With Mavs thriving, Mark Cuban watches mouth

LOS ANGELES – It’s almost as shocking as the Dallas Mavericks seizing a 2-0 series lead against the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center.

Mark Cuban, the Mavericks’ often loud-mouthed owner, came and left L.A. without uttering a single juicy quote.

It wasn’t for a lack of effort on the media’s part. Hordes of reporters surrounded Cuban courtside before both games, firing question after question. Cuban, who has verbally sparred with Lakers coach Phil Jackson and small forward Ron Artest in the recent past, continuously avoided any inquiry that had even a hint of controversy.

“Both teams played hard,” Cuban said with a smirk several times, borrowing the creative version of no comment that Rasheed Wallace famously used during a 2003 Portland-Dallas playoff series.

Cuban acknowledges that he is intentionally avoiding saying anything that would end up in the headlines. He doesn’t want to stir it up with the Mavericks performing the best they have in the playoffs since their 2006 Finals run.

“You’ve got to pick your spots,” Cuban said. “There’s ways to make the media work for you. You’ve got to be strategic about it.”

Part of Cuban’s media strategy after the Mavs’ convincing Game 2 win was to politely decline interview requests.

“Gotta get two more wins,” Cuban said. “Gotta get two more wins.”