makes the league more interesting. The NBA wants to pretend it’s perfect? Whatever. That’s stupid. All of us, all the fans, know that the NBA isn’t perfect in a variety of ways and by trying to enforce that view, it simply makes the NBA look silly.

    So to sum up, criticism is good. It’s healthy, in fact, and the NBA brass should take it into account rather than try to suppress it.

    Comment by Joel Caris -

  98. I really would like to know what rules the NBA uses to fine owners for the comments that Mark made. Where is freedom of speech in all this? I don’t see why they would make a big deal out of all this. For years I have been an NBA fan. I am kinda losing interest and some of it has to do with the way the league handles fines and penalties. It makes that look very weak.

    Comment by Dominic Hackett -

  99. MARK READ THIS!
    About two days ago I put a post on your site requesting that when you received a fine for doing something that the league considers crazy to donate to my non-profit because we need help.
    Dang, you mean to tell me that you have already received a fine for something you said before the season even started? Mark this is a sure sign that you need to let me be your hands for the holidays. I am sure that Mr. Stern saw my request and he thought hmmm let me fine Mark so he can help this young lady give back to the Dallas community. Let’s show him how we do it. Please visit http://www.thetouchministry.com and then call me Mark. I will send out a press release to thank Mr. Stern personally for fining you so you could match the fine and give to others for the holidays. It’ll show him and others that Mavs fans don’t play. Oh and by the way, U WERE RIGHT. NBA screwed up on this I was watching the election until my son told me the Mavs were on then I turned the channel to the game. It was actually a relief.
    Please help me to feed and clothe as many people as possible during the holiday season we are low on budget this year.
    Sincerely,
    Cheryl Jackson

    Comment by Cheryl Jackson -

  100. MARK READ THIS!
    About two days ago I put a post on your site requesting that when you received a fine for doing something that the league considers crazy to donate to my non-profit because we need help.
    Dang, you mean to tell me that you have already received a fine for something you said before the season even started? Mark this is a sure sign that you need to let me be your hands for the holidays. I am sure that Mr. Stern saw my request and he thought hmmm let me fine Mark so he can help this young lady give back to the Dallas community. Let’s show him how we do it. Please visit http://www.thetouchministry.com and then call me Mark. I will send out a press release to thank Mr. Stern personally for fining you so you could match the fine and give to others for the holidays. It’ll show him and others that Mavs fans don’t play. Oh and by the way, U WERE RIGHT. NBA screwed up on this I was watching the election until my son told me the Mavs were on then I turned the channel to the game. It was actually a relief.
    Please help me to feed and clothe as many people as possible during the holiday season we are low on budget this year.
    Sincerely,
    Cheryl Jackson

    Comment by Cheryl Jackson -

  101. And why would the NBA/Stern fine you for saying that? Because you were right? It needed to be said and you would hope that it would be a chorus from the owners back to the NBA. One word can sum this up: PATHETIC.

    Congrats on being the first ever NBA fine for a blog entry.

    Comment by Bryan Tsowdsun -

  102. Mark, I’m glad you spoke up about opening day being scheduled on Election Day. Incredibly thoughtless of the NBA in my opinion. It bothered me and I didn’t hear anyone else talking about it and I think it actually makes the NBA look BETTER for us (the public) to hear you criticize the scheduling because it shows not all those associated with the NBA believe basketball is more important than the Presidential Election.

    Comment by Will -

  103. As a die hard fan who hates the way basketball is played today, I am very happy when someone in authority and in the in of the sport industry has something constructively critical to say. I am less likely not purchase a ticket because of the criticism than of the backlash for it. Like in all aspects of life, there is nothing worse than pointing out the ills of society, and then be punished for it. Which, ironically and amazingly enough, is why we vote the way we do today.

    Though John Hancock stood his ground by signing as prominent as possible to both demonstrate his allegiance to the cause and courage against retaliation, the voting method of non-disclosure was created so that we the people would not have to endure voter harassment or intimidation. This must all have been lost on Stern.

    Now, where are you at fault? For not taking the opportunity presented to you. Yes, election was on Nov 2nd, Stern opened the NBA on the same night. Here was your chance to try to make a leap in society. Set up some voting booths at the stadium, integrate the two occasions. Look, what is the worst part of voting, and why so much apathy? Because it is so archaically implemented most of us cannot accommodate it anymore. Why can I pay my bill over the phone or internet, but I can’t phone in my vote or click it in? Voting on kiosks is no different from doing it from your home and every software engineer that works under the hood knows it.

    Here’s your next side business Mark. I’d like to check on my vote a few hours later or days later, something I’m sure will take years for them to develop. But obviously all the info is there and since the kiosk method sends out your single source vote out to at least three different stored locations, why can’t I request those vote values and be sure my vote still stands? But I digress.

    You set up voter booths, show results during the game, make it interactive. I would have loved not have to bother going down to the precinct to vote and instead do it during the game. Sure there would have to be something worked out between the precincts and who voted and not, but it could be worked out.

    Kids need to learn why voting is so important. They already know why basketball is, so this is a good platform to develop the cause.

    Please continue to sign your name large Mark for the rest of us who can’t hold up to the retaliation and intimidation. I can say all of this confidently because Stern can’t fine me… can he?

    Comment by Transitor -

  104. They FINED you for THAT?! Didn’t they used to call this Communism, getting punished for expressing dissenting views? The walls have ears.

    I paid absolutely no attention to anything except the election and watching the election returns that night. I was only dimly aware that the NBA season had even started and didn’t much care. What was going on (the most important election of my lifetime) consumed every fiber of my being that night until the following morning. A good many of us were at election-watching events all night anyway, and so didn’t even find ourselves in a position to watch the NBA even if we HAD cared it was on. Had the season started the night before, however, I would definitely have watched from beginning to end.

    Does that answer your question?

    Comment by Laurie -

  105. Brings to mind an Abe Lemons story. During a heated basketball game, he called timeout to dispute a call. The official told Abe he had heard enough. Finally, out of frustration, Abe asked the official if he would get a technical foul for what he was thinking. The official said, “No, I can’t give you a technical for what you’re thinking.” So without hesitation, Abe said “Well good, cuz I think you’re a dumb sonofabitch.”

    I guess that’s the next step, David Stern fining you for what you’re thinking rather than saying.

    Comment by Layne -

  106. It makes you the owner look weaker and the league appear stonger from the standpoint of action(or lack there of). Here we are a billionaire complaining about the state of this, that, or the oher but what are we doing to correct it? A couple of billionaires (owners) get to together and make a desicion for change and “King Ding a Ling” will have to listen. Don’t complain about it…change it. That would be a customers dream. Oh yea…GO MAVS!!!!

    Comment by Adam Steinberg -

  107. What I find most disturbing, is not the fact you were fined, it’s the fact whenever we fans watch any sports game on TV, we always see the announcers try and baby whatever league the sport is in. Instead of being critical, and wanting to make changes for the better, they want to hide any mistakes the referree’s and officials make. I’m not saying every official is perfect, but I do believe, there needs to be more criticism. The day any league thinks they are perfect, is the day they stop progressing, and changing for the better. Being critical is always important, I’m not saying be Michael Moore, completely negative critical, I’m saying, find a flaw, or whatever, and discuss it, bring it into light, trying to hide a problem is very naive, and ignorant. I applaud your efforts to speak the truth Mr. Cuban, and whatever happened to the HD network😦 that was my favorite channel.
    Keep up the good work, and don’t stop being critical, nothing wrong with more critical thinkers in the world.
    -Joe (T’wolves fan)

    Comment by Joe -

  108. Mark:

    Commissioner Stern has openly expressed his desire to market the NBA in China. Perhaps his infringement upon your free speech is an effort to show Beijing that he is an admirer of Chairman Mao and communism😉

    Comment by Mike -

  109. Mark, lets put it this way, I was out voting. I had no idea that the NBA season had started that night. I was watching the election results coming in at – get this – a sports bar. No games were even on the 20 someodd TVs they had.
    The NBA screwed the pouch on this one. Sorry that the punished you for pointing out the obvious.

    Comment by Stacy -

  110. i think its retarded to fine a man for speaking his mind. its not like you personally attacked stern you were attacking a policy that the league made. which i by the way completely agree with you about. Id be even more irritated with them except that you have proven that you dont stop saying what many around you are thinking like you very well could.

    Comment by Chris (Damp rocks) -

  111. First of all, who really cares? You and the Commish can go back and forth with your junior high cracks all day long and I’ll still watch the games. I’ve been a Mavs and NBA fan for 25 years and players, coaches, GMs and owners who always seem to think they know best won’t have an effect on whether or not I remain more of less of a fan.

    How about making your attacks on the Commish a little more professional? That’ll really get his attention! 😉

    Comment by John -

  112. Now you are on the front NBA page of espn.com (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/index) WTG! Just make them fix that broken link. Peg, it HAS to be under marketing.

    Answers:
    League looks weaker because they have to hide behind fines instead of open discussion. Fines are suppose to deter bad behavior, not valid points of discussion. But since Davey has set a precedence, he cannot back down or be called weak – never gonna hapen!

    I’m more likely to pay attention because there is action. Your words, your money, Davey getting slapped around. It is back and forth like the game, but in this case, more one sided. I can hear Davey now, “I’m not going to tolerate that Mr. Cuban anymore. This time is the last.” Whatever Davey!

    He doesn’t get it. He brought the league up to what it is today, and he did a great job. It is the most wonderful entertainment sport there is. But he gave it to the people to enjoy, and when he did that, he needed to let the baby grow and mature. It is the people that buy the merchandise, watch the TV, buy the tix. We want a say in our product. You defend/promote our ‘say’, and then WE get slapped for trying to grow the baby that we all support. Years ago, the NBA WAS Davey. It has grown so much, but has also seemed to passed him by. It’s still YOUR baby, huh Davey?

    Comment by Chris Burton -

  113. Dave Stern likens to a political dictator in the way he tries to slaps you on your wrist for saying something “bad” about him.
    If we were to liken this to an political analogy, the question is would you think a country that restricts speech (i.e. China, Iran, etc…) is more trustworthy than one that promotes free speech and encourages criticism?
    The answer to this question is obvious – and it doesn’t take a genius to draw the parallels of this analogy. My thinking is that when criticism and free speech is restricted, more likely than not “there is something to hide.”
    If institutionized policies are used to prevent people from merely speaking out their minds and making criticism about Mr. Stern, then I would be more inclined to think that the same tactics are used in other more serious issues – like fixing drafts, fixing games to boost ratings, or worst!
    All in all, this makes me loose a lot of confidence in the league.

    Comment by Ethan -

  114. Obviously there isn’t free speech when you don’t own the league. Unforunate, but you can’t really challenge the league now, can you? But yeah, what idiot thought up opening night on election night? I didn’t even know when it was!

    Comment by yorkshire terrier forums -

  115. HAHA…so dumb..this is my first time on this blog thing but Ive heard about it many a time. David Stern is all about himself and puts up a front that hes about the league…what a bunch of BS. Well good luck with the MAVs and the benefactor mark cuban and keep on being the outspoken owner that you already are. We need more owners like you.

    Comment by Keith -

  116. Mark, you’re the man! Keep saying what’s on your mind and we’ll keep telling Stern to listen by supporting you and your team. I’m off to email ‘ol Sterny right now.
    MFFL

    P.S.- Daniels/Howard in 2008!

    Comment by scott -

  117. the handjobber rubbed me the wrong way—-just kidding invest in it!!! it is a STROKE of genius…but seriuosly, cool site….enjoyed you on Stern(Howard not David…or is there something i dont know about?) a couple of months ago,

    peace

    Jay

    Comment by jay -

  118. Can any controversy caused by these comments be anything but good for the league. Seriously, any publicity is good publicity. In addition to athleticism, one of the major draws of sports are the characters, and the stories behind those characters. To the NBA brass – DUH!

    Comment by Christopher Harbin -

  119. The NBA should be fined for their stupidity. You should be commended for expressing your views and for being the only owner who has a blog. Keep up the good work even though I am a Celtic fan.

    Comment by Bill Ives -

  120. This is just simply amazing. The internet is supposed to be a place where we can go and discuss things without blatant efforts at censorship.

    Comment by Bryan Podwys -

  121. I find this whole thing to be a bit insane. You can fine someone for sarcasm? “Man, Stern is a GREAT commissioner” That’s it, you’re fined.

    I think it really hurts a league when it’s so petty. What hurts the league is guys like Sprewell making comments like they’re having trouble feeding their family. It’s hard to root for a guy like that.

    I’m a Pistons fan, however, I do enjoy seeing the Mavericks do well. I’ve done so ever since Mark took over. He really gets into the team, does his best to put on a great product, and has fun doing it. With free agency, it’s so hard to really enjoy a team since it’s players that you grow to like change so often. I think in many ways, it’s management that really draw fans these days and it’s a damn shame that a great owner such as Mr. Cuban is always getting fined for trying to get the league at its best.

    Comment by Giff -

  122. Just further proof that David Stern doesn’t care about anybody but his bank account.

    Comment by Aaron -

  123. So when exactly was it written that Stern and the NBA could control what was written on a website? Mark I think what your doing is great and its about time somebody challenges the NBA and its a shame none of the other owners will back you up. But they will come in time.
    GO MAVS

    Comment by Nick -

  124. I don’t like basketball, I don’t see it, what really is interesting is sit and wait for the next time you’ll be fined that’s the real game for me. My bets … 3 weeks …. you’r on run man don’t let it go.

    BTW you are getting more sofisticated on the means you use to get fined, way to go.

    Comment by Edgar -

  125. Personally, as a die-hard basketball fan I have been driven to point where I will no longer purchase NBA merchandise or even attend games because I can’t in good conscience support the league (at least financially) in it’s current state.
    These ridiculuous fines for even the slightest step out of line make the league look like a joke. If Stern wants to fine everyone for telling the emperor he doesn’t have any clothes on, he is doomed to walk around naked, while the league is doomed to run into the ground.
    We live in a democratic nation (sort-of) and one the things that makes it so great is our ability to question authority without fear of repercussion.

    “If we make non-violent revolution impossible, we make violent revolution inevitable.”
    – John F Kennedy

    Comment by Ian Abbett -

  126. The past year has been a PR nightmare for the NBA, and this is just one more black eye for the league. My willingness to support the NBA declines every year for the horrible behavior displayed by its players and the mind-numbing decisions made by the league in general and David Stern in particular. Given all the criminal behaviour tolerated by players in the NBA, it’s outrageous Mr. Stern has punished you for stating the obvious.

    Comment by Charlie -

  127. This big Portland Trailblazer Fan and prolific blogger thinks you’re getting the shaft. Blogs are the ultimate in free expression and you should be able to speak your mind without the league looking over your shoulder. Also, one would assume that TV ratings were lousy on opening night.

    Comment by Todd Mintz -

  128. It’s retarded… Get real here, scheduling open day during the “Biggest Election” in history! NBA…whatever…if I were rich, I’d pay it for ya Mark, cause this disgusts me.

    Comment by simants -

  129. The current NBA administration will conitinue to ruin what was once a good product. I love the Knicks (sorry Mark) but only catch maybe 1 or 2 games a year. Not because I don’t like it but because David Stern annoys me with his ability to take a product that is absolutely fabulous and ruin it. Your not allowed to question league administrative decisions? Didn’t that happen once last century and wasn’t it called Nazi Germany? Why are they threatened that you would question them? As a famous radiohead says, “right now I’m just rengting the NBA when there’s nothing else on” and this is a perfect example of why.

    Comment by Joe -

  130. I don’t think you should have been fined.
    Why was the NBA reading your blog anyway? Are you not allowed to post your thoughts about things such as that?

    Comment by Adam Haigh -

  131. If anything, every NBA owner should be required to have a blog and interact with fans and give some background information into why decisions were made. Even if the fans disagree, shedding that insight will help to engage them a little bit better.

    It’s astonishing that the NBA’s fining you for expressing an opinion, when teams are facing substantially more severe issues in terms of player conduct which do far more to taint the league’s image – yet the league does almost nothing.

    With the league’s labor issues looming – you may be the only owner willing to give a straight answer and it would be a shame if the Commissioner decided to start rapping your knuckles for simply telling the truth. Maybe he’s afraid that it would take attention from those lovely Pat Ewing “Yeah, we make a lot of money, but we spend a lot of money too” sound bites.

    Comment by T Lee -

  132. the NBA ought to show some effin respect for the system. All NBA jerseys have an american flag on them, but the powers that be can’t give democracy a night to itself?

    Comment by HG -

  133. Mark,
    I know I’m not the first to say this, much less think it, but what do you expect from Stern now that MJ’s ass is around for him to kiss anymore.

    I love basketball, and I love the individuals and teams that comprise it. What I don’t like is the NBA machine as a whole. You get my drift…

    And you got fined for posting your own thoughts on your own blog? That’s your right. Isn’t that kinda the same reason we sent guys over to Iraq? You just say whatever you want. If I wanted to hear the NBA’s view, I’d prolly be over at NBA.com… But I’m not.

    So NBA, if you read this: (Explitive Deleted for youth present) You have no right to determine what someone does with their own time, on their own site, with their own money. How ridiculous is that???

    Comment by Troy Overton -

  134. Perspective has been lost. All through the world of sports.

    For you: Ask yourself “What would Red Auerbach do?” –remember the league didn’t like his cigars–

    But the issues are broad. A college player intercepts a pass, runs it back for a TD that puts his team ahead. 5 yards from the goal line he raises his arm in exultation. Earns his team a 15 yard penalty.

    Terrell Owens or Chad Johnson decide to yell at quarterbacks or coaches because their feelings are hurt. I can’t help but wonder what would have happened to the receiver who started screaming at Bart Starr on the sidelines? Where would Ray Nitchke have been? Or Vince Lombardi?

    There are role models in every sport. We need to remind everyone who is the respected role model. What would Bill Russell have done? Can’t imagine Bill Russell dealing with Kobe Bryant, for example.

    What would Michael do?
    Or Jim Brown?
    Or Sandy Koufax?

    These aren’t namby pamby stars. But respected leaders. Even when they stray from the straight and narrow.

    If Red Auerbach would do it, then do it. After all, you own a percentage of the league.

    Comment by Harry Roedersheimer -

  135. The person responsible for making such a blindsided idiotic and revenue bleeding decision should be the one who foots your fine -Mr Cuban – I know your good friend Mr Trump would not have tolerated such incompetence and would’ve FIRED that person without any hesitation – even without that person taking anyone into the “board room” with them.

    You just stated the obvious – and it needed to be heard loud and clear. The league needed to be embarassed publicly. It needed a slap in the face.

    And if this season runs smoothly (i.e. without any players raping, DUI’ing, being caught with illegal substances and so forth), this will go down in history as the worst “scheduling mulfunction” to ever occur.

    Just imagine how many “make goods” TNT had to credit their advertisers with because for some strange and unthinkable reason, ratings were down year-to-year. SHOCK.

    I’m appauled with the NBA. Time for the to hire a new PR firm and a new set of staff – lets start with the commish.

    Stand Strong Mr Cuban and don’t let these jerks intimidate you.

    Comment by Marc Allen -

  136. It will not effect me watching or loving the NBA. However, I do think it is like big brother,1984, or CIA where they know everything you say. This was not on live TV, no one was effected. I think it’s ridiculos. Keep it up Mark!

    Comment by Paul B. -

  137. There is a little something in this country called free speech. For Mr. Cuban I see it’s not so “free” ($$$). I think the NBA has the same problem as most large sports the collected EGO of those in the front office makes them believe that they are above everyone and don’t make mistakes. Look at the NCAA for example. This group makes BILLIONS of dollars off the student athlete and does not share a dime with the players that make it happen. The NCAA won’t even consider some sort of revenue sharing with the players that make it all happen. Sure the players get an education yes they have opportunities open to them above everyone on campus blah blah blah. But let’s get real. It’s a business. A really big business that is basically run on the backs of temp workers. It’s really sad they most of them don’t get much else from the NCAA which makes the best players leave school early to go pro.

    I would suggest Mr. Cuban should add to his blog a list of his fines as the owner of the Mav’s. I believe that Mr. Cuban also donates the same amount to charity. I would be interested to know what charities those are. If he would like to keep those confidential that’s cool. It’s nice to know the money is doing some good.

    Keep it up Mr. Cuban! The league is a better place with you in it.

    Comment by Bill Cunningham -

  138. I believe it does make the NBA (or any other league, for that matter) appear weaker when they resort to this kind of vendetta. Do they have a special “blog readers” in their stuff to fish out what was said by whom in any private blogs from all over the world? It certainly looks like it!.. Are we dealing with a new “Echelon” program??? It definitely looks like the good old “witch hunt” to me. Anyway, it was VERY stupid on their part, I guess they just needed some more money for some unexpected expenses.
    Good luck you guys, although I am not going to be rooting for you. But all the best wishes from Arizona to Finley and Terry!

    VN

    Comment by Victor Nik -

  139. Mark:

    Your comment was right on. If someone publicly criticizes the league, it doesn’t change my opinion one way or the other about the league, nor does it alter my watching a game (be it on site or on TV). What changes my opinion is how the league reacts to criticism.

    The league’s reaction (in this case a fine) is communist in nature. “You said something we didn’t like so we’re going to fine you”. That’s stupid. That’s poor management of the league. When criticism is given, it’s because someone has a differing opinion of a decision that was made. Poor management of a business will eventually catch up to you – be it a professional sporting league or any other business. Just ask any business that’s been around 20+ years.

    The NBA should take this critism and use it to their advantage. Review what was said, why it was said, and if feasible, make the league better. The NBA had an opportunity to listen to your opinion and make better decisions when it comes down to scheduling (in this case, your opinion was accurate and full of common sense). Instead, it reacts with another fine. Seems like the league has made two mistakes now! They obviously haven’t figured out by now that fining you isn’t going to stop you from speaking your mind. Build bridges…not walls.

    Comment by Barry Willett -

  140. Next time you have comments, give them to me and I will criticize the league. They can’t fine me, hell, I don’t even like the product the sell most of the time.

    Comment by will betush -

  141. Your post was fantastic, btw. I mean, how much more insider can you get? Your blogging adds an important new dimension to Mavs (and NBA) coverage. Maybe it’s not ‘objective’, but it’s honest and colorful.

    As for fines? A little open, unscripted communication would be nice for once. Not talking about a problem doesn’t make it go away. Have some balls, Stern.

    And as a longtime Warriors sufferer, I’m psyched to see Damp get a chance to play with a real team.

    Comment by Elvix -

  142. Mark, when are you going to learn that it’s the truth that hurts? Putting opening day on election night was a dumb move, a move made by morons. But you get in trouble when you call morons morons. If you said the scheduling was done by an evil faction of Al-Queda, you wouldn’t have been fined.

    The most surpising thing to me was that there was anyone in the NBA front offices that could read.

    Comment by Joseph Zadeh -

  143. The NBA is weak in so many different ways. The talent is diluted. The game is soft. They can’t take constuctive critism. Long live college basketball.

    Comment by Rod -

  144. So what is next, if you talk in your sleep are they going to fine you? How about if you simply look agitated on TV? Clearly, looking agitated translates into mean-spirited thoughts which should translate into fines.
    Come to think of it, the fact that so many of us are writing in to bitch about the idiotic fine policies of the league should warrant more fines that you need to pay.

    what a bunch of jackasses

    I haven’t answered the question. I feel the more the league, any league, stifles opinons from anybody, the less likely I am to watch the event on a regular basis. I don’t like contributing to an environment that condones and supports censorship.

    -Pat

    Comment by Pat McDonald -

  145. Some of the comments here remind me of what happened to Greg Easterbrook last year. Greg was writing a regular piece on Page 2 of ESPN.com called “Tuesday Morning Quarterback” that was very entertaining. In the middle of the football season, Greg was fired from the site due to some comments he wrote on his personal blog that were critical of Disney’s movie divisions, specificly its release through Miramax of Kill Bill. Some of his comments on the subject were also percieved as being borderline anti-semetic.
    In todays age of online personal diaries and e-mail, it is far too easy to “blog angry” and publish to the world personal feelings that otherwise might not have been let out. Easterbrook would later write that he didn’t think that his personal comments on his own site would affect him so severely.
    While I’m pretty sure Mark knows better, a lot of people need to realize how easy it is for people to find you on the internet and possibly be angered or offended by some of your personal views. If that person happens to be your boss and you’ve been bad mouthing him or her, you could get in trouble.
    While the NBA isn’t techincly Mark’s ‘boss’, they still have the right to punish him if they feel he has stepped over some line.
    Did they go a bit overboard this time? Yes.

    Comment by Mike -

  146. To preface my comments, this is coming from a lifelong Laker fan (read: I hate the Mavs.) Now, with that said, this fine is absolutely ridiculous. If you look at this from a business sense, it becomes even more ludicrous. Every team, individually owned, is financially impacted by the actions of the NBA. If the NBA were to impose a rule that capped arena seating at 50% of capacity, this would financially influence each and every team in the Association (well, maybe with the exception of the Hawks, but that’s a different story.) By starting the NBA season on election day, the NBA was effectively doing just that and in turn, affecting each team financially. So, with Cuban being an owner within the NBA, with a financial interest in what the NBA does, how can you fine him for pointing out a terrible decision that impacts his financial interests?? That would be like the McDonald’s Corporation telling their franchises that they can only sell french fries between noon and 1…and then fining them for complaining about it!!

    Comment by David -

  147. Mark,
    Interesting ?. The issues involved are #1.1st ammendment #2.The contract you signed with the NBA,#3. Ignorance.

    The reality of it is that the NBA should have rewarded you for expressing the opinion of the fans.Afterall,Where would the NBA be without the fans? I thought that is the basis and foundation of the NBA.Send them an invoice for your PR & Marketing Sevices.What is the downside,Right?
    LF

    Comment by Lee F -

  148. Mark, you were right on the money about you comments criticizing the bone-brains running the NBA who scheduled the opener on Election Night. What a blunder!?

    The only reason they’re fining you is because they are shamefully embarrassed for being called out on this, and this is their puny way to bully back at you. Proud men, these must be.

    Stupid, but proud.

    Comment by Scott Miller -

  149. This has got to be a friggin joke. The NBA mosdef comes of looking 1. VERY WEAK and 2. like Saddam Hussein!
    Just my thoughts.

    PS MFFL! Great start. Keep it up.

    Comment by Johnny Martinez -

  150. Your comments were indignant and sarcastic, but they were clean. It is difficult for me to accept anyone being punished for asserting their opinion in a taseteful manner.
    But it is completely unacceptable that anyone be punished for making a true statement. The fact that the league chose to open the season on that night of all nights clearly points to somebody, somewhere having their head fully imbedded in their ass. Don’t ever stop challenging the establishemnt that is the NBA front office. One day the league will recognize that a great deal of its success is the result of its innovative organizations. And yours is one blazing the trail of putting a better product in the arena and on the floor for the paying customer that demands more and more value as ticket prices rise.

    Comment by Thomas Brownell -

  151. http://eggyoke.com/archives/2004/11/08/nba-fines-mark-cuban-again/

    Comment by Shannon -

  152. Its amazing the off-court rules the NBA has come up with. I had 15 good minutes of laughter looking over the fines displayed on first website of your link page:
    http://www.eskimo.com/~pbender/fines.html

    Big surprise, the best was one that you were given:

    1/11/01
    The NBA fined Mark Cuban (Dal owner) $100,000 for “decorum not becoming an NBA owner” for sitting on the floor along the baseline during Wednesday’s Dal-Min game.

    Seeing fines like this, and the most recent one $100,000 for the previous blog entry, makes me think even more strongly that the NBA “movers and shakers” are a bunch of clowns. If the NBA doesn’t want anybody to criticize them, then they need to be the owners of every team. Then they could rule with a real iron fist.

    Mr. Cuban, you should consider adding a new link to your blog. “Mark’s NBA Fines” Keep a running tally for the fans.

    Comment by Jeff S. -

  153. Mark,

    How does the NBA have any right to fine you for telling the truth on a non-nba sponsored web-blog? Stern since you read these web blogs, this is directed to you. F-off. Mark is the only reason I have come back to watching the NBA. Mark has made it more exciting and I will continue to support him and the MAVS every step of the way. If you want to fine me, pass the message to Mark and I will get with him later.

    Thank you,

    MFFL

    Comment by Scott -

  154. can the folks of the NBA even spell ‘blog’ ?

    how long is their little fine game going to be played against you Mark ?

    When will they give up ?

    Comment by vj -

  155. Hey Mark,

    Maybe the NBA can use the fines to create a “PSA” by the next election called “Dunk the Vote”. btw, I told my two boys ages 8 and 11 to Tivo the game and watch the election. I guess, the NBA thought the reverse should happen.

    Comment by Mark -

  156. My first rule is David Stern is Satan. I then try to always remember Rule 1. I think you are totally right. I also think the Mavericks play a much better brand of basketball than the league in general (a little D would help though). I think the Olympic experience also did not help the NBA. The basic message is we have great athletes but if you want basketball skill get foreign players.

    Love the blog.

    Comment by Hatch -

  157. How much was the fine?

    Comment by Clover -

  158. Put it in this context….You own a company and one of your employees posts on his blog that the huge deal that your company just entered into was the dumbest move ever and nothing good will come out of it. You, the owner, read his comments. What do you think? (Gosh, that guy is right. Maybe we should go back in their and rethink this deal through.) I would venture to say that the reaction would be a nice tongue lashing discussing the finer points of teamwork and backing your company 100% or finding a new job. You being a member of the Owners association of the NBA need to adopt and display their beliefs and idealogy or suffer the consequences (fines).

    As far as the effect these fines have….I think the fact they are publicized makes the league look stupid as a whole for the fining such an obvious thing but I understand why they did it.

    Comment by Jay -

  159. I can understand perfectly why the league fined you for the comments. There just aren’t too many businesses out there that are open to the idea of voices from within making public statements to the masses criticizing their own company’s decisions. If an employee from HDNet didn’t like a business decision that was made and posted that on a website read by hundreds of thousands(?) of people, I doubt that would sit real well with you Mark. If I did that at my place of employment I’d be fired, not fined. Its not surprising to me that the league would have preferred that your criticism stay behind closed doors. The negative publicity from your comments might benefit the web traffic to your blog, but I don’t think it does anything for the image of the league, at least in the short term. However, I certainly don’t think a minor comment from you hurts it either.

    Unfortunately, as a fan, I’ve come to accept all of the nonsense in sports these days. Whether its a a greedy owner (I’m not implying that), a ridiculous comment by a player (Spree), or something stupid from the league itself, I just don’t really expect much else anymore. I HOPE for it, but I don’t expect it. And as much as I’d like to be able to say that I’ll quit buying tickets, quit watching hoops, or quit cheering for Sprewell, the sad truth is its probably not going to happen. Hoops is just a part of me that I can’t give up. Hoops isn’t just entertainment for me. I can’t give up on the NBA and start going to plays. I can’t give up on the T-Wolves because Spree doesn’t have a sense of reality. So I’ll just keep giving up my money or free time (tv) to pay players, owners, and the rest involved in the league. For me its just like paying the electric bill. I can’t figure out a way to get around it.

    Side note: I know that your relationship to the league isn’t the same as a standard boss/employee relationship. Maybe sometime you could fill us in on an owners relationship with the league. Benfits? Drawbacks? Its ultimate effects on fans? etc.

    Wade
    Minneapolis

    Comment by Wade Weidner -

  160. What I find truly amazing is what the NBA hopes to gain from fining you in this instance. Do they expect you to change your thoughts on the matter? What would be interesting to see is a Ratings/Dollars comparison to last year’s opening night. I imagine that there would be a significant decline in the number of People who attended games and People who watched games on Television.

    I think that when a Player/GM/Coach/etc. criticize the league they are pointing out a deficiency that the league possesses. When the league reacts by levying a fine against said individual without addressing the deficiency it raises a flag that screams “cover-up” or “silence”. I think the league feels that it is in control and can flex its muscle as it chooses and, without some additional checks being put in place, it can for the most part.

    Finally, will my interaction with the NBA change? I can say that over the last 4 years my interaction and support of the NBA has declined for various reasons. I do not like the fact that players consistently get in trouble with the law (see Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson). I do not like the fact that the League picks its favorite/non-favorite players/owners and levies punishments out based on where a person falls on that list (see punishments given to Rasheed Wallace) Until the 3 parties involved in the NBA figure out that they exist because of consumer demand and need to give the consumers what they want, my involvement will continue to be limited to watching televised games, listening to radio broadcast games, and reading articles and blogs on the internet.

    Comment by Jim -

  161. As a general rule, I do believe that sports organizations (just as any other business entity outh there) should have a controlled interaction with the media. The image that the organization tries to establish can get lost and convoluted when it is being filtered through too many voices. Thus, it is usually limited to a select few in the corporate hierarchy.

    However, professional sports is a very unique animal. The interaction with the broadcasting media is a part of the job at all levels (player, coach, GM and Owner) and is not something that can easily be controlled. In fact, it is what separates the elites at all levels from the talented (i.e. Michael Jordan) aside from providing substantial opportunities for personal gain.

    In such an environment, it behooves a league to control the abilities of its participants to whine and complain. Most people, without prompting, can always come up with something negative to say about their jobs, the people they work with or the environment they work in. Now imagine a situation where they are constantly being bombarded with questions about from reporters looking for the “scoop” or the inside “skinny”. Without an infrastructure in place to control such dialogues, it would become an overwhelming mess (just look at some comments made by players and teams during contract negotiations).

    I do not know enough about league rules to say, but some control is definitely required to maintain a quality product that maintains its appeal year after year. Whether it needs to be a draconian system of absolutely no critiques (my impression of current league policy) or something a little more open is a different question altogether.

    Comment by M. Shua -

  162. Mark-

    I would be intersted to know if the comments you made in this blog were made either after or instead of addressing them to the leauge in private. How much behind the scenes discussion did you have with the NBA regarding this? I would have to think that when you first got the schedule and realized that the kickoff was in an extremely bad place that might cost you and the rest of the teams thousands of dollars, that you would have made a few phone calls.
    The actual comments themsleves in the blog seem pretty mundane to have resulted in a $10,000 fine. It looks like to me that this is more of a “we discussed this and we told you not to say anything” fine. While I don’t like to venture into tinfoil hat teritory too much, the placement of the opener does on election day does have an air of political shenannigans to it. If this is the case, them it is a sad state of affairs for the NBA and sports in general.
    Regardless, due to your past critisisms and actions, you certainly are someone that the NBA will always be hyper-sensitive about. While I have to agree with the NBA’s reaction to you running on the court a few years ago, a lot of the other fines seem petty and vindictive. I always like the way you handle yourself in these matters, especially your donations to charity and the ‘diary queen’ incident.
    As for how this would affect anyone buying te NBA’s product, I would guess that most of the kids who are Mavs fans probably only have a vauge notion of who you and David Stern are. It’s a players leauge and no matter who is running the office, the money come in because of how the players perfom.

    Comment by Mike -

  163. I think David Stern is a moron for acting like a child the way he does protecting this league.

    Does that mean Im going to get fined too?

    Comment by Dan -

  164. How does the NBA have any say about what you do here? This is YOUR turf – your blog, your thoughts, your forum of discussion with fans of the Mavs. Fining you for writing your opinions here is the equivalent of kicking down political ads in a neighbor’s yard. Have you considered taking this situation to the EFF (www.eff.org)?

    I read about a similar situation today – a family is being sued for publishing a website about the poor service they received from a spray-on siding company.

    Now frankly, I think the concept of spraying siding on a house is stupid, and anyone buying the service probably deserves what they get. But the fact that the spray-on siding company _sued_ their customers for speaking their mind only lent credibility – and publicity! – to their argument.

    The aforementioned lawsuit may cost the family their home. They’re standing firm because they know that, with all this free press, it’ll kill the business that screwed them.

    Ignoring the fines and speaking your mind is likely the most efficient, cost-effective way for you to influence the functionality of the NBA. Shoot, it may not be possible to effect change without getting slapped with fines.

    In response to your question, the NBA’s reaction was weak, weak, weak. If their answer to criticism is to fine the critic, it speaks pretty poorly of the organization.

    Comment by Royce Hart -

  165. If the comments were incorrect or untrue, I can understand the fine. In this case, I cannot.

    I also don’t understand the election night thing. It’s bad enough that I’ll never be able to afford pro Football tickets. Thankfully, Basketball, Soccer and Hockey I can. However, anything that costs the team/league money, inevitably raises the prices down the line somewhere, I believe, so starting a season on election nite cannot be a good thing for the league, the team, nor the fans.

    Someone in the league having and voicing an opinion about the league doesn’t sway me either way. Sometimes, that’s the only way I learn something I might not have known otherwise. Obviously, there’s info the fans shouldn’t be thinking about. Or maybe the fans (nor the owners/coaches/players) should be thinking.

    Doesn’t affect my interaction just because a comment or opinion is made. Because Mark voiced his opinion about the game on election night will in no way stop me from buying Mav tickets. On the contrary, it makes me support Mark even more for his ability to see the obvious and ask “why” or “why not”.

    Mark you’ve done more good for the Mavs, basketball and sports in general than others might think. Keep up the good work. Go Mavs!🙂

    Comment by Alley -

  166. I understand the league’s point of view, but that’s just silliness to fine you. And, instead of me complaining about why I think it’s silliness, I made a donation to the patriot fund.

    I always think someone should benefit from stupidness, and everytime I read the press releases about the families who receive grants – I feel grateful.

    Comment by Kathleen -

  167. I think it’s creepy and fascist to be fined for freedom of speech.

    Comment by entertainment news -

  168. What’s the big deal? If the NBA doesn’t want its credibility challenged, it could start by improving its officiating. The Lakers’ title runs were some of the most bogus I’ve ever seen and I’d be shocked if the entire league wasn’t rigged. That being said, massive fines have made it seem sacrilegious for anyone to even question the NBA let alone criticize it. Big Brother tactics like that make me MORE sceptical of the leagues credibility, not less.

    Comment by James King -

  169. I find it terribly odd that you’re fined for stating an opinion that at least 90% of the media and public probably agrees with, while a fellow member of the Dallas sports community (Keyshawn Johnson) comments that he’d like to spank a female reporter with a ruler and nothing happens.

    The NFLPA is relatively weak and the NFL has always been known as the “No Fun League,” but they seem to enjoy the press players like Ray Lewis and Terrel Owens generate. Yes it’s a business and you need to keep things in order, but first and foremost professional sports are entertainment. Different personalities and conflict are part of what makes sports fun to watch.

    It seems the MLB and NBA fine you for thinking negative things, maybe that’s why pro football has leaped to the top of professional sports.

    Comment by Brian Behrend -

  170. It appears that blogs don’t fall under the personal thoughts category anymore (even though they probably should). For instance, a student at the University of Alberta launched a sexual harrassment complaint over a post on a Students’ Union Councillor’s blog. Though this post was the councillor’s own private thoughts, since they are made public by the internet, they become fair game for everyone to take shots at.

    In regards to critizing one’s own league, sometimes you have to speak your mind to invoke the neccessary changes. People should not be fined for speaking their mind.

    Comment by Brock Debenham -

  171. Mark, I am a public relations professional. I have posted my thoughts at http://www.micropersuasion.com/2004/11/nba_fines_mark_.html

    Comment by Steve Rubel -

  172. Mark,

    You just voiced what I was already thinking. I saw almost none of the game because of the election. I look forward to Dallas-Sacramento more than any other matchup, so I hated to miss it, but there was something far more important occurring.

    I think both opening on election night and fining you for stating the obvious are both stupid.

    Good luck tonight!! Go Mavs!!

    Comment by Glen Wilson -

  173. whoa. I was so gonna go buy a Dirk jersey this weekend for my son. But..not a chance now ! I’ve read your blog consistently and I must say I am very offended by your recent comments. Heck, I may only buy 3x$9.00 beers at the next game instead of my usual 4. Oh, and those nachos… Freakin’ history ! m, you really screwed up this time. I’ll be praying for you. ehhem….apologies…probably shouldn’t express my opinions towards family, alcohol consumption and spiritualism, or anything for that matter in a public forum. I could be fined for acting too much like a human being. Hey… you’re not alone, bro. keep strong. I know this girl that just won 1mm dollars from a locally produced reality show. If you need some cabbage to take care of the fine, lemme know. I’m sure we can track her down to see if she wanna give back to the community !🙂 ohh.. and I was jus kiddin’ bout the nachos and the jersey… the beers? count ’em …5 !!
    j

    Comment by jeff -

  174. They don’t have a right to fine you for expressing your opinions on a personal blog and your blogs actually enhance the NBA experience.

    I don’t know all the intricacies of the NBA fining rule book. If your commment is in direct conflict with the rules laid out, then perhaps they may have a reason to fine you. But if they are fining you for expressing a personal view, then it is simply unacceptable.

    Your comments/criticisms have always been made with the notion of “improving the game” not undermining it, i.e you are not starting a revolution to “oust” everyone and start a new regime. The league can listen to or discard your opinions. The fans can listen to or discard your comments. If the fans agree with your view and demand to see similar changes, then the customer’s voice SHOULD be heard. It’s market driven. It’s customer centric. Great business has always been that way.

    I like your blogs, your comments, and your criticisms. I think they enhance the game. It gives an “insider” view that is refreshing. Your blogs are intelligent. It dissects the situations and it provides analysis. It is for the “intelligent” reader. If we want gossips, we can check out the local papers. It is also a reflection of our time, our evolution in history.

    I think the league is undermining the fans (and more specifically blog fans) intelligence. It definitely shows that they are insecured and lack confidence in the product. It doesn’t believe or has faith in our ability to make our own conclusions. I don’t agree with all the things you say Mark, but you give me a different perspective to think through things. And that is good – for the game, for the product, for democracy, and for improving communication.

    Comment by Ron W -

  175. I think it makes you more appealing. Everyone knows you for the way you handle the NBA and their referees. You are comedic, but valued and sincere. I think it’s sad they reduced their level to fining you in your own blog. WOW! Makes them look bad, you jumped another 373957 brownie points.🙂

    Comment by Rachelle -

  176. Mark… it sounds like censorship… aka communism.

    Comment by Jeff Johnson -

  177. Whatever you are saying may be correct but can’t you for NBA presidentship and then market whatever way you want to. As long somebody else is going to own it, its thier authority whatever you say they are bound to fine.

    Comment by Kedar -

  178. Cost of the bonehead decision to start the NBA season on Election Tuesday – $Millions

    Amount of the Blog Maverick’s fine – $Thousands

    The fact that the NBA knows what a Blog is – Priceless

    Comment by Peter Hoskins -

  179. I think that it’s reasonable for the NBA to come down hard on owners, players or coaches who make public statements that could reflect badly on the league as a whole. If the issue was that your statements were racist, for example, it would be important to me that the league do something.

    In this case, however, fining you makes the NBA look weak and insecure. Some sports columnists were also saying that it was stupid to start on Election Day. Is the league taking action against them too?

    As a consumer, the NBA needs to get my attention. My local team, the Celtics, hasn’t been great in a while and the city is pretty focused on baseball and football. I grew up watching the Knicks and I play basketball in a rec league, but I’ve lived in Boston for 6 years without going to a Celtics game. So even though I’m into basketball, the NBA is not holding my attention long enough to sell me anything.

    Like Shannon Clark, who commented above, I get more interested in the NBA when I read your blog. If I were in Dallas, I’d go see a Mavs game. I have no idea who owns the Celtics, but if someone in their organization had a blog then maybe I’d start reading it and turn into someone who’d go see some games. Discouraging you from blogging about basketball (and by extension discouraging anyone else in the NBA who might want to follow in your footsteps) is not going to make me a better customer.

    Comment by Beth Linker -

  180. What pisses me off is the affect this could have on your blog and perhaps on the blogging community as a whole.

    It’s becoming more and more popular for executives and business leaders to write blogs. Your name always tops the list of executives that write blogs. I love the idea of more business leaders writing blogs but I’ve checked out some of these other blogs and you can tell that many of them have been proofread by an editor. They’re missing personality and style.

    One thing that makes your blog — and all blogs for that matter — popular is that it’s more like a conversation than an article. You get to the point and you say what’s on your mind. That’s what makes blogs great. And a fine like this has the potential to affect the way you write your blog.

    Comment by Lance Anderson -

  181. Mark,
    I thank you for your recent comments on the opening game. You said what everyone else was thanking. As a fan, I was pissed off to see the Mavs were opening on election night. It just was hard to get excited about opening night when you’re watching the game on a split screen with Fox News. I thought it was also interesting to see that the league didn’t showcase the big Miami-Cleveland game on opening night like they would have in years pass. It was obvious that some genius screwed up and they had to know it. As for your fine, I feel in most cases you give the fans a voice and that is never a bad thing.

    Comment by Preston Blevins -

  182. It’s time for David Stern to step down as the NBA Commissioner. He sits in his ivory tower with no clue about the future of the NBA. He doesn’t have Magic, Bird, and Jordan to market the league any longer. I admire that you have the stones to call out the league for ridiculous decisions to begin the season on Election Night. Why doesn’t the NBA have a grand opening to the season like MLB and the NFL?

    Comment by Jeremy Kennedy -

  183. It makes the league look weaker when they have to fine an owner for such a petty comment. It disappoints me that the NBA is so insecure in themselves that they have to fine you for a remark made in the context of a post that was intended to generate interest in the Mavs and the upcoming NBA season — which I thought it did btw.

    Because of your blog and your openness about your team, I’ve found myself routing for the Mavs. Neither your comment nor the fine your received is going to affect my consumption of the game.

    So while I agree that this recent fine was unnecessary and perhaps unjust, as Sean pointed out in post #13 it wasn’t much different than the guy that got kicked off for calling your game stupid.

    I felt like that guy was attempting to actually compliment you and the game by saying that he didn’t think the show would be as stupid as most reality tv series are. You emphasized first impressions on the show. Perhaps the league has never been able to shake their first impression of you.

    Comment by Lance Anderson -

  184. I think it makes the league look less stuffy in the eyes of the fans. We know things aren’t perfect sometimes, but to go around pretending that it is all the time doesn’t endear you to us.

    Comment by Joe from Wisconsin -

  185. I’ll probably blog about this on my own site, but here’s a quick first impression. When I lived in Europe, I was extremely surprised to see the on-field officials giving interviews after English Premiership (that’s soccer, incidentally) games. The media asked them about incidents in the game, and the officials seemed to answer (more or less) honestly about what they thought transpired.

    Why don’t we make league officials answerable? In fact, I’d imagine that referees (et al) would feel empowered by being able to speak their mind in the media.

    Comment by Darren -

  186. Mark,

    Can’t be entirely sure, but if a significant Pacer staffer blogged openly and occasionally snubbed the league, I’d be more likely to buy NBA products. It’s about trust. You can’t really trust an organization that has so little self confidence that it fines it’s members for being critical; not now.

    Comment by Darrin Thompson -

  187. The first person to be removed from “The Benefactor” was someone who called your game “stupid.” The fact of the matter is, a league is just that… a governing body with a collection of rules. If you don’t like their game, they don’t like you. You pay your two bucks at the door (or in your case, of course, millions of bucks) to enter their nation. You can own something within that nation; but it is still vulnerable to their rules and guidelines. And as we know throughout history, nationalism empowers those who govern to enforce based on pre-emptive fears. You scare the NBA, because they don’t have the confidence that you’re “with them.” And if you’re not with them, you’re “ag…” well, you know the rest. Therefore, it is the nature of your relationship with the league that dictates the regulation and control/restrain of your actions hereinafter. (I ended with a halfway legal term, because I can see that one of these days, Cuban v. NBA, may occur).

    Best of luck on the Mavs. I think your offseason moves take best advantage of the new defensive rules — instead of the old iso’s, teams have a better chance of scoring on the fast break, and with a collection of people who can play inside out and hit those jumpers!

    Sean Sullivan
    CEO, Spidercorp

    Comment by Sean Sullivan -

  188. Mark,

    I’d like to address the questions you posted.

    “Do the customers and fans of the NBA or other leagues, feel it makes the league appear stronger , weaker or unaffected when a player, owner, coach, GM, executive publicly criticizes the league?”

    I think that it does depend on context/content. Pointing out an obviously stupid move (i.e. starting the season on Election Night) in a blog by an interested party (like yourself) certainly makes the league look stupid, but does it make me not watch or attend the games? Hell no. If anything, I think that it makes our (the fans’) interest higher, if just to see how they respond to someone calling them out. When they fine the person that ponted out that the Emporer has no clothes, it just makes them look even more foolish. The NBA has enjoyed marketing successes in the past few years (LeBron, ‘Melo, etc.), and some marketing disasters as well (Kobe, Sprewell’s recent comments, etc.), but again, it had people talking about basketball. I echo the “Any publicity is good publicity” comments mentioned in earlier posts.

    I feel that public discourse is very good for the league, whether they like it or not. I’m sure that the powers that be would like all the owners and players and coaches be good students and not talk in class, or chew gum, or put thumbtacks in the teacher’s chair, but what fun is that??? If some feathers don’t get ruffled, then someone isn’t doing their job.

    I also want to thank you, Mark. You’ve proven that you’re driven to put a successful product on the court, from the GM to the coaches to the players to the support staff. You’ve made the Mavs the most dynamic franchise in a very healthy league. And you do all the small things that we, the fans, truly appreciate. Like having this blog forum, and making attending a Mavs game the most entertaining (by far) sporting event in the metroplex. Kudos, dude.

    Comment by KGOS-FM -

  189. Uh, pointer to the fine? Oddly enough, it’s not on the NBA website. I’d be interested in what public justification they could provide for such a crackbrained move.

    Comment by Tim Bray -

  190. Buncha crap that someone can be fined for their personal comments to a web blog. How long before they start fining folks for things they’re thinking???

    Comment by Rod Trent -

  191. I personally like to hear the view from the inside and feel that the league looks weaker if they financially retaliate when they are criticized.

    I can see how they’d like to portray the image of a happy family of players/owners/officials but the way to do it is for people to actually be happy, not censoring the critics.

    Comment by Jonathan Abad -

  192. As a casual fan (I’m in Chicago – we had a great run but it is becoming a distant memory) your blog and perspective actually makes me more likely to be engaged and interested in the NBA. I’m a fairly avid listener to sports talk radio (which can be fairly good and even intelligent here in Chicago if you avoid certain hosts) – that said, I would give much more weight to the opinions of a fan who also happens to own a team than to professional commentors on radio or the fans who call in – your perspective has interested and engaged me at least to some degree.

    I also think that fines for actions directly during the game (walking on court, yelling at the officials, etc) are one thing – and generally fairly resonable – but fines for comments outside of the game that happen to be critical seems excessive and negative (to the goal of attracting fans to the game). Certainly starting the NBA season on election night was stupid – for one this is a year when well over 100 million people voted and were deeply engaged – for another, it was a TUESDAY NIGHT – not exactly the best night irregardless of what else was happening around the country to get sports fans.

    The NBA has very serious problems in attracting and retaining fans. The game has changed – and I think generally not for the better – as more and more younger and less experienced (but naturally talented I admit) players have joined the league. Even more so than in the past the focus of the game seems to be on individual play. The way the game is presented to the fans is not overly compelling much of the time – and by far more of the discourse and conversation on the NBA focuses on the actions and behaviors of the players off the court than on the game itself on the court.

    Rather than fine people left and right – I think the NBA should, like the MLB, try to shift the national discourse towards the game itself. Baseball conversation over the past few years has been dominated by a senes of history, by individual records being set and/or broken, by a lot of conversation around the play itself. (Sure steriods and here in Chicago corked bats got some press, but hitting streaks, historic once in 86+ year wins etc were more of the focus.)

    Perhaps it is the difference in games and in the fans of the respective games – but I suspect that Basketball could (and perhaps should) be marketed in a way that emphasized the beauty and skill of the game – that helped casual fans such as myself understand what is going on on the court, that helped us appreciate what teams and players are doing game from game and over the course of the season – in short that might draw us more deeply and closely into the game itself.

    Starting the season on a day when few would be watching – and when even the sports talk radio the next day would be dominated by non-sports talk – is not how to draw fans back (or how to focus us away from bad behavior and actions off court – though often in legal courts).

    Shannon

    Comment by Shannon Clark -

  193. Criticism is healthy, regardless of the arena (politics, sports, entertainment, dinner table, etc.). Not everything is la-de-da peachy-keen, nor should it be considered taboo to bring up points for further discussion. I think the NBA is a little overly sensitive to criticism, especially from you, and it’s pretty laughable.

    I don’t think Marv Albert should have lost his job as Knick commentator either (for similar reasons). I’m not much of a Knick fan, but that was just ridiculous.

    Comment by Seth Anderson -

  194. I can understand the league wanting or needing a Code of Conduct, but taking away an Owner, Coach, or Players’ First Amendment Right of Freedom of Speech is absolutely rediculous! And to add insult to injury, fining you thousands of dollars!!

    Comment by Ed -

  195. Hehe…this is really interesting. I didn’t even think that NBA officials would even know or read a blog published by an NBA owner (or player or whatever position the author might have)! On the other hand I can understand the NBA officials to a certain degree:

    1. This blog is available around the world, so any criticism here will ultimately have a similiar effect as if you openly criticise something on tv or in a new paper (although the potential circle of readers is maybe bigger).

    2. What I can’t understand is that they fine you for making comments about opening night – as some of the earlier comments already said: it’s no doubt that opening the new season on election night isn’t a great idea…so what’s the point?

    Comment by Ingoal -

  196. What line do fines sit on in your budget? Do they have their own line, or are they under marketing?

    Comment by Peg -

  197. “Do the customers and fans of the NBA or other leagues, feel it makes the league appear stronger , weaker or unaffected when a player, owner, coach, GM, executive publicly criticizes the league ?”
    That depends on the source and the content. Multi million dollar players like Allen Iverson complaining about anything weakens the league. Well intentioned thoughtful criticism from credible sources creates controversy and helps bring about change.
    I followed your blog entries last season you made some very salient points. I think it changed the way some of the games were being called.

    “Are you as a consumer more likely to purchase, watch, recommend our products, or are you more likely to reduce your attachment and purchase of our products ?”
    you more likely to reduce your attachment and purchase of our products ?
    No such thing as bad publicity. IMHO controversy compels me to follow the story/team more closely than I would normally.
    I don?t know all the league by-laws, but it does strike me as an attempt to deny first amendment rights. Without your blog to ?set the record straight? where are you to turn?Court!
    BTW it was stupid to open the season on the night of one of the most important events of our lifetime. How did Karl Rove get David Stern in his pocket? Pictures?

    Comment by Dan -

  198. Frankly, Mark, it makes absolutely no difference to me one way or another as to whether I would buy the NBA product that the league elects to fine an owner for publicly criticizing some aspect of the league. Similarly, it mskes no difference to me as to whether I would recommend the product to someone else, and it does not affect my attachment to the product.

    It does occur to me, however, that taking the time to fine a supporter of the league for valid and somewhat innocuous criticism in a blog post reflects an interest in minutiae that is not healthy from a management standpoint.

    Comment by Tom Kirkendall -

  199. I think its amazing that the NBA would fine you for those comments. It is obvious to pretty much anyone that having the season start on election day wasn’t a great decision. By fining you for pointing that out, rather than putting out a statement of reasons for starting the season on election day (assuming they exist), the NBA just looks worse and is cutting off a potential resource. If you’re allowed to make comments and criticisms in public, especially on the blog, the league can get some feedback on their decisions. I guess I just don’t get it.

    To answer your specific questions, I suppose it makes the league appear weaker, but more importantly it probably makes the league weaker. It won’t affect the way I interact with the league, I’ll still watch on TV and make the hour and a half trip to catch a game every year. It is upsetting though.

    Comment by Chris -

  200. They should worry more about players getting multiple women pregant. People like Shawn Kemp, and things like the whole Kobe debacle gives the NBA a bad rep. If they want to make the game more watchable, they should make all the players learn how to shoot a mid-range jumper and make a bounce pass. The NBA style is ruining college and even high shool. They wonder why we got beat in the Olympics and why there is an influx of Foreign player. The reason is simple…they play the game they way it is supposed to be played.

    Comment by runescape money -

  201. The actual comments themsleves in the blog seem pretty mundane to have resulted in a $10,000 fine. It looks like to me that this is more of a “we discussed this and we told you not to say anything” fine. While I don’t like to venture into tinfoil hat teritory too much, the placement of the opener does on election day does have an air of political shenannigans to it. If this is the case, them it is a sad state of affairs for the NBA and sports in general.

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  202. Anyone who is savvy about the business aspect of things should know that the NBA is rigged. It’s not even hard to see, its very transparent.

    Comment by Ronda -

  203. That’s unbelievable someone got fined for saying something in a blog? You’re a loquacious kid Mark my webdatedotcom girl though is a big fan of you… Who would have thought that she watched the NBA not because of the games or players but because of you?!lol

    Comment by thynoe123 -

  204. You have to be the most transparent human alive. If you were truly interested in what the “blogosphere” thinks about this incident, you wouldn’t post the inquiry at a blog populated solely by your little army of sycophants. The touching shot of you standing on the court at the conclusion of the game last night- why didn’t you just do it from your seat? Because it wasn’t important to you that you applaud your opponent, only that you be seen doing it. The same with your well-publicized donations to charity whenever you leave adults no choice but to fine you.If it were done for the right reasons, no one would ever know about it. Doing overtly and highly public good deeds has been a staple of tyrants, crooks, and emotionally immature public figures like yourself throughout history. Stalin, Hitler, and Saddam, all loved to pose with children for the cameras.The mafia gave money to hospitals and the church. Richard Scrushy teaches Sunday School.And a certain petulant child who owns an NBA franchise purchases the privilege of acting in a way which, were it matched by all of his fellow owners in the league, would put the league on a par with professional wrestling, and then tries to confuse simple minds (never in short supply) by calling the press to announce that he’s making a charitable donation.

    When asked about the fine, David Stern really said it best.

    ”I made the decision to assess the fine because it was necessary, but I’m trying to focus the world on basketball. In case you didn’t notice, some terrific basketball has been played during these Finals.”

    ”I’m trying to help rather than hinder because I think [the Mavericks are] a team that’s been put together for the ages,” Stern said. ”It’s a very exciting team, and it should be the focus.”

    Thats right, Mark. The team should be the focus. Not you.

    To better understand your personal importance in the proceedings, ask yourself this.How many people would pay the price of an NBA ticket to go to the arena and see you if there weren’t a game? No team. No opponent. Just you. Now, how fewer people do you think would come to a game if by chance you couldn’t be in attendance that evening? The answer to both questions is ZERO.

    You are obviously a very talented individual first for making your fortune, and now for your success as an owner.Most of the defenders of your conduct point to the fact that you took a miserable franchise and turned it into a winner. That’s a bit like saying you like McDonald’s hamburgers because they have really good Cokes. Your ability as an owner isn’t in question. Your public, and transparently self-aggrandizing conduct, is.

    I’d love to have your money, and the freedom it purchases, but if I did, I don’t think I’d want to turn my life into one big PR stunt. I think I’d want it to stand for more than that.And I think I’d want to matter to people with greater depth than those willing to, not merely overlook or forgive, but actually praise boorish behavior from a guy simply because he made their basketball team better.

    Comment by Bill -

  205. Take em to court for missing the Backcourt Violation call. The NBA fines you when you “misbehave”. Its not a one -way street, the NBA has to pay the consequences when they screw up too, if you let it slide, then there are no standards for refs, paying money for that will make the NBA wary. Otherwise they are no better than the mafia who change the rules as it pleases them.

    Comment by Dr Dreyfuss King -

  206. The NBA is rigging the finals to perpetuate the Dawyne Wade super-star fantasy to the borderline fans. The Maverics are purely collateral.

    Comment by vijay sarma -

  207. I really hate to believe that there is a “conspiracy” in the NBA front office, namely, David Stern. I want his email address so I can vent my frustration concerning the suspension of Stackhouse. Is it TV revenue, or is it just that he really dislikes Mr. Cuban? I am a die hard Maverick fan, but I can only take so much of this kind of crap and still watch the NBA. Stern needs to go, now. His kind of decision making is very suspect and leads a long time fan of the NBA totally disgusted.

    Comment by Don Lanier -

  208. lets say NBA is paranoid on things pertaining to officiating… NBA knows theres this “mafia” officiating going on in the league.thats why they have to push there panic botton after Mr. Cuban posted his eloquen blog entry. My hats off to Mr. Cuban for always making a stand and good that he have more than enough resourses to pay those non-sense fines.

    Comment by chrys demotica -

  209. Wow! Stepping onto the court in an NBA playoff game $100,000…criticizing NBA referees on a weblog $100,000…the NBA’s conspicuous hypocrisy…priceless! In a league where inconsistent officiating is as prevalent as steriods was/is in major league baseball it doesn’t pay to be wealthy. The NBA wants its consumers to believe that its officiating is equitable…yeah I’m sure that Raja Bell gets the same calls as one Kobe Bryant!! The bottom line is that the officiating is suspect at best…charging a maverick billionaire who owns an appropriately named Mavericks team 3 of the largest 4 fines in NBA history would have one question the NBA’s ability to be impartial ! Shaquille O’Neal has received two $25,000 fines for criticizing the officials in the last 6 months…Mr. Cuban gets $100,000 for a weblog entry…yes Mr. Stern we believe that the league is displaying its ability to be impartial by charging Mr. Cuban $200,000 for his actions. Question Mr. Stern, how much would it cost him to grimace in the stands after a bad call, $50,000!

    Comment by Stephen Pratt -

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  213. Of course I feel that the league is wrong due to the constitutional free speech amendments and their not adhering to this right! If ones comments are not profane, then you have every right to say what you want. Period!
    Keep saying what you need to Mark, and utilize your right to free speech regardless of their non-adhesion.

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  215. Mark,
    You knew what you said was going to cost you; you consented to abide by the NBA regulations, and I’m sorry to say but you are burdened with the responsibility of communicating your ideas in a more socially acceptable manner as a person who profits from the operations of the NBA.

    This isn’t about the First Amendment rights or the NBA not being able to handle criticisms. The fine was about your delivery – your detached and sarcastic comment. It’s an open display of disrespect. Would you accept that from your subordinates?

    As for your question, I’m not sure if it will have any impact on the NBA’s approval rating among the masses. Plenty of people dislike you and don’t see much ramifications arising out of it. As for me, the news of the fine made me curious to check this blog out.

    Comment by Jay -

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