Cuban should've known better

Updated: May 13, 2009, 4:29 PM ET
By Scoop Jackson | Page 2

An open letter to Mark Cuban:

You are a smart dude. Getting an award instead of going back to Denver for Game 5. Very smart move.

But apologizing via the Internet? Life rule No. 5,080: Never use a blog to do a man's job.

[+] EnlargeLydia Moore
AP Photo/Matt SlocumThere's no reason Kenyon Martin's mother, Lydia Moore, should have to endure a Mark Cuban taunt.

See, I think you've put yourself in a situation that is deeper than even you might want to believe. Because on the surface, I don't think you get it. This is one of those face-to-face things. One in which "the only thing between us is air and opportunity" definitely applies.

In order for you to live up to your new nickname, Slumdog Billionaire, there's a couple things you need to know about manhood and mothers: You can't say anything to someone's mother unless you know her, and you definitely can't say anything about her children that is a reflection of how they raised them.

Men are extremely protective when it comes to their mothers. When disrespect is involved, our reactions are unfriendly at best.

Man, you'd have been better off playing the dozens. You know, snappin' … Your mother is so big, when she sits on a park bench it looks like she's levitating, or your momma's so skinny, her pajamas only have one pinstripe.

Instead, you got caught up in a verbal fiasco and became one of the crowd. Apparently, you heard people around you calling the Nuggets "thugs" and decided to tell Kenyon Martin's mother, Lydia Moore, "That includes your son."

Or did you just tell her, "Your son is a punk," as Martin's agent, Bryan Dyke, insists?

Either way, you crossed the line on this one, homey.

You decided the best way to handle this was by simply saying "I was wrong" on your blog? You offered an invitation to your suite for Game 6 in Dallas (if there is a Game 6) as a sign of contrition? That was a cop out. I thought you were much smarter and more stand-up than that.

Now Cube -- can I call you Cube? -- when you had the chance to straighten everything out, clear the air and make amends face-to-face, man to mom, you didn't. You apparently didn't make any sincere attempt before the game to meet with Martin or Moore to privately apologize. Mark, you're an owner of a professional sports team. At some point between Games 3 and 4, it had to click with you that even though your behavior was beyond unprofessional, there still was a way to rectify it. You could've called Moore to say "I'm sorry" or approached Martin before the game to say "my bad."

Instead, now you still have a 6-foot-9, 240-pound man with a temper who is justifiably mad at you -- one who cryptically said, "I'm going to take care of it. I'm not going to do the whole media thing, back and forth. That's his thing. I'm more of a face-to-face type of dude."

When it comes to their mothers being insulted, most men snap -- and I'm not talking about signifying. It's in our DNA. It's how we were conditioned. It's how our mothers raised us.

As a sorta friend I just thought I'd let you in on what you got yourself into, just in case you really didn't understand.

You're too smart to not understand what I'm trying to tell you, Cube. Don't let that Indiana University business degree and all of your entrepreneurial brilliance get in the way of getting an education. Because I'd hate for you to learn what really happens to someone when something like this goes down outside the sports world.

See, you can do a lot of things to a man. For the most part, our tolerance level is high. But the one thing you can never do, under any circumstances, is talk about or say something disrespectful to one of our mothers.

Of the 5,080 rules in life, that's No. 1.

Just so you know.

Stay thirsty, my friend,

Scoop Jackson is a columnist for

Scoop Jackson | email

ESPN Senior Writer