Mavs’ Protest Denied, Cuban Fined $500K By NBA

The NBA has rejected the Mavericks‘ petition to replay the final seconds of their February 22 loss to the Hawks, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter).

According to Wojnarowski, the league has also fined Mavs owner Mark Cuban $500K for his comments criticizing officiating and for coming onto the court twice in the final seconds of that game vs. Atlanta to confront the referees.

The NBA issued a press release confirming both the protest ruling and the fine. The league explained in its statement that the substantial fine being levied against Cuban is for “his public criticism and detrimental conduct regarding NBA officiating.”

The release described Cuban’s comments as “personal and demeaning to the league and its officiating staff,” adding that demeaning NBA employees creates “an intimidating workplace environment.” The league suggested that his comments represented an effort to “influence refereeing decisions,” which created “the perception of an unfair competitive advantage and thereby undermines the integrity of the game.” The full announcement can be found right here.

As we detailed last month, the Mavs filed their protest because they believed officials misapplied rules on a play in the final minute of the game vs. the Hawks. The play in question saw Mavs forward Dorian Finney-Smith block a Trae Young layup attempt, with Atlanta big man John Collins scoring on a putback. Initially, goaltending was called on Young’s shot, but when a replay showed the block was clean, referees allowed the follow-up basket, citing an inadvertent whistle and saying Collins was in a shooting motion before the whistle blew.

In his post-game comments, Cuban blasted not only that end-of-game call, but the NBA’s entire referee development program. However, the NBA stated today that the rules were not misapplied on Collins’ basket.

“The league’s investigation included an analysis of the game footage showing that the whistle began to sound one-fifteenth of a second before Collins gained possession of the ball,” the league acknowledged in its statement. “However, it is well-established by prior NBA protest decisions that a factual determination by game officials – including replay officials – that is shown in a post-game review to be incorrect is not a misapplication of the playing rules.

“While officials strive to get every call right, games cannot be replayed when, after the fact and free from the need to make rulings in real time, a different judgment about events on the playing floor can be made. For these reasons, Commissioner Silver found that the extraordinary remedy of granting a game protest and replaying the last portion of a completed game was not warranted.”

Even before today, Cuban had reportedly been fined more than $2MM by the NBA over the years, a history that likely played a part in the size of his latest penalty. It’s actually not the most substantial single fine Cuban has faced — the league hit him with a $600K fine in 2018 for publicly admitting to tanking, as Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News tweets.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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12 thoughts on “Mavs’ Protest Denied, Cuban Fined $500K By NBA

    • HoopsR

      I’d fine them 5 bucks for every blown call and no call, and add zeros until they learn.

    • realsox

      Part of the problem is that the rules themselves are not very clear, or at least as they’ve come to be observed. Carry the ball, no infraction. Move your pivot foot, not traveling. Back your way into the basket against a defender, bam, bam, bam, no foul. The NBA has become a slugfest. Violent physical contact is the hallmark of today’s version of the game. One or more fouls could be called on virtually every play, but, of course, they are not. Add to that the epidemic of hair-splitting that video replay has introduced, and you have a game simultaneously seeking absolute play-call precision, on one hand, and allowing slip-sliding interpretation of rules on the other. No wonder Cuban gets hot.

  1. Jkolti

    Say what you will about the NBA officiating, but in this instance this seems like a bs excuse from Cuban.

    • natsfan3437

      Down the stretch
      1. They called THJ out of bounds he was not
      2. Called a foul on the best defensive player on the mavs to foul him out (it was a foul) but missed the kick ball violation before that to allow the foul to happen.
      3. They counted a basket that should not have counted.

      Officiating is a joke and the NBA is making excuses for them yet again.

      • HoopsR

        Most people believe it’s rigged, which is why I usually skip the playoffs. The ones who really win are the people betting and the ones taking the bets.

        • x%sure

          Most people would Not say it’s all rigged. You & your friends probably do but that’s your problem.

          I would say that most would say the NBA is generally free from rigging, except for those things done to boost the excitement level and build the audience… It is a business after all.

          Just because a homer’s team loses, doesn’t mean it’s all rigged.

        • andremets

          You seriously watch the regular season and then skip the playoffs because it’s rigged??? Why do even bother if you believe that?

  2. goldenmisfit

    NBA denying the appeal and defending the officials even though it was clearly obvious to anyone even non-Mavericks fans that this was a screw job? Complete shocker! It’s getting to a point you wander which is more predictable NBA or WWE?

    • x%sure

      Because the commish favors the Hawks, right.

      Forget the timeline that was gone over in detail.

      Forget the chaos that would erupt after every game that has a loser, which is all of them. Every team should play for a tie, that would fix it.

  3. x%sure

    Mark Cuban thought he found a GOTCHA moment, with tecnicalities on his side, that he could use against the big bad judge. But they wiggled out and anyway, they’re not judges or bad or that big. They’re three guys who have to declare something to be so with everyone shouting and grand poo-bahs running out on the court to confront them.

    The super-rich that wear t-shirts & jeans are no relief. Get off the court. He bought into a spectator sport, now spectate.

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