May 12, 2009
Shortly before Denver’s failed bid to complete a sweep of the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference semis on Monday (ahem, late whistle) the Denver Post added a rather interesting, unsavory twist to the burgeoning rivalry. The Post’s Chris Dempsey reported that Mr. Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, had been seated in the vicinity of Nuggets power forward Kenyon Martin’s mother at Game Three. From The Post:
According to Cuban, a fan called the Nuggets “thugs” after Game 3 and he turned to Martin’s mother, Lydia Moore, and said, “That includes your son.” Martin’s agent, Brian Dyke, said Cuban told Martin’s mother “Your son is a punk.”
Your son is a punk. Classy.
Really, Mark? On the eve of Mother’s Day? It’s just an accusation at this point, but if true it represents a low point for the hyperactive billionaire owner and popular blogger.
Mr. Martin wasn’t pleased, to put it mildly. He promised to “take care of it,” among other things:
“I don’t feel I need to call his name in the media and all that, but it’s a little personal,” Martin said after the Nuggets shootaround today. “And I’m going to take care of it.”
. . .
“(Heck) yeah, don’t say nothing to my kids or my family,” Martin said. “If you got something to say, say it to me. But I’m going to take care of it. I’m not going to do the whole media thing, back and forth. That’s his thing. I’m more of a face-to-face type of dude.”
“So whenever the opportunity presents itself, then I will address it. But I got a game to go win. At some point I will, but I got a game to go win, first and foremost. So that’s my focus and concentration right now.”
You can hardly blame Martin for the strong words, he certainly believes he and his family have been affronted, although you have to wonder if the not-so-vaguely threatening remarks will draw some kind of action from the league office. You would hate to see Cuban actually getting under his skin and having a negative impact on the Nuggets’ playoff run, but suggesting you’re going to “take care of it” and are “more of a face-to-face type of dude” probably isn’t going to sit well with renowned fuddy duddy David Stern.
Martin’s play has been somewhat thuggish this postseason, but I have to say that I have no problem with it. This is playoff basketball, where aggressiveness, toughness, assertiveness and balls are to be rewarded. We have referees to make sure things don’t get out of hand and that rules transgressions are punished accordingly (even overzealously, in some cases). Let them do their job, they’ve been more than capable of taking care of it thus far. I also understand that Mr. Cuban is upset that his team hasn’t been able to display a lick of aggressiveness, toughness, assertiveness or balls. But leave the man’s mother alone. That’s out of line.
In the words of Chris Webber, “I just hope he apologizes.”
**UPDATE** And it appears that Mr. Cuban has, indeed, issued an apology to K-Mart and his mother on Blog Maverick. Of course, in true Cuban style, it doesn’t come without not one but two mentions of “when the series comes back to Dallas.” Guess he’s feeling pretty good about his team’s narrow two-point win Monday night to stave off elimination.