NBA retaliates with $10,000 fine

NEW YORK -- Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was fined
$10,000 by the NBA on Wednesday for inappropriate public comments
after a loss to the San Antonio Spurs on March 5.

In the game, Mavericks forward Michael Finley was ejected for
elbowing Bruce Bowen. But television replays showed both throwing
elbows, and Bowen said after the game they bumped each other.

The Spurs won 113-100, and Cuban said in published reports that
he asked one of his players, Josh Howard, to retaliate against Bowen.

"I told one of our guys when you get up close, slap the ball
right into his face and I'll pay the fine," Cuban said. "That's
just not right. Different refs have different characteristics in
how they call games and that was par for the course."

Cuban reacted to the fine Wednesday on the Web site, www.blogmaverick.com.

"The NBA feels that if they fine you, the reason you were upset and spoke out will go away and and everyone will forget that it's a problem," Cuban wrote. "Unfortunately, they are right. The NBA is a haven for short attention span theater fans.

"Back to my fine... The league felt that given the coverage of the discussion (they were quick to point out how many articles had been written about it) and the climate in the media following the craziness surrounding the Todd Bertuzzi-Steve Moore [NHL] incident, that they needed to send a message. I can understand that. No problem."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.