It’s not uncommon for Mark Cuban to scrutinize referees, but apparently NBA officials have had enough of his antics.
According to a report filed by The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the National Basketball Referees Association is of the belief that the NBA is allowing the Dallas Mavericks owner to threaten and intimidate officials in an attempt to gain a competitive advantage.
Within his report, Wojnarowski mentions NBA general counsel Lee Seham’s letter to the NBA’s president of league operations Byron Spruell, in which he insists that this is not a new issue with Cuban and that it has progressively gotten worse.
“We consider the threat to the integrity of NBA basketball presented by Mr. Cuban’s misconduct to be real and growing,” Seham wrote.
Seham’s claims were ultimately denied by the league, which prompted a more detailed response from the union’s general counsel.
“No other owner has communicated to our members with such force that he exercises control over their careers,” the council responded. “He has communicated that he played a pivotal role in the termination of Kevin Fehr, a referee who met league performance standards. He has communicated to an NBRA board member, during contract negotiations, that the referees would continue to be at-will employees. He has told a referee, during a game, that he follows that referee’s game reports.”
Cuban responded to these allegations in an e-mail to The Vertical.
“To suggest I have influence is to suggest that the NBA officials can be influenced,” Cuban told 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.”
Cuban insists that his primary gripe with officials is poor management.
“It’s not about the officials,” Cuban told The Vertical. “It’s about the situations they are put (in) by their management that make their jobs far more difficult. Managing NBA officials requires the ability to manage. Just because you were an NBA crew chief doesn’t make you a good manager of officials any more than being a good salesperson makes you a good sales manager. Until we have top notch managers managing officials, improvement will be difficult.”
Thumbnail photo via Russ Isabella/USA TODAY Sports Images