Cuban Takes Blame For Mavs’ Fall

DALLAS — For the first time since he bought the Dallas Mavericks in the middle of the 1999-2000 season, owner Mark Cuban won’t be able to harass officials in the playoffs.

Two nights after the Mavs were eliminated from playoff contention, snapping the franchise’s record run of 12 consecutive postseason appearances, Cuban fell on the sword, taking the blame for a season that remains one game under .500 with three to play. On Wednesday, Cuban contended that had Dirk Nowitzki not missed the first 27 games of the season after knee surgery, and a career-high 29 in all, that his club would be fighting for a fifth or sixth seed.

On Friday he said he failed to put a good enough team around his 7-foot star who led the franchise to two NBA Finals and the 2011 championship.

“Look, it didn’t work out the way we planned. It’s all on me and [president of basketball operations] Donnie [Nelson],” Cuban said prior to Friday night’s overtime win over the Denver Nuggets. “It’s our job to put people in position to succeed. We didn’t do enough of it. It’s not an apology. It’s just the nature of the beast. I bust my ass to do as best as we can. No one hates losing more than me, so I’ll keep on busting my ass and hopefully it will change.”

Cuban opted not to re-sign key players from the 2011 championship, in particular last season’s Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler, in order to create cap space under the altered rules of the new collective bargaining agreement.

The club chased Deron Williams last season but failed to lure him, setting in motion a run at players on the final year of their contracts or signing players to one-year contracts to keep salary cap room wide open for this summer.

While Cuban acknowledged that the franchise is now in a rebuild mode, he said it will be a quick job.

“It’s not a four-year rebuild cycle,” Cuban said. “I guess when you miss the playoffs, by definition you’re rebuilding. So we’ve got to get better.”

After striking out on Williams, Cuban and Nelson quickly went to work to construct a team. They felt confident about pieces acquired, namely O.J. Mayo and Darren Collison to replace Jason Terry and Jason Kidd, plus center Chris Kaman, easily the most offensively gifted big man the Mavs have had, and Elton Brand.

But, with Nowitzki out of the lineup, Dallas skidded to a 13-23 start. And while coach Rick Carlisle shuffled through starting lineups like a deck of cards, the Mavs still managed to make things a bit interesting over the last few weeks in the race for the eighth spot, but ultimately they were never able to fully recover.

With three chances in the past two weeks to get back to .500 for the first time since December, they lost by double-digits in each game, the last coming Wednesday to the last-place Suns.

The loss sealed the Mavs’ fate as an unfamiliar participant in the upcoming draft lottery.

“Look, we did the best we could,” Cuban said. “We obviously didn’t have what we thought we would have. We obviously should have had more. I don’t know if we could have, but we should have, and so it’s all on me. If that means I let Rick down, I let Rick down. People always give me (expletive) — why do you always put your email up on the screen and why are you always out front? This is why. So if someone’s got a shot to take, take it at me.”


  1. rill says:

    Miami really isnt all that stacked. There just are no physical teams in the NBA anymore. A physical team could punk Miami and beat them.

    Disclaimer: This coming from a Miami fan (more of a Wade). Never been a fan of Lebron.

  2. rill says:

    The Howard sweepstakes killed the championshp team. should have kept that core. Oh well hindsight is 20/20. Going forward they should left everyone walk except Dirk/Collison/Mayo/Wright. Try to get Smith from Atlanta and the center from Minnesota (Nicholi?). If Igudalia is agavailable get him. Then round out the bench.

  3. forgetMavs says:

    Nobody dismantles a championship caliber team, but Cube just did it! Clever is screwed by cleverness. In NBA, talents add up together won’t win you a champion, it is the team with its every single role player in the right places. Mavs dynasty was over since day one of the broke up. It would be lucky if they come back as a champion contender in another 10-15 years. Mark my words.

  4. Janet Johnson says:

    Cuban, you don’t have to take all the blame, but I knew you would. I have to admit I would love for you to get back Tyson Chandler, Barea & the Jet. I would love to see them play another season together and possibly win another Championship. Gram J.

  5. jake s says:

    Jkidd is the only winner here.

  6. willie says:

    we’ll be champs next year, or the west conference champs at least…. mavs vs miami for 2014 finAls!

  7. LBJKIN6JAMES says:

    Dallas would have made the playoffs if they had Dirk the whole year…Cuban should have never gave up Tyson Chandler and the rest of the key pieces that won him a championship in 2011…Dirk grow old in Dallas and waste more years of his prime, he would rather be loyal to his team then to go to a better team and win another championship loool #MavsSuk

    • MrNBA says:

      It’s called self-respect. The same reason MJ never teamed up with the other greats in his era. Bosh, Allen, Battier, and Wade have no self-respect. They would rather carry Lebron’s luggage than accept a larger role with another team. #HeatHaveNoBalls

      • YeahBruh says:

        You sound angry

      • LBJKIN6JAMES says:

        HAHAHAHAH … in what way is staying on a bad team with no help surrounding you self-respect? This is an old argument, but since you brought it up… What about KG/Pierce/allen…Kobe/D12/Pau/Nash…. Paul/Griffin/Crawford….etc etc… this is a new era, other players have learned from the reggie miller’s, Chris webbers, and charles barkeys… Great career..NO RINGS. Kobe said he wanted to leave LA before they acquired Paul Gasol and Bynum… Mj wanted to leave before they brought in Pippen/Rodman… Its not about self-respect, its about WINNING! Dirk could easily go to OKC, or any top 3 team in each conference and they would be a contender, hes lucky he gogt 1 ring, most players who stay loyal to bad teams never get a ring… #HeatNation

      • LBJKIN6JAMES says:

        Oh yeah… I forgot to mention Melo/Amare/Chandler lol… #ItsAllAboutWinning

      • Denzo says:

        Completely agree bro!

  8. Tim says:

    The ironic thing is, even had they kept most if the team together, they wouldn’t have had enough to beat Miami again, and he knew it. It was a great run to the championship, but having another run agsinst a team as stacked as Miami was not going to happen. At least now we have a chance to pick up some elite players to go with Dirk. It was a calculated risk. I’m glad he took it.

  9. deliveredkarma says:

    marc cuban is cubic

  10. ShawnKemp says:

    Why would he ever blow up his championship roster? To make a better championship roster? WTF

  11. Rockets fan says:

    Dallas is full of trash

  12. Don't click my name says:


  13. Stu-Brew says:

    I hope Mark Cuban can get the Dallas Mavericks make to “elite” team status like they’ve been most of the time. They need to keep Dirk, Marion, Carter, Collison and the 3 rookies (Crowder, Cunningham and B. James).

  14. ROBENSON says:


  15. ROBENSON says:


  16. Jamminn says:

    I get tired of hearing cubes blew up the team he offered everybody 1-2 year deals but everybody wanted max deals period. Tyson was offered 14million a year 1-2 yrs but chose 4 yr 48 million with my state tax and cost of living barea chose the same long deal along with everyone else.

    • MrNBA says:

      I can understand not re-signing many of the players of that Championship team, even JJ Barea and Stevenson (they are some of my favorites). But Chandler had to stay. He has a better attitude than Howard and he takes winning more seriously. If what you say is true, they should’ve amnestied that bonehead Haywood sooner to create more room.

  17. Pingy says:

    Maybe this will bring Cuban’s monstrous ego down to size. He was such a pompous arrogant a** when the Mavericks won it all (which they will NEVER do again). Eat dust Mark, eat dust, you earned it.

  18. Alan says:

    I agree that the Mavs need to get rid of Kaman in favor of a defensive center. Anyone think they’d take a chance on Greg Oden?

  19. Drago says:

    He needed a player like Howard cause Novicki and another white guy can never do in the NBA,He had Chandler a guy i would chose over Howard any day but he blew it.He should have took Nash back when he left Feniks to replace Kid.He should have signed Smith this free agency.He should have done many things but I’m sure he tried as much as he could *probably did not want to pay enough.

  20. Ralph says:

    Draft Brittney Griner!

  21. Phil Jackson says:

    monta ellis is still available

  22. Buk Lau says:

    I dont always grow a playoff beard, but when I do…I miss the playoffs

  23. Me says:

    Kevin from the Shark Tank might have convinced Mark to spend less money on players. And, Barbara is trying to convince him to draft Brittany Griner for marketing reasons….Damn Shark Tank!

  24. b o t o d says:

    now that you’ve took the responsibility, do it again coz we all want to see the Mavs in playoffs next season.

  25. W/E says:

    100% his fault for his team failure.

  26. Tom says:

    Trusting Fisher was his biggest mistake

  27. He should take the blame, especially where as the mavs players are more mature than him while he displays his immaturity in social media all the time!

  28. Tristan says:

    They should let go of kaman, that stupid blond bear is useless! he can’t rebound, and in the defensive end he cant guard and stop players going to the basket! they might should get a defensive big man with a big defensive presence.

  29. DW says:

    “center Chris Kaman, easily the most offensively gifted big man the Mavs have had”

    Better than Dirk Nowitzki, apparently.

  30. Iblameu2 says:

    I blame Cuban too, such a big mistake to let go of his Champion core and make a mess of his own team. I really feel sorry for the team and players especially Marion and Dirk a few games and vacation comes, when that happens Cuban should acquire Stephen Jackson and get 2 player from Lottery. This team will be playoff bound Next year/Conference.

    • Chris says:

      its a good thing they’re probably lottery bound. Imagine picking up a good young PF that could learn from Dirk

  31. Chris says:

    Much respect for taking responsibility

  32. melquin says:

    ya sure cuban must keep his money,,,he feels what being a champ thats why he allow his player to move on to other team,,always relaying to DN,but fails…………………………..

  33. James says:

    Jason terry was the best 6th man ad u should have had kept him. I am sure e s not happy in Boston.

  34. Dirkleton says:

    who we need to keep:
    dirk (the presence, and the always dangerous offensive threat)
    carter (the man is our best offensive punch. he’s the type of player then can give you 20 points in 14 minutes)
    wright (still young, shows good offensive and defensive ability. needs to improve size and strength)
    collison (good and quickening the pace of the game, very good on the fast break)
    brand (defensive toughness)

    possible trades
    marion, mayo and kaman and maybe a first round draft pick for : al horford and paul pierce. 3 team trade (josh smith goes to boston)

    • June says:

      Unless Boston and Pierce shakes heads on the said transaction… If that happens, Josh Smith lands on Dallas…

    • RH says:

      Aren’t Mayo and Kaman on 1 year contracts?

    • jared says:

      wait, atl loses both their allstar big men for oj, old marion and bum kaman… sounds fair to atl… obviously dallas fan just looking for ways to make their team better. lets trade .. hey lets trade bernard james and jared cunningham for LBJ and D Wade. who are those guys? exactly

  35. sportsfan says:

    The Mavs can still try to get Dwight Howard in the off season since Dallas was high on his list before leaving Orlando.

    • Ummm... says:

      Yeah I think that it was on his list because they were a championship team when he first said it. Now I don’t see him joining them. Everyobody knows crybaby Howard will not go to a losing or rebuilding team.

      • ranfan says:

        The same crybaby howard that was a centerpiece along with his teammates that went to the finals that one time?

  36. Flying Raijin_41 says:

    should kept jason terry..his greater than mayo…should get calderon or chris paul this offseason get the cap space you’ve created…

  37. Mr T says:

    Is there a reason he blew up the ’11 team in the first place?

    • RH says:

      Dwight Howard sweepstakes

    • Before the new CBA says:

      It was easier to buy your way to championships before the new CBA. That’s why. Mark Cuban always spent money on hefty contracts for his players. After the new rules he faced a harsher luxury tax than before. That’s why he did not re-sign those players.

      • Kristian says:

        Still, the luxury tax is weak. There should be no over spending on the budget. There should only be “here is your 50 million for the year (or what ever the number is) now make it work. Each team should be on an even playing field. Surely everone here can agree that due to having the ability to overspend the Lakers have some titles in their hands!


  38. Dean says:

    Cuban is WRONG again….The pieces they got were actually very good, O.J. Mayo, Darren Collison, Elton Brand. The problem is in the players they already had, the Mavs needed to make a trade and they did not. He can go ahead and let Darren go but he won’t get a better PG and he’s been actually playing well as of late. If they let O.J. go then they are also equally as stupid. This team needs to rebuild around Mayo and Collison, and also even if Dirk was never injured they still would have never made the playoffs.

  39. can thought says:

    mavs need a deep bench.

    • hpr56 says:

      It is kind of sad to see the Mavs go down.

    • Ludi says:

      The Mavs actually had the number 1 bench in the league this season. We just need a healthy Dirk, a consistent PG (with Collison off the bench) and a Center who plays D

  40. Me says:

    y’all should have kept Terry, that guy is useless in Boston