Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban spent much of this past campaign season trying to get inside the head of President-elect Donald Trump. Now, the NBA referees union has lodged a complaint to the league saying that Cuban is trying to do the same to their membership.
Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical obtained a number of memos between the refs union and the league, in which the officials accuse Cuban of using “threats and intimidation” to try to get games called in the Mavericks’ favor.
A letter from Lee Seham, an attorney who represents the officials, to Rick Buchanan, the NBA’s general counsel, recounts one alleged instance of intimidating behavior by Cuban.
We have received a report that at 8:42 of the second period of the Memphis/Dallas game on November 18, 2016, Mr. Cuban addressed an official by named and yelled “that was the most horrible call I’ve ever seen in my life.” At 6:09, Cuban walked onto the floor to continue his criticism and directed the official to look at the play at halftime. Then, after a personal foul called against Mavericks player Andrew Bogut at 2:22, Mr. Cuban reportedly yelled at an official: “That was three on my big man. You guys are fucking up this game!
Cuban did not deny any of the specific incidents, but he said he believed they should not have an impact on the way an official does his job.
“To suggest I have influence is to suggest that the NBA officials can be influenced,” Cuban said, in a statement to The Vertical. “If an official can be influenced by pressure from anyone, they should not be in the NBA. I don’t believe they can be influenced.”
[image via screengrab]
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