Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has been fined $500,000 for public criticism of NBA officiating and the team had its protest of a Feb. 22 loss denied, the NBA announced Friday.
Cuban sent multiple tweets that criticized the officials after they counted a putback following an inadvertent whistle on a goaltending call. The decision sealed the Atlanta Hawks’ win over the Mavericks.
“Refs have bad games,” Cuban tweeted. “Crews have bad games. But this isn’t a single game issue. This is the same s— that has been going on for 20 years. Hire former refs who think they know how to hire, train and manage. Realize 2 years later they can’t. Repeat.”
The NBA said in a statement that Cuban’s comments were “highly critical, personal and demeaning to the league and its officiating staff” and that he continued to publicly criticize the officiating over the following days.
“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,” the NBA said in Friday’s statement. “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 league also noted that Cuban walked onto the court after the loss to approach the officials, saying it was the second time he had done so to challenge a call during the game.
Cuban had previously been fined more than $2 million by the league over the years for his public criticism of officiating.
Commissioner Adam Silver determined that the rules were properly applied to count John Collins’ putback, according to the NBA.
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