Cuban apologizes to fans for bad officiating

DALLAS – Mark Cuban’s Dallas Mavericks have a multitude of problems and at 13-21, they can use all the help they can get. But in the opinion of the owner, the NBA’s state of officiating is just as disconcerting. So he’s asking for help there, too.

“I’m sorry, NBA fans,” Cuban tweeted almost immediately after Saturday’s Mavs loss to lowly New Orleans. “I’ve tried for 13 years to fix the officiating in this league and I have failed miserably. Any suggestions? I need help.”

This week marked Cuban’s anniversary of having purchased the franchise, a 13-year time period during which he’s often railed against the league’s officiating system. He’s famous for accusing former referee chief Ed Rush of being unworthy to be “hired at a Dairy Queen.” Along the way, Cuban has accumulated an estimated $2 million in fines for bucking the NBA system. Behind the scenes, he’s also fueled positive change in the way referees do their jobs.

In the final moments of the loss to the Hornets, Cuban’s player, Dirk Nowitzki, appeared to benefit from a pair of whistles. But the Mavs didn’t get the call when New Orleans’ Eric Gordon completed a three-point play with 4.7 seconds left in overtime as refs called a foul on Darren Collison.

The Mavs also disagreed on an odd circumstance to end regulation when O.J. Mayo was beyond the 3-point line and lining up a shot when an airborne Gordon made contact with Mayo and/or the ball, knocking the ball loose.

Instead of a foul, officials called it a kicked ball.