Mavericks owner Mark Cuban faces a hefty fine after his tirade against NBA officiating following Saturday’s loss in Atlanta. Cuban expressed his anger in a series of tweets immediately after the game, then added more criticism while talking with reporters in the locker room, writes Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News.
Cuban was irate over a reversed goaltending call in the closing seconds where the Hawks still wound up with two points. A layup attempt by Trae Young was swatted away by Dorian Finney-Smith. John Collins scored on a putback, but goaltending was called on the original shot. When a replay showed the block was clean, referees allowed Collins’ shot, saying he was in a shooting motion before the whistle blew.
“One of the refs told one of the players it was an inadvertent whistle that came after the putback – but everybody who was watching it said it came before the putback,” Cuban said. “That’s neither here nor there because if it’s a goaltend and then it’s an inadvertent whistle, you stop play. But then they went and reviewed it. And they reviewed it for a goaltend. So either you can’t review it because it’s an inadvertent whistle, or you review it and it’s a goaltend, the play stops right there, unless there’s something I don’t know, and that’s always possible, but I’ve never seen anything like that.”
After talking about that specific play, Cuban turned his attention to the overall state of officiating in the NBA, which he says has “gotten progressively worse.” He blames the decline on a lack of proper training as well as the league’s hiring practices, which he claims have resulted in the people in charge hiring their friends.
“Because we’ve had such poor training, when some of the older refs retired, the ones that come and take their place are not ready,” Cuban said. “And why are they not ready? Because we had one guy running all the G League training, George Tolliver, I think that’s who it is. One guy running all the G League training and very little support. So by the time they get here, if they’re not good enough already, you ain’t all of a sudden going to make them better. And I’ve said that to the league a dozen times.”
Cuban wants to see referees spend more time in G League to get them ready for the NBA. He said the situation may be worse than it was in 2002, when he was fined $500K for claiming that director of officiating Ed Rush wasn’t qualified to run a Dairy Queen.
“It would be one thing if we were making positive progress. But we’re not,” Cuban said. “Out of the 70 refs, give or take, I think I counted 17 that have five years or less experience. That’s a lot. And you can’t expect new refs to be any good. And that’s because we do such a horrific job of training in the G League. Not a poor job. Not a marginal job. We apply literally no resources. The Joey Crawfords and Bennette Salvatores, I’m so glad I can call those guys out, because they’re awful at their jobs.”