A few days ago, the Dallas Mavericks (36-24) lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder (15-45).
The Thunder, playing without Kevin Durant and Jeff Green, rocked the Mavs on their way to a 96-87 win. The Thunder were only up by four points at the half and then they came out and outscored the Mavs 31-to-15 in the third quarter.
Mark Cuban, the owner of the Mavericks, blamed it on a lack of effort and energy.
It’s only one game, which I keep reminding myself of but let’s just say I wasn’t happy with our preparation, execution or effort. Not only did it look like we had no idea what we were doing, but we did it without effort. The effort and energy, on both sides of the ball, by each player will decide their future with the Mavericks.
If each player can’t take the personal initiative to make every game important and play like it, I don’t see them being here next season
Looks like the NBA’s most meddlesome owner is trying the tough love approach. But since his players get chewed out for displaying the wrong on-court behavior, shouldn’t Cuban be accountable for his distracting just-off-court antics?
According to a 2006 statement, Dirk Nowitzki isn’t ready to give Cuban the green light:
Do I think it’s a bit much sometimes? Yeah. He’s got to learn how to control himself as well as the players do. We can’t lose our temper all the time on the court or off the court, and I think he’s got to learn that, too. He’s got to improve in that area and not yell at the officials the whole game. I don’t think that helps us.
We all know what Mark brings to the team, how he supports us. We live with who he is, and we love him that way. But do I think it’s good for us always? No.
But does Cuban really affect the on-court performance on his players? The man bought a majority share of the Dallas Mavericks effective January 20, 2000. Since the 2000-2001 season, the Mavericks have gone 495 and 222 — they won 69% of their games.
But why is it that Mark Cuban is generally thought of as the driving force behind the Maverick’s resurgence? Shouldn’t Don Nelson get most of the credit for establishing the Mavs as a perennial playoff squad?
After all, Dallas’ record improved as soon as Nelson was hired; it didn’t wait until Cuban showed up.
Dallas Mavericks record with Nelson on-board:
’97-’98 | 16-50 (24%) – replaces Cleamons midseason
’98-’99 | 19-31 (38%)
’99-’00 | 40-42 (49%)
’00-’01 | 53-29 (65%) – Cuban buys majority share
’01-’02 | 57-25 (70%)
’02-’03 | 60-22 (73%)
’03-’04 | 52-30 (63%)
’04-’05 | 42-22 (66%) – replaced midseason
Pre-Cuban, Don Nelson was both the head coach and the acting general manager. He was responsible for drafting Dirk Nowitzki and he also acquired Steve Nash.
If it weren’t for a 4-1 first-round playoff loss to the Sacramento Kings, escalated by growing tensions between coach and front-office, Nelson should still be the coach of the Mavericks.
Mark Cuban isn’t afraid to throw his money around. No one can deny that. The Mavericks have, unarguably, the most luxurious locker room and ancillary facilities known to the NBA. But is Cuban really that relevant?