League Pops Cuban $50K For Tweet Blasting Referees

HANG TIME SOUTHWEST — Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban will reach into his wallet once again after the league docked him $50,000 Tuesday for sending out a tweet that was critical of the officiating in the Mavs’ home loss to the New Orleans Hornets Saturday night.

A league office spokesperson confirmed the fine to NBA.com. The league did not announce the penalty publicly one day after it handed down two public reprimands to Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo (one-game suspension for making contact with a game official) and Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry ($15,000 for inappropriate interaction with game officials).

Following Dallas’ 99-96 overtime loss to New Orleans on Saturday, Cuban tweeted this message to his 1.46 million followers:

Comments made by Mavs coach Rick Carlisle after the Mavs’ 100-94 loss at Utah could also come under scrutiny from the league office on Wednesday. Carlisle, unhappy with the physical play employed by the Jazz in the decisive fourth quarter, said the Jazz were “thugging it up,” a tactic he said turned the momentum in the game.

“Yeah, they went to a, basically thugging it up, and that’s when the game turned,” Carlisle told reporters. “I thought that’s when the officiating went their way. That’s when they started to get calls and then we weren’t. We weren’t able to get the whistles; probably a function of their aggressiveness, but at the same time I thought there were a couple times where a whistle could have blown for us.

Vince [Carter] was driving, [Darren] Collison took it to the rim one time, looks like he got hit in the head. I haven’t seen those plays, so I still got to look at them, but off the top of my head, if you’re asking me, it’s kind of factually what I think.”

Carlisle’s comments Monday night made it three consecutive games in which either he or Cuban made their frustration with the officiating public. Prior to the New Orleans loss on Saturday, Cuban said he was upset with the officiating in Dallas’ overtime loss at Miami last Wednesday.


  1. Matthew says:

    I honestly can say the refs rarely win or lose a game for the team in the nba. Yeah they can swing momentum but a game is more than one or two calls. Some people will disagree but refs on average do a decent job and complaining about them and getting frustrated about them only stunts your progression. Instead of the Mavs talking about the refs being poor, keep talking about their defense being poor. Their shot selection being poor. Worry about the things you can change and leave the things you cannot change to somebody else to discuss.

  2. big cat says:

    the only thing cubes should be fined for is that crummy show sharktank

  3. shakur says:

    this fines are getting stupid nba fining everything

  4. bj says:

    well cant say its should be fines for critique !

  5. Butt says:

    The Jazz were “thugging it up” and getting away with it? Like when Nowitzki straight elbowed Hayward in the face and wasn’t called? Kinda like that? Oh wait, Nowitzki is on the Mavs. Hypocrite.

  6. boner olympian says:

    go BOBCATS@!!

  7. Losing has a way of leading people to play the “blame game” with referees. Calm down Cuban.

  8. Big Al says:

    So referees can just make any calls they want or refuse to whistle on obvious incidents and everyone should just accept that? What happened to freedom of speech? Why can officials abuse their power and get away with it? It’s sick that the league allows these things and penalize anyone who tries to contest any anomalies. Mark Cuban is one of the best team owners in the NBA, a no-nonsense, fair man. Obviously, he would make such a comment because the officiating is indeed disgraceful. Providing armored protection to these people who make the calls is even more pathetic than the conspiracy against Chris Paul wearing a Lakers uniform. When players or coaches complain too much because of questionable calls, they are given technicals, then a shameful ejection if repeated. Even if the tapes show that referees turn a blind eye on fouls or whistle on innocent players, I never heard of any official being fined or suspended, let alone relieved of his or her duties.

    Retiring next year is the best decision Stern has ever made during his outrageously long tenure as commissioner.

  9. Conor says:

    What does the* league

  10. Conor says:

    The thing is the NBA is all about money. As soon as Stern fined the Spurs and Pop because he rested players it became clear. I don’t care about a game on national TV, keeping key players healthy and rested is a priority. I used to discount all the conspiracies about David Stern but after the calls I have seen this season I am beginning to change my mind. Why is the league I love becoming a joke because of money? If the lock-out was going to hurt fans, what does league office think of poor (rigged?) officiating?

  11. glen says:

    i’ve said it once and i’ll say it again: its a sad state of affairs for the NBA. I’ve been a fan all my life and will continue to watch since i love high quality basketball, but however, i think that in a free country, people should be allowed to voice their opinions. in europe, when football managers discussing games, they are allowed to say what they want as it is widely accepted that people may or may not agree with the officiating in a game, this does not affect the game, its just an opinion. my case in point: the only places where people are punished for voicing their opinions are communist china and north korea. please nba, don’t follow this lead.

  12. OOHHH Please!!! You think they had it bad for one game-try watching some Celts games. The by far worse officiated games not for one game but the entire past 4 1/2 seasons especially in the playoffs!!! I do hear cuban on it though w/ refs but it just seems so about the drama when it’s done w/ social media. Try logging complaints w/ the league, not that stern’s gonna pay attention to it, like Ainge & Doc have in the past. Ohh but cuban wasn’t complaining when mavs had favorable called games against Celts-LOL

  13. June says:

    As a Mavs fan, it’s sad it’s turning out to be like this… Mavs can have that physical play but I think Carlisle just wants to play it safe since his guys aren’t as young as they were but in terms of physicality, the Mavs can do it more than the younger teams can. The Rockets are in good position but somehow deep inside my head, I feel that they will fall miserably after the All-Stars…

  14. OwenS says:

    The way I see it. It’s the NBA’s way of earning of Cuban. Haha!

  15. rhino li says:

    all they could do is to fined immediately…i think,they don’t even evaluate themselves… to the NBA,please improve the League through fair officiating.

  16. rhino li says:

    i’m with you,Mark.i’ve been seeing a lot of inconsistencies in nba’s officiating the league.i saw some special treatment to superstars and its unfair…

    • SaYO says:

      special treatment will always be there lol
      remember michael jordans last shot before he retired? (the first retirement)
      pushed off the defender and got an open shot
      lol was so clear he pushed off
      but in the refs mind
      “cmon its mj”
      it’ll always be there for all stars, EVERY ALL STAR, im a kobe fan, and sometimes i feel like kobe just has to scream and throw his hands around and gets a foul called lols just so use to all star treatment now

  17. jackie says:

    i like cuban , he just told the truth. NBA Referees are not that good .they stii have heaps of thing to improve and must listen to others’s suggestions! unless they get better, NBA will be better!

  18. mirzahat says:

    he speaks the trupth because he has the $$$ for it !

  19. glen says:

    Wow. This is unacceptable on the NBA’s part. Disagreement between people is a healthy part of democracy. Punishing people because they voice their opinion is only done in communist china or north korea. the NBA is becoming sad, then they fine Pop for resting his key players because TNT yelled at david stern.

  20. Andre W. from Germany says:

    Pretty interesting – in the land of free speech, a man is not allowed to speak his mind about a freaking GAME

  21. Duv says:

    @ Allen – Cuban is the owner of the Club not just some journo – the NBA has special rules in place preventing ANY player OR official from publicly scrutinizing the refs. Cuban, if he was a man instead of a headline hogging nobody, would have the guts to face the league man-to-man to express his grievances, That’s why he got fined. No doubt though this little whinge will work to his teams advantage with the refs at some point.

    As Rockets fan, I’m glad to see teams like the Lakers and Mavs suffering right now – I hope it continues

  22. ChaunceyBillups4Life says:

    This is why I like Cuban. Not afraid to speak the truth.

    • Max says:

      Glad to see Billups is still alive and knicking! GEAT FREE THROW SHOOTER!!!Also can knock down a 3 ptnr. Clps should show great support to this guy!!!A “diamond”!!!!

  23. jake s says:

    I’m more for Thunder Dr. Cuban, but i gotta agree with you this time around. Inconsistency in officiating is starting to get sad this season. They should fine me too. We will be fine buddies.

  24. Allen says:

    Can someone clarify why Cuban voicing his opinion about the officiating deserves a fine? Doesn’t make much sense to me at all.

    • slider821 says:

      because he is the owner of a club and ‘publically criticized the officiating’. Really though, he’s a scapegoat and the NBA makes some good money off of him.

  25. Jason says:

    It’s okay Mark, I know you’ve tried, but that’s just how the nba makes their money

  26. Franz says:

    Comes to show how soft the Mavericks are. I have not seen or heard of complaints from other teams about Utah’s thuggish game. But when you’ve got a team with Nowitzki, Marion and Carter, it’s no surprise how soft they are

  27. ? says:

    Now y’all know how it is to be a Raptor nowadays … just sad.