NEW YORK (Ambush Sports) — The league office for the National Basketball Association (NBA) announced Friday that Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was fined $500,000 for publicly criticizing NBA officials.
In a statement from the league, it stated that Cuban was being disciplined for “public criticism and detrimental conduct regarding NBA officiating.”
The fine stemmed from a February 22 Dallas Mavericks loss against the Atlanta Hawks, which was being protested because of a putback was counted for Hawks big man John Collins with 8.4 seconds left in the game following a goaltending call that was reversed upon official review, which led to the Hawks’ victory over the Mavs. The league refused to hear testimony regarding the team contesting the result.
The loss prompted Cuban to confront referees on the court and criticizing them on social media and during press interviews.
It is a recognized part of sports for fans and the media at times to criticize officiating, but team executives must be held to a higher standard. A team owner’s effort to influence refereeing decisions during and after a game creates the perception of an unfair competitive advantage and thereby undermines the integrity of the game. Demeaning league employees also creates an intimidating workplace environment. With an increased focus on respectful conduct by coaches, players and fans during games, the actions of team executives should set an example and not lower expectations for appropriate behavior in our arenas.
The recent fine marks the third assessed on Cuban as the Mavericks owner — a $500,000 fine in January 2002 for public criticism of league officiating in a loss against the San Antonio Spurs and a $600,000 fine in February 2018 for publicly admitting his team was tanking.