Thoughts on the NBA Fines handed out today

Discipline is easily one of the most difficult jobs in business. So I don’t envy Commissioner Stern’s responsibility in this matter. But I do have some thoughts:

I like that the commissioner fined the teams 500k, but I don’t think it goes far enough. Not in terms of dollar amount, but in terms of assigning responsibility. I think the coaches, the President, GM and Owners should have been fined directly instead.

The responsibility of the culture of a team and organization, of any business, starts with the owner and is implemented by the team’s President, GM and Coach or whoever is in the position to manage the workforce

No team is going to be perfect and problems will happen. The game is just too intense for skirmishs not to happen now and then. The players are just too competitive. They will happen on the court and may even happen off the court. Whether those skirmishes escalate, or whether the players are smart enough to walk away reflects how well coached and managed the team and organization is.

This isnt just about the NBA either. I havent been inside an NFL organization, but when I see teams have player after player arrested, that tells me there are management issues in that organization and league and Im sure it applies to other leagues as well.

Players respond to the environment they are placed in. Players respond to the expectations created for them by the organization. Regardless of sport

Coaching a team is not just about Xs & Os. Being a general manager isn’t just about picking players. Being a Team President isnt just about profitability. Being an owner isnt just about entertaining customers or grandkids in your suite.

Basketball is a team game, as well as a team business. It has its own set of organizational dynamics. GMs should know whether their coach is in control of their team and what the culture for the team the coach is defining. GMs and Team Presidents should know whether their players are prepared and have the character to deal with the stresses on and off the court that the NBA brings and if not, should be taking the responsibility and steps required to put them in a position to succeed.. All should be involved in communicating with the players to define what the on and off the court expectations the organization has for them.

The interesting thing is that the players know exactly where the flashpoints are. They know who the players that will instigate or escalate problems. More importantly, and more troubling, they are left to have to decipher exactly what it means when either the team/coach/GM/Owner either knows and doesn’t care, or is oblivious to what the players consider to be obvious.

Its an unfortunate conventional wisdom in the NBA that owners should “Let basketball people make basketball decisions”. In today’s NBA, every basketball decision affects the organization from top to bottom . In my experiences, many, many “basketball people” I have worked with in the past with the Mavs and around the league, dont know shit about organizational dynamics and management. I can tell you that working now with those who do and know its importance makes my job far, far easier.

In previous eras when the vast majority of players had 4 years of college and every games ‘ and players’ highlights and lowlights werent broadcast milliseconds later on cable/satellite and on the internet, knowing basketball may have been enough. Its not any longer. A team’s “Basketball People” and upper management has to be responsible for defining and managing the culture of the entire organization.

Its their responsible to determine where their problem areas are and address them before bad things happen. To know which players can possibly create problems and either get them the help they need, or get rid of them.
When something goes wrong, the responsibility is not just that of the players involved. Its the responsibility of the entire organization to recognize what caused it and if it can happen again. Isnt it interesting how so many people are there for the press conference when a player is signed, but most of those same people are no where to be found when something goes wrong ?

The perspective of many in management positions in the NBA is that they are immune and seperate from the actions of players. If the league were to assign public responsibility , along with fines to coaches, GMs and owners that would change very, very quickly and you would see management become more proactive , aware and involved with all elements of the cutlture of their organizations. That would be a great thing for the NBA and its fans.

95 thoughts on “Thoughts on the NBA Fines handed out today

  1. I think that the players should take, first and foremost, the responsibility. The reason why I say this is because this is their JOB, they are PROFESSIONALS (and paid as such) and therefore fighting on the court is not a professional thing to do even if provoked.

    The truth is, that if I throw a punch at someone at the office (even if provoked) I\’m the one who is thrown off the premises, and given a warning to leave or the even fired. We can\’t really blame my manager for not \’managing\’ me or \’leading\’ or \’coaching\’ me correctly. It\’s my job to be a professional, and therefore I ought to behave as one.

    Sports players love to be seen as professionals when the money is good, and they status is good etc. but when it comes to behaving as a professional they want / we want to blame the coach? I don\’t think that\’s fair. Sports players also need to take the bad with the good, as the rest of us do.

    Comment by baby -

  2. Let’s have a gentlemans’ game. Otherwise display it in WWF

    Comment by alfred chew -

  3. just click on this link. http://www.smartmoniesclub.com/

    Comment by clubmember -

  4. Smartonies has the Mavs rated number 1 on his ratings!

    Comment by clubmember -

  5. Amen! A business is a business no matter what it is, and should
    be run as such. Everything starts at the top, and reflects at
    the bottom. Bad owner, bad Company. An owner, G.M. or any leader
    should inspect, what they “expect”!

    Your business philosophy is refreshing in the change sports arena.

    Comment by steve taylor -

  6. How does it feel to know that your hometown Penguins are not going to be playing in Pittsburgh in the future?

    Comment by Joe -

  7. http://www.kuuku.com http://www.vgtk.com wholesale variant Adidas sunglasses variant Anarchy sunglasses variant angel sunglasses variant Armani sunglasses variant Arnette sunglasses variant Aviators sunglasses variant BB sunglasses variant Bio Hazard sunglasses variant Black Fly’s sunglasses variant Bolle sunglasses variant Brighton sunglasses variant Carrera sunglasses variant Calvin Klein sunglasses variant Cartier sunglasses variant Chanel sunglasses variant Chopper sunglasses variant Christian Dior sunglasses variant Coach sunglasses variant Diesel sunglasses variant D&G Dolce Gabbana sunglasses variant DKNY sunglasses variant Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses variant Dragon sunglasses variant Electric sunglasses variant Fendi sunglasses variant Gargoyles sunglasses variant Gucci sunglasses variant Guess sunglasses variant Glo Eyewear sunglasses variant Guess sunglasses variant hologram sunglasses variant metal sunglasses variant Harley sunglasses variant Juicy sunglasses variant Kenneth Cole sunglasses variant Killer Loop sunglasses variant KOMODO sunglasses variant Liz Claiborne sunglasses variant Locs sunglasses variant Louis Vuitton sunglasses variant Maui Jim sunglasses variant Matrix sunglasses variant Nascar sunglasses variant Nautica sunglasses variant Nike sunglasses variant oakley sunglasses variant Police sunglasses variant Prada sunglasses variant Ralph Lauren sunglasses variant Ray-Ban sunglasses variant Revo sunglasses variant Roxy sunglasses variant Salvatore.F sunglasses variant Serengeti sunglasses variant Smith sunglasses variant Spy sunglasses variant Stussy sunglasses variant Tommy Girl sunglasses variant Versace sunglasses variant Vogue sunglasses variant Wiley-X sunglasses variant X-loop sunglasses variant aviator sunglasses variant novelty sunglasses variant designer sunglasses variant polarized sunglasses variant oversized sunglasses variant kids sunglasses variant golfing sunglasses variant wraparound sunglasses variant biking sunglasses variant celebrity sunglasses variant sports sunglasses variant Adidas sunglasses variant Anarchy sunglasses variant angel sunglasses variant Armani sunglasses variant Arnette sunglasses variant Aviators sunglasses variant BB sunglasses variant Bio Hazard sunglasses variant Black Fly’s sunglasses variant Bolle sunglasses variant Brighton sunglasses variant Carrera sunglasses variant Calvin Klein sunglasses variant Cartier sunglasses variant Chanel sunglasses variant Chopper sunglasses variant Christian Dior sunglasses variant Coach sunglasses variant Diesel sunglasses variant D&G Dolce Gabbana sunglasses variant DKNY sunglasses variant Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses variant Dragon sunglasses variant Electric sunglasses variant Fendi sunglasses variant Gargoyles sunglasses variant Gucci sunglasses variant Guess sunglasses variant Glo Eyewear sunglasses variant Guess sunglasses variant hologram sunglasses variant metal sunglasses variant Harley sunglasses variant Juicy sunglasses variant Kenneth Cole sunglasses variant Killer Loop sunglasses variant KOMODO sunglasses variant Liz Claiborne sunglasses variant Locs sunglasses variant Louis Vuitton sunglasses variant Maui Jim sunglasses variant Matrix sunglasses variant Nascar sunglasses variant Nautica sunglasses variant Nike sunglasses variant oakley sunglasses variant Police sunglasses variant Prada sunglasses variant Ralph Lauren sunglasses variant Ray-Ban sunglasses variant Revo sunglasses variant Roxy sunglasses variant Salvatore.F sunglasses variant Serengeti sunglasses variant Smith sunglasses variant Spy sunglasses variant Stussy sunglasses variant Tommy Girl sunglasses variant Versace sunglasses variant Vogue sunglasses variant Wiley-X sunglasses variant X-loop sunglasses variant aviator sunglasses variant novelty sunglasses variant designer sunglasses variant polarized sunglasses variant oversized sunglasses variant kids sunglasses variant golfing sunglasses variant wraparound sunglasses variant biking sunglasses variant celebrity sunglasses variant sports sunglasses variant Adidas sunglasses variant Anarchy sunglasses variant angel sunglasses variant Armani sunglasses variant Arnette sunglasses variant Aviators sunglasses variant BB sunglasses variant Bio Hazard sunglasses variant Black Fly’s sunglasses variant Bolle sunglasses variant Brighton sunglasses variant Carrera sunglasses variant Calvin Klein sunglasses variant Cartier sunglasses variant Chanel sunglasses variant Chopper sunglasses variant Christian Dior sunglasses variant Coach sunglasses variant Diesel sunglasses variant D&G Dolce Gabbana sunglasses variant DKNY sunglasses variant Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses variant Dragon sunglasses variant Electric sunglasses variant Fendi sunglasses variant Gargoyles sunglasses variant Gucci sunglasses variant Guess sunglasses variant Glo Eyewear sunglasses variant Guess sunglasses variant hologram sunglasses variant metal sunglasses variant Harley sunglasses variant Juicy sunglasses variant Kenneth Cole sunglasses variant Killer Loop sunglasses variant KOMODO sunglasses variant Liz Claiborne sunglasses variant Locs sunglasses variant Louis Vuitton sunglasses variant Maui Jim sunglasses variant Matrix sunglasses variant Nascar sunglasses variant Nautica sunglasses variant Nike sunglasses variant oakley sunglasses variant Police sunglasses variant Prada sunglasses variant Ralph Lauren sunglasses variant Ray-Ban sunglasses variant Revo sunglasses variant Roxy sunglasses variant Salvatore.F sunglasses variant Serengeti sunglasses variant Smith sunglasses variant Spy sunglasses variant Stussy sunglasses variant Tommy Girl sunglasses variant Versace sunglasses variant Vogue sunglasses variant Wiley-X sunglasses variant X-loop sunglasses variant aviator sunglasses variant novelty sunglasses variant designer sunglasses variant polarized sunglasses variant oversized sunglasses variant kids sunglasses variant golfing sunglasses variant wraparound sunglasses variant biking sunglasses variant celebrity sunglasses variant sports sunglasses variant Adidas sunglasses variant Anarchy sunglasses variant angel sunglasses variant Armani sunglasses variant Arnette sunglasses variant Aviators sunglasses variant BB sunglasses variant Bio Hazard sunglasses variant Black Fly’s sunglasses variant Bolle sunglasses variant Brighton sunglasses variant Carrera sunglasses variant Calvin Klein sunglasses variant Cartier sunglasses variant Chanel sunglasses variant Chopper sunglasses variant Christian Dior sunglasses variant Coach sunglasses variant Diesel sunglasses variant D&G Dolce Gabbana sunglasses variant DKNY sunglasses variant Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses variant Dragon sunglasses variant Electric sunglasses variant Fendi sunglasses variant Gargoyles sunglasses variant Gucci sunglasses variant Guess sunglasses variant Glo Eyewear sunglasses variant Guess sunglasses variant hologram sunglasses variant metal sunglasses variant Harley sunglasses variant Juicy sunglasses variant Kenneth Cole sunglasses variant Killer Loop sunglasses variant KOMODO sunglasses variant Liz Claiborne sunglasses variant Locs sunglasses variant Louis Vuitton sunglasses variant Maui Jim sunglasses variant Matrix sunglasses variant Nascar sunglasses variant Nautica sunglasses variant Nike sunglasses variant oakley sunglasses variant Police sunglasses variant Prada sunglasses variant Ralph Lauren sunglasses variant Ray-Ban sunglasses variant Revo sunglasses variant Roxy sunglasses variant Salvatore.F sunglasses variant Serengeti sunglasses variant Smith sunglasses variant Spy sunglasses variant Stussy sunglasses variant Tommy Girl sunglasses variant Versace sunglasses variant Vogue sunglasses variant Wiley-X sunglasses variant X-loop sunglasses variant aviator sunglasses variant novelty sunglasses variant designer sunglasses variant polarized sunglasses variant oversized sunglasses variant kids sunglasses variant golfing sunglasses variant wraparound sunglasses variant biking sunglasses variant celebrity sunglasses variant sports sunglasses variant Adidas sunglasses variant Anarchy sunglasses variant angel sunglasses variant Armani sunglasses variant Arnette sunglasses
    variant Aviators sunglasses variant BB sunglasses variant Bio Hazard sunglasses variant Black Fly’s sunglasses variant Bolle sunglasses variant Brighton sunglasses variant Carrera sunglasses variant Calvin Klein sunglasses variant Cartier sunglasses variant Chanel sunglasses variant Chopper sunglasses variant Christian Dior sunglasses variant Coach sunglasses variant Diesel sunglasses variant D&G Dolce Gabbana sunglasses variant DKNY sunglasses variant Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses variant Dragon sunglasses variant Electric sunglasses variant Fendi sunglasses variant Gargoyles sunglasses variant Gucci sunglasses variant Guess sunglasses variant Glo Eyewear sunglasses variant Guess sunglasses variant hologram sunglasses variant metal sunglasses variant Harley sunglasses variant Juicy sunglasses variant Kenneth Cole sunglasses variant Killer Loop sunglasses variant KOMODO sunglasses variant Liz Claiborne sunglasses variant Locs sunglasses variant Louis Vuitton sunglasses variant Maui Jim sunglasses variant Matrix sunglasses variant Nascar sunglasses variant Nautica sunglasses variant Nike sunglasses variant oakley sunglasses variant Police sunglasses variant Prada sunglasses variant Ralph Lauren sunglasses variant Ray-Ban sunglasses variant Revo sunglasses variant Roxy sunglasses variant Salvatore.F sunglasses variant Serengeti sunglasses variant Smith sunglasses variant Spy sunglasses variant Stussy sunglasses variant Tommy Girl sunglasses variant Versace sunglasses variant Vogue sunglasses variant Wiley-X sunglasses variant X-loop sunglasses variant aviator sunglasses variant novelty sunglasses variant designer sunglasses variant polarized sunglasses variant oversized sunglasses variant kids sunglasses variant golfing sunglasses variant wraparound sunglasses variant biking sunglasses variant celebrity sunglasses variant sports sunglasses

    Comment by kuuku -

  8. There is something about your article that I feel can be applied to all areas of business, sports, and life generally. PRoales, in comment #9 asked about your ideas holding true for college coaches as well. Not only college and pro, but LIFE. These shouldn’t be rules, they should be automatics! It’s the way you lead your life, your family, and your business. Integrity, honesty, character. When a player nails a last second shot in your eye (Dirk against the Suns) you tip your cap to him. You’ve done what you can. As for the shooter, he respects the game and his opponent enough not to rub it in. He hussles down for the next possesion. Attitude reflects leadership, quoting remember the titans. Mark Cuban has not only marketed his team for success, he has also been a leader in many ways thats been greater than the average leader. Treating your people like family, giving them the best you can every day with eitehr money or not, THAT is how it’s done. Mark has built an unspoken respect from his family, team, organization, and us with how he runs his life and business. Few people have what Mark has. Everyone should have people they imitate in some way and surround themselves with to become the best they can be.
    On a personal note Mark is a person I imitate in a leadership way. Of course Christ and my Dad are larger contributors to that. I look for as many good influences as possible.

    Comment by Troy Turner -

  9. I have coached youth sports for years. I played at the highest level of competition. Seeing what we would call pro’s getting into fights during a basketball game makes me furious. Those individuals PLAY A GAME. I know a few pro’s in the NFL and MLB, from my high school and consider them very intellegent, only one didn’t go to college, and he would be considered the best of the bunch in terms of conduct on/off the field. But going back to coaching, parents and some children see fighing on TV and then take it to the field/court. I know the pro’s are under high levels of pressure, but are highly compesated beyond the aveage American. Conduct should be considered in the workplace in the NBA. If I were to go to work and see a competitor killing my company in terms of sales would I get in to a verbal altercation? No, because if I did I would be fired.

    Comment by thomas -

  10. Mark,

    sorry that this is off-topic, but now that the Pittsburg Penguins may be back on the market, will you be pursuing buying that franchise? you’ve mentioned it before, and it sounded like you really wanted to go for it. besides, you can’t have the nhl without the penguins. ๐Ÿ™‚

    cheers

    Comment by Mike K -

  11. I just had to comment on the say television deal the NBA has in general. It has to be the worst of any sport. I know you are Mavericks all the way, but you must the $$$ in the Denver game tonight. How in the world, does the NBA not get a deal for this one, short notice or not, sponsors would have lined up with 24 hours notice.

    By the way I will always be a Boston Celtic fan, but the NBA needs to bone up and start getting these deals, regardless if I am a fan or not, certain games of any sport of any team should be getting national attention

    Comment by Steve -

  12. Come on Mark — LOOK AT HOCKEY!! Guys have been BRAWLING since the beginning and its just part of the sport. Are we trying to make these BIG grown men act like SISSIES!! Come on man. LOOK AT FOOTBALL! My God, they try to KILL each other out there. One day on the field is like a freeking train wreck, theres so much injury to human bodies. And you know its not all by accident. Guys are taking shots at other players and they HURT THEM, sometimes knock them out for a season or career. Basketball should be rough. Some people have tried to make it into a NICE GAME. It’s not nice. Its ROUGH and tempers will soar at times and SO WHAT!! So theres a little skirmish, so someone throws a punch – IT’S NOT THE END OF THE WORLD. Stern is a pussy if you ask me and he’s trying to turn the league into a bunch of pussies. My God, many of these guys came from TOUGH PLACES. If you SUPRESS all the guys – they will eventually BLOW or break down to NICE GUYS. How exciting! Why not let them EXPRESS THEMSELVES NATURALLY. Yeah watch it and call the T’s but man, dont take away their FIRE! Thats what makes any sport EXCITING. I suppose you’re in favor of gun control also. And dont get me wrong, i REALLY like you and respect you…please don’t change! You have been a great FORCE in the league against the BULLSHIT heads of state. But let em fight/battle a little. People die in other sports. (ie.boxing) I have yet to see anyone die in hoops.

    Comment by paul -

  13. Mark, I haven’t been at your site since the NBA playoffs. You make some very good points about team management. The aspects of management in all forms of business have changed dramatically over the last decade.

    In sports, it has definitely changed. Very few athletes stay in college programs more than a year. Hence, they don’t get the opportunity to mature before being thrust into a professional and business enviroment. In a college program, athletes have supervision and are given guidance that is not available at the pro level.

    Now, the idea that if every athlete completed four years of college that the fights wouldn’t occur is unrealistic. However, age and maturity does have some to do with how much these incidents escalate. If you remove Camby and Nene from last weeks fight, the rest of the guys involved were 22 years old or younger.

    Comment by Ron -

  14. I honestly don’t see what the big deal is. The only people that don’t know and understand that young competitive professional athletes will occasionally fight must be living in a cave. There will be little or no negative impact from this on the NBA or the Knicks. NONE!

    The only real issue is that when people fight, someone can get hurt, perhaps badly. Even worse, it can spill into the stands where a spectator can get hurt.

    I’m not sure how long some of you have been watching basketball, but I get the impression not many of you watched during the 70s, 80, or 90s. Like it or not, there ARE unwritten rules about showboating, running up the score, and other disrespectful behaviors. In those days, the typical response would have been a lot tougher than the foul in N.Y. that started this.

    If you want to avoid this kind of thing you have to change things on “both sides”. You have to hand out stiff penalties for those that fight and those that provoke fights. That’s no easy task because part of the game is mental. That requires provacative and retaliatory behavior.

    Comment by W.C. -

  15. Dear Mr. Cuban, your hometown of Pittsburgh needs you. The Penguins are in deep right now and are in desperate need of your help. You are one of the few people with the power and authority that can purchase the Penguins and actually keep them in Pittsburgh. As you most likely know from growing up in Pittsburgh, this team and organization means too much to the people for it to be taken away. With Isles of Capri not receiving the slots license, the future of hockey in Pittsburgh looks bleak to say the least. Please do anything you can to ensure that the Penguins remain where they belong and are the most loved, your very own hometown, Pittsburgh. Even the smallest amount of help would make the world of a difference considering that as of right now, it appears that the only people interested in purchasing the organization want to move it from Pittsburgh. So once again I beg of you to please do anything within the realm of possibility to help out your hometown and the team that I know for a fact you cheered for as a child and continue to cheer for today just as you mentioned in your blog post from Nov 2nd 2006. I will thank you in advance on behalf of the Penguin nation. Thank you and happy holidays.

    Comment by Kraig -

  16. Mark Please Save the Penguins

    Comment by Ben Orrison -

  17. It appears everyone wants you to buy all the major league sports teams in Pittsburgh. What do you say?

    Comment by basketball -

  18. Mr Cuban, This has nothing to do with this article it is just a plea from a desperate pens fan. I love what you have done with the Mavs (now my favorite NBA team, after watching the Magic poop the bed the past 7 years). I would love for you to come home and keep the Pens franchise in Pittsburgh. I would love to see and owner who actually cares about the team and winning and an ower willing to do anything to win. I would really love to see you storm the ice and argue with whoever you could. Please return to your town and save this team.

    Comment by Michael Tintera -

  19. GLAD you mentioned the NFL!!!

    The fine Terrell Owens received is like fining ME a quarter for calling a woman a c*nt at work—THAT would not prevent me from doing it again.

    IF I act like a complete jerk on the job i don’t think they should be responsible for my actions unless they don’t fire me after a complaint is filed, THEY have no clue that I was a moron when they hired me.

    MAYBE if these guys get suspended for life AND face criminal prosectuion they may think twice…or maybe we should just build more hockey facilities in the ghetto.

    Comment by EminemsRevenge -

  20. While I don’t think the fines/suspensions were heavy enough, I totally disagree with the NBA’s apparent condoning of the behavior. When you have a coach tell an opposing player not to go into the lane, or else (that’s my paraphrase), that coach needs to be reprimanded.

    I think that Mr Thomas is a poor representative of the NBA, and has been since his playing days. It is because of him that my team (the Pacers) have had to put up with basketcase players like Artest and Jackson. Thomas signs people that play like he did for the Pistons, DIRTY.

    If the league wants to clean up its image, they need to stop regulating the clothes & accesories that the guys wear, and get rid of the leaders that are instigating issues.

    Comment by Kristin -

  21. The nickname, “cagers” came from the time when basketball was played inside a cage so as to keep them from injuring and/or being injured by fans. In the instant case, I’m of the opinion that the dribbler was responsible for the foul that wasn’t called. It looks to me as though he intentionally swerved into the defender’s space trying to “draw contact” as they say and ignoring the concept of verticality. If I’m the defender, I’m not interested in some little POS taking away my legs. I think the defender would have been within his human rights by taking that headlock and the enclosed head right into the goalpost at full speed.

    Comment by leon dixon -

  22. Mark – You’re the man. I love your blog and everything you do. Please save our Pittsburgh Penguins. If there is anything you can do to be the hero of Pittsburgh, I hope you greatly consider it.

    If not, buying the Pirates would equally rock. I was never a big basketball fan till you came around!

    Comment by Matt -

  23. Mark,

    I loved hearing your comments on this. I know you have paid Mr. Stern a few dollars in your day and it is refreshing to hear how you perspectives on this. I agree the responsibility doesn’t just stop and start with the individual players who were involved but really resides from the owner on down. I believe you are so on point!

    The overall representation of an organization is the responsibility of the entire organization. When something happens like what transpired the other night, it is important that society and most importantly our children see that the actions of others has a Ripple Effect of consequences for everyone associated. Although the owners aren’t out there throwing punches, they employ those who do and in the game, as it is in life, the responsibility of one’s actions often affects more than just that individual. I think it is an important lesson for children to learn and I wish all organized sports (which in truth is the barometer by which our children garner much inspiration) would use the childish actions of these “professionals” to set an example and to teach a valuable lesson ; a lesson I am certain we could all learn something from.

    Ripple on!

    Steve Harper

    Comment by Steve Harper -

  24. Mark:

    Pittsburgh needs you badly this time. We need to keep our image as a major city. Money is there for a new arena. Please be the white knight and save the Penguins.

    Jason

    Comment by Jason -

  25. Speaking of hockey, Mr. Cuban, will you please save the Penguins?

    Comment by Paul -

  26. Way off subject Mark, but PLEASE buy the Pittsburgh Penguins and save us!!

    OOOOOH CROSBY AND MALKIN!! How can you pass it up?!

    Comment by Johnny -

  27. Although I’m not entirely familiar with the incident, let me put in my philosophical perspective on this.

    Yes, the NBA is an organisation, and yes I very much agree that the people in the organisation are for the most part a reflection of the leadership.

    What is the purpose of this organisation? To run professional basketball and to sell it as entertainment. Here is where it gets sticky. The teams are there to win, because that’s what their fans want, and if they don’t, they begin to lose revenue. So, when this kind of incident occurs, what are the fans really thinking, are they thinking, you know what, if the players are going to behave this way, I refuse to support this team, or are they thinking, well, as long as they’re winning, I’m willing to overlook minor incidents.

    Believe me, there are very few people in the world who are willing to do the former. Unless the fans who come to watch the games start reacting and let the teams know that they expect a certain standard of behaviour from the players, you can bet most teams will do very little.

    And just like any other organisation, unless something really starts to hit the leadership where it hurts, you will not see them react out of their own goodwill.

    As they say, we get the leaders we deserve.

    Comment by Kamil -

  28. Please Mark if there is anything you can do, please save the Pittsburgh Penguins. If I hit the lottery I’ll build the arena, but unitl then you are our last bit of hope. Help us.

    Comment by Cetner -

  29. Mark,

    Luckily, you haven’t had any problems such as this other than JET’s anger problems on the court. Fights happen but stuff like this is ridiculous and needs to be addressed. The NBA is a bunch of thugs for the most part getting paid WAY too much money to play a game.

    Comment by Brandon -

  30. Mark, I would be extremely interested in your comments regarding the Penguins and their future. Any chance you would be willing to come to our rescue?

    Comment by Pamela Sopczynski -

  31. Mark – What if one of your players got in a scuffle and the NBA fined you $1 million (our of your personal account)? You are the boss, but you don’t necessarily control the behavior of your players in every game, not matter what the situation. Just like a non-NBA business: a boss can set the tone, but what if an employee loses their temper and does something silly? Should the boss really have to pay for that? These are adults, not children, and they should be able to control their behavior.

    Comment by wailea -

  32. Great post.

    I agree that members of management should have been fined as well as the players but if not fined by the league why not have the ownership take the high road with fines of its own?

    Comment by Scott -

  33. You got fighting in hockey, so why not let them go at it in basketball, might bring in more people to the sport.

    http://www.GentleTip.com

    Comment by GentleTip.com -

  34. Mark,

    I agree, etc.

    Question: What do you think about the value of players that add “leadership” to the clubhouse (being an upstanding human being, rallying the other guys, helping bonding and team chemistry, etc.) at the cost of being less physical / talented? It seems to be a point of contention in all sports (and, heck, business and the rest of life as well) – I’d be interested to hear your take on it.

    -Erik

    Comment by Erik Carlseen -

  35. SIMPLE SOLUTION….. if you fight during a game at the end of the year we hold the NBA toughman contest…..think your tough enough to fight on the court, glove em up, get in the ring
    3 one minute rounds of boxing wearing 16 ounce gloves, headgear …

    no where to run to….. then they really have to fight….

    Mark, want to do it at your arena????????????????????

    Comment by Stephen Coppler -

  36. PLEASE SAVE OUR HOCKEY TEAM MARK. I knwo this is unrealated to what you are disscusing here but we need you help in PIttsburgh!!!

    Comment by Adam Maier -

  37. Very Nice post Mark๐Ÿ™‚

    Comment by Pedro Sardinha -

  38. Chris Tapken states:
    “There are plenty of just as many competitive people in different professions that don’t act this way. Give me a break. Are you telling me these players are more competitive than the management team of lets say GE?”

    The above quote probably doesn’t merit a response, but I’ll bite nonetheless. The obvious difference between GE management and NBA players is that the NBA is a work environment that requires physical contact. GE is not. A rival manager at GE isn’t going to get clotheslined on his way to the copy machine.

    In general, there is no worse analysis than stating “x,y, and z aren’t acceptable in my workplace, why should they be accepted in the NBA.” I think people should acknowledge that the NBA is very different from most workplaces. Specifically, it’s much clearer to see if someone is qualified/performing at their job in the NBA than elsewhere. And it’s much, much more difficult to replace good performers in the NBA. When it’s harder to replace the labor source, you naturally are going to have different standards applied.

    Comment by JJ -

  39. Cuban, the Pens are for sale again. Do you think you will put your money where your mouth is?

    Comment by Eli Hornyak -

  40. I don’t think this blog has gotten boring at all. I think it’s exactly what a blog is supposed to be: the writer’s thoughts on whatever is important to the writer at the time. If Mark made the blog controversial just to be controversial, then there might be room to criticize, in the sense he possibly wouldn’t be genuine. But I think this is a good representation of what’s on his mind at the moment.

    Comment by basketball -

  41. Its bullshit. The comment: “No team is going to be perfect and problems will happen. The game is just too intense for skirmishs not to happen now and then. The players are just too competitive. They will happen on the court and may even happen off the court.” This is an excuse and justification. There are plenty of just as many competitive people in different professions that don’t act this way. Give me a break. Are you telling me these players are more competitive than the management team of lets say GE? They act this way because they can and there are no “real” consequences. In addition, until the media stops the soundbites and headlines on bad behavior, it will not stop.

    Comment by Chris Tapken -

  42. The NBA is already having to fight off the image of being a bunch of thugs without the class or talent of yesteryear. This type of shenanigans doesn’t help.

    Of course, I think part of the problem is that they let the players be so physical that it’s just a matter of time before a guy who takes a HARD foul responds with a FLAGRANT foul which might merit a fist, etc.

    Cut back on the travelling and the unnecessary physicality and you might have a better product AND better fan loyalty.

    Go MAVS!

    Comment by GUNNY HARTMAN -

  43. Most of the posters above probably have never played a high
    adrenaline, passionate contact sport. I have been involved in many skirmishes on the court during my college basketball days though i have never thrown a punch. I was once fouled hard on a dunk attempt, got up and shoved the perpetrator. Its is a normal reaction in an intense game, casual basketball fans should understand.

    This might come as a shocker but some coaches DO instruct their players to foul hard one of the opposing team players, especially go-to guys. Again you have to have played the game to
    understand.

    Remember French man Zidane losing his cool and head butting Italian Materazzi on his chest during this years Football World Cup Finals in Germany, and what does he get for that – Adidas Golden Ball Award…

    Comment by Mutwiri -

  44. Mark, your blog is becoming boring and corporate. No juice any more. You became a good boy. David Stern did it again.

    Comment by Pedja -

  45. Way to go – you managed to give your whole spiel without mentioning a single name.

    Are you going for irony here by saying Stern needs to pursue and hold management types (or owners involved in management) more accountable? Do you feel that when the NBA has fined you in the past it hasn’t fined you enough? If it had fined you more then you would have done more to change your ways?

    Actually, I’m pretty sure none of those things were on your mind when you were writing this blog entry.

    I’ll try and translate for you so you get your point across without Mr. Stern coming and slapping you on wrist. You think David Stern should have handed down $500,000+ fines directly to Isiah Thomas and possibly James Dolan. Beyond that I’m a little foggy…

    When you say, “[Management has a responsibility] to know which players can possibly create problems and either get them the help they need, or get rid of them,” does this point to any players involved in the brawl? None of these guys have a history of fighting. Carmelo has been in a little trouble outside the league, but I don’t think Nuggets management could be considered negligent for not “finding help” for Carmelo.

    The only player I can think of here who is in the NBA and has gotten in to trouble with comments and actions repeatedly is Ron Artest. So was this a tangent that is not directly relevant to the brawl?

    Comment by Max -

  46. why was the comment I posted earlier deleted?

    Comment by Clark G -

  47. “this is performance entertainment. not a regular job. therefore, i don’t think the comparisons to office job dynamics makes much sense. you can’t run around the office wearing shorts either. sometimes fights happen in competition.”

    If anything, I would imagine that the dress code for athletes is much higher than that in the office. Every time a player goes out he has to wear the official “company uniform,” be mindful of what company’s shoes he is wearing if he or his team has any endorsement deals, and they even have his name and a serial number printed on the back of his uniform! I may adhere to a dress code at the office, but they’ve never deigned to number me and make me wear it.

    Comment by Brian Boyko -

  48. I’m w/ya Mark! Here’s a thought. I am a team owner w/deep pockets. I have player X or Y on my team who is a cancer. I fine him, sit him w/o pay and he goes running to the player’s union. His lawyer gets all fired up. I then tell him he will not get a paycheck from me. He says he will sue me. Fine. Go to court. He will be in court for years, dishing out his cash on lawyer fees. I can keep him in the system for many years playing this game.

    Bottom line: If I was an owner, there is no way on this green earth some punk player is walking into my home, someone I am paying MILLIONS of FREAKIN’ DOLLARS to, and dishonor me, disrespect me and make a fool out of my team!

    It ain’t gonna happen!

    You reap what you sow. I am amazed at how many owners sell their soul for profit. Maybe that’s the game they played to get to the top. Sure looks like it. The end never justifies the means.

    NBA owners (and sport owners in general)…

    GET SOME PRIDE! (the real pride that allows you to stand up strong as a man)

    Comment by Pocketplayer -

  49. Business is Business no matter what business it is, the employees are a direct reflection of their management. Across the board, well said!

    Comment by Sabrina -

  50. Let’s not forget the concept of personal responsibility. We’re talking about adults here. They should be responsible for their own actions. I agree that an organization takes on the personality of the owner (the “person at the top”), but the person at the top isn’t in control of people all the time. They can set the tone, but they can’t control someone from doing something wrong.

    Say for example there is someone in the Mavs organization that goes home and for some reason steals a car. Is Mark Cuban responsible for that?

    Comment by wailea -

  51. Hmmmm…maybe corporate America should adopt the same standards as the NBA. After all, it can get pretty intense here too. In fact, we want intense people who are top performers, just like in pro ball. One week off without pay for punching a co worker? I haven’t seen it happen, but it doesn’t sound too bad to me if that’s what it takes to settle a conflict and move on.

    The bad thing about the NBA is that, while they play pretty good basketball, they’re relatively poor fighters. If fighting is part of the game they really need to get some training.

    Comment by Rob -

  52. I was interested to hear what your take on this whole thing was. I was surprised that you didn’t specifically comment on Isaiah Thomas’ comments to the Nuggets (him mouthing words that was shown on ESPN and other sports shows). That to me should have gotten him suspended and personally fined.

    Comment by basketball -

  53. Mark
    Responsibility of the athlete is not just professional sports, it starts with the parents of the athletes and coaches, many of which are one in the same. The lessons learned by these kids translate into their behaviors later in life. We all share in the expectations of conduct and behavior and any acceptance of anything less, by way of acceptance, excuses, and politics will continue to permit such behavior.
    Go Pens!
    Mike

    Comment by Mike Swartz -

  54. When you can install a chip in your players then maybe fights will stop. Good Luck!!!

    Comment by Ron D -

  55. Break fingers next time. That’ll learn em’.

    Comment by Kushcash -

  56. I think the NBA brass should hold a ZERO tolerance stance in regards to on and off court violence.

    Actually I think all professional and college sports should have zero tolerance. They are role models whether they like or not, I don’t want my kids thinking this behaivor is OK when I say it’s not.

    Comment by Tim in Seattle -

  57. I would generally agree with Mark’s case for organizational accountability.

    In this particular case, though, I think that is not the critical point. If you go back through time and look at both individual and team participants in NBA fights, you’ll see a pretty mixed bag of good and bad guys along with good and bad organizations. Ray Allen, Kevin Johnson, and Doc Rivers stand out as “good” guys that most organizations would be proud to employ who got in scraps. On the flip side, the storied and respected franchises of the Lakers and Celtics got into fights in the 80’s (including the memorable brawls set off by the clothesline of Kurt Rambis in the finals).

    So while organizational oversight & responsibility is an important point, I don’t think it applies here.

    I think what this episode truly demonstrates is the unique marketing position the NBA is in. Let’s call a spade a spade here. No league offers a wider gap between its players and fan base. The differences between the fans in the seats and the players on the court are as stark as any differences in our society. And unlike football and baseball, these differences are not hidden — they are center court on display for everyone.

    So when a fight happens in the NBA for better or for worse, it carries different implications and perceptions than what happens in other sports (hockey, baseball, football) or what even happened in the NBA 20 years ago. That, in my opinion, is the issue here. And that’s why David Stern has the unenviable task of policing activity that may be more acceptable in other comparable environments.

    Comment by JJ -

  58. Is it possible to have clauses in future contracts about conduct (at least on the court)? So, if a player creates mayhem, like what we’ve witness recently, there are also contractual penalties? Perhaps a team like the Pacers could benefit from an out-clause when a Stephen Jackson violates his parole and go shopping for a free-agent to takes his place using the space he was taking in the salary cap? Would the players assoc go for that? Don’t they want an untarnished image also, and for the NBA to prosper?

    Comment by Mike Souders -

  59. when players toss each other into the very expensive courtside seats to settle their battles, they deserve to be banned from the sport. While I’m all for sticking it to the fat cats, having a 6’9″ forward get shoved into your face is a dangerous thing.

    These players brought disgrace to the league and the game. I show up at work and take a swat at the guy in the next veal pen and my ass is out on the street. And I get a bad reference. The NBA players need to be reminded that the only reason that they a pro athletes is that people are willing to pay to see them. No one obligated to buy a ticket just because another man can barely sink a three pointer. They have a minor talent that pays very well. They need to be reminded that while they can cheer up that Make A Wish kid, their talent isn’t cure the cancer that’s killing that kid.

    They play a kid’s game and they play it like children.

    It’s easy to see why Thomas wasn’t allowed on the Dream Team.

    Comment by Joe Corey -

  60. The NBA are hypocrites. This is the same league that after the “Malice at the Palace” still played the Christmas day rematch on ESPN to monster ratings. Why did the NBA even allow this game to be played on tv at all and not in an empty arena. Why profit off it?

    Personally, I don’t think there is anything wrong with fighting. I consider it a critical part of human experience. The best story tellers come for some sort of battle.

    Comment by George -

  61. I love the blog that you have. I was wondering if you would link my blog to yours and in return I would do the same for your blog. If you want to, my site name is American Legends and the URL is:

    http://www.americanlegends.blogspot.com

    If you want to do this just go to my blog and in one of the comments just write your blog name and the URL and I will add it to my site.

    Thanks,
    David

    Comment by David Stef -

  62. Anybody notice the hard foul that Brad Miller threw down on Dirk last night? They both went to the ground. Dirk gets mauled. Did anyone for a second think there would be an altercation? No, because they are both classy players.

    Comment by Jon -

  63. It all comes down to Corporate Culture, and that is the responsibility of the Founder/Owner and the person in charge of running the daily operations. If a restaurant manager shows up late to work, dresssed like a slob & always hung over, then the rest of the place is going to behave the same way. Lead by example, and make everyone accountable for the actions. There was a time when none of those players would have been reprimanded at all, so at least it’s heading in the right direction.

    It doesn’t take a genius to see which coaches in the league instill this no-bullshit culture, and keep their players on a short leash. There are other coaches who have absolutely NO control over their team, and I think it’s a disgrace for an owner to allow that to happen. When you see players mailing in the season after 30 games, getting in fights, getting arrested, etc then that coach needs to be gotten rid of.

    Being from New Orleans, I’ve been an Avery fan for quite some time. For being a diminutive guy, he acts 9 feet tall. That’s why they have been successful since he took the reigns.

    Classic example is University of Miami. Coker was a pushover from day 1. Their University President has no leadership skills, and no understanding of collegiate athletics. That place is a ticking time bomb. Matter of time until one of the players murders someone.

    Comment by Clark -

  64. Obviously Stern’s “clean up the league” tactics are working with you. What a wonderfully milktoast-crafted treatise. The subject is important enough for you to SAY WHAT YOU MEAN. Don’t be Stern’s monkey-boy. Isaish is a punk! Karl ran up the score! Players who can’t control themselves belong in a street league. Grow some!

    Comment by Kenny Mac -

  65. Hello Mark:

    I agree with your analysis concerning the problems and the “slap on the hands” Stern gave the Knicks and the Nuggets. I don’t see Maverick players acting that way, and to me that is reflective of your organization as a whole. People forget that Isaiah Thomas was a dirty player and lacked class, he was a member of one of the dirtiest bunch of world champs of all time. Why is anyone suprised that he coaches the same way?
    If I was George Karl I’d be pissed as well.
    Anyway, I love your blog Mark, good job!
    Jim

    Comment by Jim Ramos -

  66. Great post, Mark. The thing that really has suprised me about this whole thing is that Isaiah Thomas hasn’t been fined. There’s no question he essentially incited the thing. You can’t tell me that he didn’t tell them to give anyone driving a hard foul. He’s even on video telling ‘Melo not to go to the basket. That’s like someone’s supervisor telling them to flip over a projector if someone from another department is giving a better powerpoint. I’d like to see a little more realistic use of the term professional, and I think this is a good start. I’m a teacher. If I punch a teacher from another grade because their class has higher test scores than mine, I’m going to get fired. If I get pissed at my principal and run into his office and start Sprewellishly choking him, I’m fired AND arrested. I also understand that millions of people don’t pay for cable and/or satilite service to watch me teach a fraction lesson, so consequences aren’t quite the same, but I do like these punishments.

    Comment by Brian -

  67. As the old saying goes – “You can take the boy out of the hood, but not the hood out of the boy”.

    I wish to join the “Fire Stern Committee”. Any directions where I can join?

    tbh

    Comment by TBH -

  68. Mark,

    I love what you’re saying … but I would love to know how you would be reacting if Dirk were the one to throw the punch that Melo threw? Now granted, I think Dirk knows better, and I think he would have thought twice before throwing the punch … but wouldn’t you want the talent of a Carmelo Anthony on your team?

    I mean what would you have done to Carmelo if he did that while a player on your team? Would you be telling the league that they should fine you … would you suspend your own player after the league has suspended him for 15 games … or even more drastically, would you trade/put on waivers a talent of a Carmelo Anthony’s stature?

    It’s a fine line your business walks. You want to put a style and brand of entertainment on the floor that is appealing to a large fan base … but sometimes the people that can provide that entertainment the best, aren’t always the most upstanding people on or off the court.

    So, honestly, what would you do if Dirk were to be the one that threw the punch? I know I won’t ever get an answer, but I would be interested to hear what you would do.

    Thanks.

    Comment by Bret Fitzgerald -

  69. I think this is about life. Let’s not make it so difficult on these kids that they don’t have an opportunity to learn a lesson. I don’t think we are going to find a solution. Basketball is a very passionate, intimate, and emotional sport. Sooner or later your character is going to be displayed in its most raw form. Some of the most talented, OK, let’s say MOST of the most talented, come from dysfunctional backgrounds and basketball is their life. How are they going to learn life’s most important values and lessons, well some of those are going to happen on the basketball court. Stern is doing the right thing, let them feel the pain and consequences of their actions. The good kids and going to learn a hard lesson and move on. The bad ones never seem to learn the lesson and they tend to fall out of the picture sooner or later and ruin their own careers. Yes, it is bad that our youth have to witness it, but who puts these kids up on a pedastol for worship anyway? It is us.

    Comment by Andy -

  70. I am really sick and tired of this management and leadership nonsense by Mr. Cuban. The responsibility of the culture of a team and organization, of any business, starts with the owner. Maybe responsibility starts with Mr. Cuban, but the culture of individual starts in the environment they are brought up and it only could be shaped or controlled in the future. I dont have to remind that what general NBA consumers see as shocking and bad for children to see for Carmelo Anthony is just protecting himself or his general response to high adrenaline situation. And if we ask him personally does he feel sorry or he feels that he shouldnt have done it??? He probably say yes, but only because of 15 games suspension and not because punching people in NBA arenas is wrong thing to do. The only thing the owner can do is to install the behavior controls through punishment or introduce some parameters, according to which some people will be discriminated against based on these parameters. Similar to justice system. For some couple of years in prison for battery is good enough reason not to do it. Some cant control themselves and do time.
    But as Mark knows NBA basketball players market is not very liquid, because there are huge constraints on supply side and huge constraints on the demand side. If player is a nutcase but his skill level corresponds to requirements of the NBA he will most likely play.(e.g. Ron Artest). Yes Mark can say that he will only employ players, who suit his version of company culture, but by doing this he will overpay big time because he burdens himself with additional market constraints.(it might be actually happening with Mavericks considering some questionable large contracts for mediocre performance plus Finley written off amnesty contract)
    Now about basketball people. I agree GM should never be basketball person, but I wouldnt want to have a coach who looks at the player based on his culture or behavior patterns. He is the coach, his job is to get wins anyway possible. If Carmelo plays we will win 70% of games if he doesnt and somebody elses plays we will win 40%, I dont care as coach if Carmelo is another Kurt Cobain or Ron Artest, it is a GM jobs to check the person behavior patterns and his cultural values and make the final call. It is not a coaches job to worry about image of the team, making costumers happy, his job is to coach and to win games. There are different coaching styles from Jerry Sloans camps to Phil Jacksons at least you made practice half an hour late in a good mood. But GM or ownership chooses what style they want their team to be. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having Gangsta team, because it is part of mainstream culture and it sells like porn, boxing, gambling, and MMA. Portland team sold out the building for many years running.
    Another matter is that NBA wants to change the perception and image of the league to suit its customers(questionable) and partners, but image is not culture. One can employ: PR firms, Ad agencies and consultants to achieve this aim, but NBA is doing extremely bad on this front. If something bad happens in NBA, all media jumps on the story and generalizes to the point that ALL OF NBA has this problem. Not specific individual or specific team but ALL OF IT. When we have a fight in college football it is just the sides involved, when we fight in NBA everybody get fined from ball boy to owner(at least it is what Marks recommends.) Also stein with his stupid policies to make players behave normal solidifies the message: NBA IS GANGSTA. We can send all of NBA players to Rwanda for whole summer to help with refugees and make reality show out of it on NBA TV, but still public perception will not change. It is like in justice system: once you have a record, try to convince people that you are a GOOD citizen and worthy of trust. The funny thing is that NBA is the one who gives itself punishments. NBA should just shut up about image publicly and tighten the screws real hard quielty on club level, college type (coaches are generals who drill your butt, GMs like athletic directors are semi gods who you can talk to after you made an ALL-Star team) But it is very hard to pull off again due to culture, because the people who are paid more are perceived to be more valuable and less expendable in our culture. For owner of Nuggets in the end of the day it is cheaper to fire whole organization for allowing Carmelo to behave like this as to punishing Carmelo any further.
    Finally, please Mark dont read any more leadership books or management books, because they might hype you up, but theory wise and scientifically wise it is bullshit. It sounds good: management become more proactive, aware and involved with all elements of the cutlture of their organizations. That would be a great thing for the NBA and its fans. Great fiction filled action words: proactive, aware, involved. But if we go to details proactive for some might mean a phone call to GM asking Whats up? I like our record and attendance is great. Or having weekly written reports from ball boy to coach on how they are dealing with day to day business and what are they doing to improve it and separate report on how they deal with work related stress and what are their thoughts on the matter. So dont. It poisons the mind and feels the dreams with images of being on the elephant charging the enemy like Alexander the Great, only wearing Mavericks shirt with kick-ass HDTV on the shoulder.

    Comment by LA Kid. -

  71. I agree Mark that management definitely needs to take some of the brunt in these situations. If it was their wallet getting hit I guarantee they’d be staying away from employing guys like Artest etc… They’d sure as hell be going after guys like Nash, Dirk, Wade etc and not Artest, J. O’neal…

    Isaiah Thomas also should have taken a huge suspension and fine. Anyone who watched what he mouthed to Carmello could clearly see he warned him and Camby not to go to the hoop or else. This has no place in basketball and not only goes back to the Larry Brown, George Karl beef against him for how he treated Larry Brown, but also goes as far back as how he always treated Michael Jordan. Isaiah has consistently shown his pathetic sportsmanship throughout his entire sports career. I’m sure we all remember when he lead the Pistons off the floor before the game was over when Michael and the Bulls finally de-throwned them. Or how he blamed Michael for himself being left off the Dream Team in ’92.

    I just really can’t see how Isaiah wasn’t held responsible for his actions. Nonetheless, he’ll be gone after the year is over anyways.

    It really is getting ridiculous how sportsmanship has gone down the tubes. T.O. spitting in the face of DeAngelo Hall, NBA brawls, bench clearing brawls in baseball and on and on.

    You really want to get rid of the majority of fighting like this in sports? Here’s an easy remedy… don’t let these guys fight like pussies. What I mean by that is… have you ever noticed that no matter what sport it is (except hockey) as soon as a fight breaks out both teams grab everyone and start shoving and occasionally some punches will be thrown, but it is always broken up rather quickly and so there’s no consequences for the parties involved. You want to stop fighting??? Let them fight! Seriously. Next time Pedro Martinez intentionally hits Barry Bonds or whoever and they decide to charge the mound… let them go at it! I guarantee pitchers will not be hitting people for very long. Could you imagine pitchers being instructed by their managers to hit a batter on purpose… they’d be like f**k no! Same goes for basketball etc… you’d have a small surge of fights at the beginning of the first year, but I guarantee they’d be non-existent soon after. Then we wouldn’t have to watch sucker punches like Carmello and then watch him run back to his bench. You sucker punch a guy you should then stand there and fight like a man. Then again I guess that’s why they call it a sucker punch. They should rename it Pussy Punch cause that’s how Carmello sure looked.

    http://www.BryanHauer.com

    Comment by Bryan Hauer -

  72. The whole point should be to set an example for professional sportsmanship, which would mean having a zero tolerance level for unsportsmanlike conduct. Fines aren’t enough. Suspensions are in the right direction. For example, Tyson never fighting again is what I believe we should hold as a standard for severe violations.

    Comment by Gavin the photographer -

  73. i guess it’s just me. i didn’t think the fight was that big of a deal at all. this is performance entertainment. not a regular job. therefore, i don’t think the comparisons to office job dynamics makes much sense. you can’t run around the office wearing shorts either. sometimes fights happen in competition.

    who would you say is the classiest team in the league? a lot of people claim that it’s the spurs. these same spurs that employ the king flopper (ginobili) and the guy who is responsible for at least four injuries in the last several years (bowen).

    i’d have given anthony, smith, and robinson two games each. four for collins for instigating the entire fracas. and a lifetime ban for david stern for overreacting once again.

    Comment by Mitch -

  74. please don’t miss the point here; the colors of pots and kettles are irrelevent in this context.

    cuban is making the point that culpability is not demonstrated by the ability to pay fines. rather, avoiding problems for the good reasons (of the self; team; organization; family; etc.) and swift reparation of mistakes fuels a culture of responsibility – not throwing money at problems reactively.

    Comment by saM FFL -

  75. Ah, the usual sycophants show up today. I think the fight was just fine! I want to see real people with real emotions there. Not overpaid whiners who cry when a new ball makes their pretty little hands hirt.

    Comment by Greg Finch -

  76. Mark,
    Now honestly, you know sometimes in the heat of the moment, things can get out of hand and escalate into an altercation, such as the one that transpired on Saturday. We’re only human and the league should give some le-way to such incidents as these. Now luckily, this wasn’t no auborn hills palace disaster, nobody got hurt, and the fans weren’t too involved for the most part. It could have been a lot worse. Now if security guards were on their job, maybe some of it could have been prevented. Maybe this says something about the lack of security proposed during games. Now this is just my opinion, but I think Carmelo should have been fined (for throwing the punch) and then maybe sat out 5-7 games. Already being the leading scorer in the league, this will just damage his groove and theres no telling what he’s going to come back playing like. I understand your frustration with the league and where you’re coming from, but honestly, what’s a sport without a couple good brawls every now and then?? Baseball has it, football has it, and hockey sure has it. It gives fans an adrenaline rush, not for an injury to occur, but to see their team standing up for each other, showing pride, courage, and boldness.
    Please respond if you have the time. I know you’re probably bubbling with arguments inside. You’re an opinionated man. Keep doin you. Holla !!!

    P.S. The Mavericks are nice .. but I’m wit da Suns all the way !!๐Ÿ˜‰

    Comment by Gloria -

  77. Wow, terrific post Mark. My dad has season tickets to the Lakers and every chance my schedule allows, I take my nephew Tyler to the games. He’s 14 and loves basketball. We just went to see the Laker/Houston game and watched of course the amazing 18 point recovery from halftime to a 2nd OT win. I love watching the game of basketball. Although I don’t live in Dallas, your Maverics are my favorite team.

    It is however a tremendous concern I believe for most people who bring kids to these games, or watch on TV the unacceptable behavior by some of these Players. It’s not that I expect athletes to never lose their tempers, but on the occasion when someone goes overboard I’m not convinced the fines are enough.

    I so agree with you:

    “The responsibility of the culture of a team and organization, of any business, starts with the owner and is implemented by the team’s President, GM and Coach or whoever is in the position to manage the workforce.”

    These positions carry with them a huge responsibility.

    Tyler plays on a high school basketball team where if any player is involved in any sort of physical misconduct they are expelled from school, period!

    Comment by Toni Marano -

  78. Nice article, Mark. I’m gonna forward it to my stupid stepson.

    Comment by Kingcob Bob IV -

  79. I agree with Brian Boyko. You throw a punch; you’re gone!
    With all the scrutiny on CEO compensation perhaps pro athletes should take the front page for awhile. Can the huge salaries for playing a game actually be justified?

    Comment by Jackie Fox -

  80. Mark,

    What are your thoughts in Isiah Thomas’ actions and the fact he seems to have gotten off (for the moment) scott-free, although not George Karl free.

    Comment by Arian -

  81. Great post, Mark.

    I can only add that if I were the GM of the Knicks, I’d fire Nate Robinson immediately. He took offense over his opponent running up the score. Hey, Nate, you’re a professional basketball player. You don’t want the other team to run up the score? Play a little defense. This isn’t 6th grade, dude.

    It is more of an insult to have your opponent stop trying because you suck, than it is to have your opponent continuing to play their best, with their best players. I want my opponent to respect me enough to play his best, even if he is beating me handily.

    Comment by rodander -

  82. I think that the saddest part is the effect this will have on children who look up to these athletes, regardless of whether they want to be role models or not. Time for some social responsibility here, and time for a need to think about the consequences of your choices. Had this been outside, the police wouldn’t have cared about the emotions of the game. You’d be charged with assault.

    Comment by Lamarr Wilson -

  83. Mardy Collins ought to be suspended for the remainder of the year, and have to petition to ever get back in the game. The way he committed that foul was either intentional or such poor basketball skills that he’s an embarrassment to the NBA. This is basketball, not hockey. Then you see if he’ll squeal on Isiah, and if Isiah told Collins to do that, he should go too. It’s sad that a punishment should benefit a team, but too bad. Mark, I guess I still believe that the guys on the court are ultimately responsible for these kinds of things. When dishing out penalties, you work up the chain of command. To punish the guys at the top, you make it too costly for the organization to keep thugs around. Management, whether they know basketball or business or none or both, deals in organizational risk. Trying to implement an NBA version of Sarbanes-Oxley will just result in lots of needless CYA behavior.

    Comment by Brad Hutchings -

  84. I’m not so rehearsed on business apsect of professional sports, but does an OWNER have an option to “fire” a player on the spot or does the player basically have immunity because of the Union?

    This is a problem in every major sport. NFL – Albert Haynesworth kicks off a player’s helmet and crunches down on the guy’s face with his cleat; 5 game suspension!!! He should be out of professional football for that… Ron Artest and Jermail O’neal punching fans – no place in a professional environment.

    Why do professional athletes do this? They aren’t taught differently in college/high school. Take the Miami-FloridaInternational NCAA Football brawl. The Miami players all got 1 game suspensions… they were playing Duke (0-7) next. Why only 1 game suspension? Well, in two games, they were playing a legit opponent so Miami had to make sure they had everyone back. They didnt care that the school’s name got smeared… This is what we are teaching them.

    Comment by Kip Nickell -

  85. what happened the other night was just a joke. every time that happens it makes me want to ignore the NBA even more than i already do. i think the penalties for something like that should be much harsher – and i don’t mean $ fines.

    Comment by South Bay -

  86. I think this is the first time in pro basketball that 10 players are ejected and benches need to be raided just to finish a few seconds of game. That alone is a disgrace and far worse than the financial fees Stern imposed on the teams. He has, has he not, hit YOU with far more for far less?

    Maybe the problem is that ultimately you have very good athletes (okay, not in the Knicks, I meant in general) but a predominantly uneducated bunch that probably needs to be drilled in what is acceptable and not in this job. If they are going to behave like troglodites with $400 sneakers, treat them accordingly.

    Comment by Kalinka -

  87. Do you think many of the comments about organizational dynamics holds true for college coaches as well?

    Comment by PRoales -

  88. I was surprised that the fines weren’t closer between 15-25 games each, instead of Carmelo getting the most with a 15-game suspension. One major factor that cut the suspensions must be the fact that none of the players made it into the stands, at least to a point where fans were in danger.

    I think getting suspended for the rest of the season would be too harsh for a fight that takes remains on the court. If nobody else is in the way, it’s just the players, their pride, and wallets, on the line.

    Comment by AJL -

  89. Glad to hear your two cents Mark. With such a high exposure there is an implicit responsibility (whether they like it or not ) by each player to conduct themselves in a professional manner. OTherwise, we should be asking ourselves why the hell we should even give the league our time….?

    Jim
    RunFatBoy ( http://www.runfatboy.net ) – Exercise for the rest of us.

    Comment by Jim Jones -

  90. “No team is going to be perfect and problems will happen. The game is just too intense for skirmishs not to happen now and then. The players are just too competitive. They will happen on the court and may even happen off the court. Whether those skirmishes escalate, or whether the players are smart enough to walk away reflects how well coached and managed the team and organization is.”

    I agree with all of your points except for this one; if Little Leaguers can play the game without getting into fights, there is absolutely no reason for professional – emphasis on that word – athletes to do so.

    Why is it that basketball gets a free pass here? If I threw a punch at Dave in Accounting, Marketing & Accounting wouldn’t revolt from their offices and join in the brawl. I’d be escorted off the premises by security and arrested by Austin’s police force.

    Here’s my opinion: You throw a punch on the court? You’re out of the NBA, forfeit your contract, escorted out of the stadium, and wait to hear if you’ve got charges pressed against you.

    Comment by Brian Boyko -

  91. Nice thoughts Mark.

    Comment by Mike Verinder -

  92. Mark,
    I thought that the fines and suspensions are not harsh enough, especially after the Pacers-Pistons fiasco. Here is my argument. This not only affects the players, GMs, coaches, owners, this affects the fans, future players, and basically everyone that plays basketball. It puts the “idea” of retaliation in the heads of youngsters. Everytime this happens it gives basketball a bad name. Where have all the class acts gone? The majority of what I see is a bunch of studio-gangsters on the court. Whatever happened to being a professional on the court? I think that both teams should be suspended for the remainder of the season. The big factor of my opinion is people coming off the bench. If you come off the bench to participate in a fight your done for the year. Same should be for baseball. Of course my opinion is, ball hits you, run to first. Pitchers get into trouble for throwing at hitters, why? Do hitters get in trouble for hitting the ball back to the pitcher? No, so why should the pitcher get in trouble? OK, sorry for the tangent to baseball. Back to hoops. Player who intentionally mauls a player as seen in the Nuggets/Knicks game, done for the year. Coach that insinuates the maul of another player, done for good. When is it going to end? How long is it going to take before a player(studio-gangster) brings a knife or gun on the court and shoots someone instead of fouling them? I think both organizations should be suspended for the season and all players involved get fined the rest of their years contract. But that’s just my opinion.

    Comment by Jason -

  93. Personally the fines aren’t enough. I think any player who throws a punch on the court should be gone for the season. No pay, no appeal, nothing. If I want to see a fight I’ll go to a hockey game.

    Comment by al -

  94. MARK Cuban !!!!!!!!!!!….YOU NEED TO READ THIS WALL STREET JOURNAL ARTICLE…
    .AND SHARE IT WITH EVERYONE ELSE….

    http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB111897034755762207-OUV_wHYEfDq1kBdUMezPzKFXQVs_20060617.html?mod=b%2520logs

    happy holidays!

    Comment by Jonathan -

  95. Everyone needs to read this article by Jon Weinbach about what really happens to the money that professional athletes are required to pay…..VERY INTERESTING…..

    http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB111897034755762207-OUV_wHYEfDq1kBdUMezPzKFXQVs_20060617.html?mod=b%2520logs

    Comment by Jonathan -

Comments are closed.