Mark Cuban has never been one to see eye-to-eye with NBA commissioner David Stern.
But when it comes to the Mavs’ biggest rival, the San Antonio Spurs, it’s safe to assume Cuban follows the old saying, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”
Before Saturday’s game against the Detroit Pistons, Cuban let it be known that he agrees with the $250,000 fine Stern leveled against the Spurs on Friday for not giving the league, fans and Miami Heat enough notice after Spurs coach Gregg Popovich sent his top four players home before Thursday night’s game.
“My opinion is, if it wasn’t a Thursday night TV game, nothing would have happened,” Cuban said, according to The Dallas Morning News. “But the league as a whole gets all of our money from TV. And you never know what the inflection point is between your customer thinking they have a good deal and a bad deal.
“And if someone tunes in and doesn’t see the main guys playing and tunes right back out and at the end of the year, if our TV partner says, if you’d have been .002 higher, we’d have hit our marker.”
Cuban, who always has an eye on business, complementing his desire to put the best possible product on the court, understands what Popovich did . . . but he actually thinks the Spurs got off a little light when it came to the fine.
“Pop’s the best coach in the league. I understand why he did it,” Cuban said. “I might even take the fine if it was us. But I understand why the league did it. And it maybe should have been higher because the amount at stake is enormous.
“Rest your starters for the long haul? One game earlier, one game later? Sure. Rest them when you’ve got our biggest customer at stake, that’s a whole different animal. I’m not saying the Mavs would do the same thing. But I’d realize it’s a fine-able offense and for me, it’d probably be 10 times as much.”