NBA General

Around the Rim: Drama in Dallas

I got your money Nellie!

[Editor’s Note: Around the Rim is a new daily NBA blog written by Clay Whittington.]

1. Cuban Millions Crisis
On Monday, Don Nelson returned to Dallas as coach of a different team, but he still had the same old relationship with his former boss Mark Cuban. And that is, none at all. The two no longer speak to one another and according to Nelson, Cuban still owes him $6.6 million. Apparently, the relationship turned sour after a bitter negotiation over Nelson’s last contract, prompting the two to cease any personal association with one another. Nelson was named as a consultant but once personnel moves were being made without Nelson’s involvement, he decided it was time to leave. Cuban has been quiet about the situation, “I have nothing to say at all. He coaches the bad guys now.” Has Cuban turned over a new leaf? Are we seeing a more reserved, more mature Mark Cuban? Unlikely.

2. Cuban Conspiracy Theory
Cuban raised eyebrows on opening night when he decided not to unveil the team’s western conference championship banner against rivals San Antonio. Cuban played the move off as a gesture to the fans, allowing them to enjoy both an opening night and a championship celebration. Now, with the emergence of Nelson in Golden State, the picture is becoming clearer. Cuban, who is known for his brash behavior, simply passed up an opportunity to rub his success in the faces of the Spurs for an opportunity to rub his success in the face of his former coach. The ceremony was to serve as a reminder to Nelson of the achievement gained upon his departure. With David Stern cracking down on “whining” in the league, these types of nonverbal gestures could prove to be more advantageous for the calculating business guru. Cuban will always get the last word in whether it’s spoken or not. Don’t mistake a quiet Cuban for a changed Cuban.

3. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
It’s only the first week of the season but Allen Iverson is already having a great season. With 34.0 points a game, he is leading the NBA in scoring, but the points aren’t surprising. What is, however, is the accuracy with which he gets them. A career 42 percent shooter, he’s currently shooting 49 percent from the field and an eye-popping 55 percent from behind the three point line. And don’t try to call him selfish anymore. His assists are up to 9.7 per game, another career high. The injury prone Iverson continues to put his body on the line for his team, leading the NBA in minutes per game and free throws attempted. On the flip side, one of Iverson’s signatures has always been his turnovers and this year is no different as he dubiously leads the league in that category as well with 5.33 per game. Will any of these numbers hold over a full season? Time will tell, but with A.I. in MVP form and his team jumping out to a 3-0 start for the first time in six seasons things are definitely looking brighter for Philly fans.

4. Second Home Coming
The New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets will have their second home opener of the season tonight. The team brings a 3-0 record to their home away from home as they play Golden State in Oklahoma City. Chris Paul led the team to a victory over Houston in New Orleans on Sunday. David Stern emphasized over the weekend that the Hornets will return to The Big Easy full-time next season. Over the past two seasons, Oklahoma City has proven to be hungry for professional sports and their commitment to the Hornets franchise has created an opportunity for the NBA to set up shop in the Heartland. Coincidentally, the Seattle Sonics were recently purchased by an Oklahoma City-based ownership group; an acquisition that has Sonic fans sleepless in Seattle.

Monday’s Player of the Day: Zach Randolph @ LA Clippers 38 min, 35 pts (FG: 11-17, FT: 13-15), 13 reb, 1 ast, 2 stl, 3 blk

Tuesday’s Game to Watch: Minnesota (2-2) @ LA Lakers (3-1) The Lakers are perfect at home on the year as former MVP, Kevin Garnett, comes to town. Kobe Bryant has been quiet in the two games he has played this season, taking only 25 shots total, but he will look to explode against the T-Wolves after losing in Seattle. Lamar Odom has been sporadic since Bryant’s return and appeared more comfortable as the lead role in the opening game that Bryant missed.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Cuban to buy the Penguins?

Imagine it… Mark Cuban strolling out onto the ice in game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals and applauding the Calgary Flames as his Penguins have blown a 2-0 lead in the series… OK, that’s just rubbing salt in the wound. But imagine Mark Cuban as a hockey owner. It would do wonders for the sport.

The NFL has Al Davis. Baseball has George Steinbrennar. Who is currently the highest profile owner in the NHL? Ted Leonsis? He’s hip enough to have his own blog and talk to sports bloggers but he isn’t a household name. Marc Cuban would raise the ante tremendously. Hockey needs an owner like Cuban. And whatever charity the NHL fines go to would benefit as well.

If Cuban (with Dan Marino and a NY financier) can pull off this deal, he’ll be living the dream of many a sports fan. He’s a Pittsburgh native that gets to buy his hometown team. Of course the Steelers will never be for sale but he can do with the Pirates and the Penguins. On second thought, maybe that’s not such a good idea.

[MSNBC]: Cuban, Marino teaming up to buy Penguins

Dallas Mavericks

Cuban fined $250,000

Earlier today, Cuban claimed he didn’t scream at David Stern that the NBA was rigged. Well, he must have done something because the league has fined him a quarter of a million for “several acts of misconduct.”

The NBA should come out and tell us exactly what the fine is for. If Cuban did indeed say “Your league is rigged”, we want to know. But the NBA has said it will not comment further on the issue.

Here is a timeline of Mark Cuban’s fines. They add up to $1,455,000.


[Yahoo]: Cuban fined $250,000 for Game 5 outbursts

Dallas Mavericks

Mark Cuban: NBA is NOT rigged

We can’t decide whether to love or hate Mark Cuban. He’s like the TO of owners. If he’s on your side, you love the guy for the passion and skills (or money) he brings. If he’s on any other team, you hate him for his outspokeness and the constant need to be on TV. But you have to ask yourself whether you’d want Cuban as the owner of your team, and ultimately, the answer is yes. Who else would have a blog and let you know exactly what he’s thinking about his team?

Today, Cuban responded to an article in the Miami Herald where a reporter claims that Cuban walked up to Stern following game 5 and said, “[Bleep] you! [Bleep] you! Your league is rigged!”

Didnt happen. Didnt say a word to the man. Not a single word. And that was absolutely by intention.

Apparently this “reporter” has written he has several “sources”. Well they must be the same sources the tabloids use to find two headed babys and aliens, because it didnt happen.

Ive already blogged about and been fined for the source of my displeasure in these playoffs and there was absolutely no reason for me to say another word about it and i wont.

So there you have it folks. Straight from the horse’s mouth. He did not say anything to David Stern. As a matter of fact, he thinks the games aren’t rigged.

The games are not rigged. Thats a complete insult to the players on the court and the incredible amount of effort they put into preparing for and playing the games. All 82 regular season and post season games. The NBA couldnt rig the games if it wanted to. And it doesnt want to. Its that simple.

Like any reputable casino in the world, there’s no reason for the NBA to rig their games, they make money no matter who wins. However, something in the back of our minds keeps thinking about those Lakers-Kings series in the 90s. Now those… those were…

[Miami Herald]: Official coverup? Conspiracy theories no excuse for Dallas
[Blog Maverick]: The NBA is rigged ? Please..

Dallas Mavericks

Odds and Ends for Mon May 22 2006: Cuban likes getting booed

Boo-let proof. (sorry)

You know, it must be good to be Mark Cuban. Not only does he have a huge penis, he also has so much cash that he doesn’t even mind getting booed. (Thanks Offwing Opinion.)

Im looking up there, and Im listening, and it dawned on me. Im getting booed by 18k people, how cool is that ! I didnt know these people. It didnt matter what they thought or why they were booing. It worked for the home team. It got the crowd going, it made it more fun for everyone who came to the game. Someone from the Spurs came over like it was a big deal and apologized for it. I was absolutely fine with it

May we suggest a trip to an Eagles game wearing Cowboys gear?

In other news…

[USA Today]: Danny Almonte is married to a 30 year old woman. They “have been together for years”. Isn’t there a law against that?

[SI]: Fan who caught Bonds 714th homer hates him.

[]: More team hazing… but this time it’s cool.

[WTF-TV]: Bonds says he’s chasing Oh’s 868 home run record. Is this for real? The name of the site is WTF tv.

[MSNBC]: Kicker vanishes en route to CFL team