Posted by Art Garcia
DALLAS – Mark Cuban loves stirring it up. Put him in front of a microphone, camera or keyboard and it’s an easy-money bet the billionaire says something that’s going to get someone’s attention.
Even if it’s well-trampled ground. Cuban did it again today, taking another familiar swipe at the clarity of the San Antonio River Walk and the rival Spurs.
“I hate the Spurs,” Dallas’ owner said on the second off day before Wednesday night’s Game 2. “I have a hard time being civil to Peter Holt at the Board of Governors meeting and he has a hard time being civil to me, even though we both like each other. It’s just what it represents.
“We can both be 0-80 and if those last two games are Spurs-Mavs, it’s going to be like a playoff game because we dislike each other that much. It’s crazy that in the nine years, 10 years of playoffs, five of them we’ve gone through each other.”
While Cuban acknowledged it’s a respectful hatred, he couldn’t resist taking a shot at how Spurs coach Gregg Popovich handled the last game of the regular season. Pop sat Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili at the last possible minute, essentially assuring this series.
“Both really have a lot of respect for the other side,” Cuban said. “The beauty of the first game and every game we play them is every possession counts. It’s not like, ‘Ok we’ll put in the second unit.’ I’ll take it back, unless Pop says he’s going for the best record and then rests everybody. I’m going to start calling him Alice in Wonderland.”
While he may hate the Spurs, Cuban sounds like he wouldn’t want to face anyone else.
“The uniqueness of a Spurs-Mavs series is both teams play basketball the right way,” he said. “There’s no woofing, there’s no screaming, there’s no yelling. Intimidation comes by playing better basketball. Both teams know they’re good. Both teams know they have the ability to execute at both sides of the court and that’s what makes it such an exciting series.”
The Spurs and their fans may remember a certain Jason Terry punch to the Michael Finley’s nether region as not playing basketball the “right way,” but why get bogged down in details when Cuban is on roll. And Cubes made sure to mention Bruce Bowen’s defense against Dirk Nowitzki.
“He might have had fewer bruises and didn’t have to watch his feet when he landed today like he used to,” Cuban said. “It’s amazing how Bowen’s feet just were uncontrollable.”
Of those five previous postseason clashes, each side has won twice and the Mavs have the early 1-0 lead after Sunday’s opener. Meeting again in the first round just doesn’t seem right to Cuban.
“It feels like the conference finals and we’re playing to get to the Finals,” he said.