Mavs’ Cuban, Rockets’ Morey argue over Hoops-Nerd Throne

DALLAS — It is a friendly feud that will have zero significance when the Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets actually play. But Mavs owner Mark Cuban and Rockets general manager Daryl Morey are intensifying their battle over the Hoops Nerd Throne, each staking claim to franchise superiority while also engaging in name-calling.

Morey calls Cuban a "bully.”

Cuban responds by comparing Morey’s communication-skill ignorance to that of Donald Trump.

And so it’s on, with the San Antonio Spurs the best team in Texas (and in the NBA) and these fellows engaging in a slide-rule-measuring contest.

"If you want to win, you’re going to join our organization," Morey told Yahoo! 

Responded Cuban, referring to Morey’s ring-less reign:  "I’m not sure how he would know that.”

Cuban has been landing body blows at the Rockets since stealing Chandler Parsons away from them this summer. This is the first time that Morey has publicly swung back, though Cuban says the bitterness actually began a year ago with Dwight Howard’s decision to go to Houston instead of Dallas in free agency, and then Morey’s ensuing text to Cuban inquiring about Dirk Nowitzki’s availability in a trade.

Cuban took that as a taunt and has been relentless ever since.

Morey this week talked about how the Rockets "develop” players, accused Cuban of just now finding "chemistry religion” and said Cuban speaks from a "bully pulpit.”

"I am a bully," Cuban smiled, adding, "The only reason I’m even responding is because I respect and like Daryl, who’s smart. He’s got some Donald Trump in him where he doesn’t really understand media all that well, but he’s a smart guy and one of the smartest general managers in the league. So we can have some fun going back and forth." 

Cuban and Morey are friendly in "civilian life” and are both NBA innovators when it comes to analytics and the intellectual side of the game. But on the feud rages, and it’ll bleed into an actual game when the Rockets visit Dallas on Oct. 7 to open the preseason.

What does any of this have to do with real basketball? 

Nothing, as exemplified by Dirk Nowitzki’s thoughts on the battle.

"I’m going to try to stay out of that,” he said.