OKLAHOMA CITY -- Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has returned to the team after recovering from a kidney stone that required surgery to remove.
Cuban shared the gory details with a small media gathering while sitting courtside at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. Suffice to say, he's had happier holidays.
"I don't know which was more painful, watching some of those games or the kidney stone," Cuban cracked. "They were both pretty bad."
Yep, watching the Mavs recently has been about as pleasant as passing a kidney stone. The Mavs lost five of the six games Cuban missed, with four of the losses coming by double figures.
Cuban left the team in Toronto, following the Mavs' 20-point loss to the Raptors via the internet while in excruciating pain at a local hospital. After flying home on his private plane, Cuban watched every second of the Mavs' next four games.
Cuban claims he never turned off the TV, although he admits yelling a lot, especially while the Mavs trailed the Heat by 36 and the Spurs by 46.
"It wasn't pretty," Cuban said. "Those were the games to miss."
After a brief pause, Cuban attempted to put a little positive spin on the 12-16 Mavs' situation.
"We'll be all right," Cuban said. "No one's pushing the panic button."
Cuban said a lot of folks might have figured the Mavs would be even worse off after Dirk Nowitzki needed 27 games to rehab from arthroscopic knee surgery. Now, Cuban anticipates a roster loaded with newcomers will need time to adjust to Nowitzki's being in the mix.
"It'll take us a little time to adjust to Dirk, but we've got guys who really want to win," Cuban said. "It's not like guys are quitting. We're just trying to do too much. That's been the mantra from coach all the time. We've got to just play Mavericks basketball instead of have guys try to take over games for us.
"I think having Dirk back will stabilize some of that. How long it will take to get us back in the mix, I don't know. But ... we're not happy with where we're at, but no one's pushing any panic buttons."