To date, the NBA has fined Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban more than a dozen times totaling in excess of $1.5 million. Now the league is on the verge of enacting a rule to further curb the behavior of outspoken owners.
At its meeting last week, the NBA Board of Governors passed legislation aimed at regulating the behavior of owners at games. The new rules come at least partially in response to the actions of Cuban, who, during the regular season, and at last season's NBA Finals, sat courtside, participated in team huddles and frequently berated referees.
Cuban did not attend the meeting.
NBA spokesman Tim Frank told ESPN that the final language of the legislation has not yet been worked out, but it's expected that commissioner David Stern will soon announce the policy aimed at assuring that owners refrain from entering the court, taunting players or officials, and generally maintain a level of decorum mandated by the league.
Cuban, who was fined $250,000 during the NBA Finals for what the league called "several acts of misconduct" and has repeatedly drawn the ire of Stern, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that he had no idea about the code of conduct's content. Cuban said Stern gave him no clear-cut answers as to the repercussions for owners who break the new code.
"When asked what the specifics of it were, the commissioner was unable to give any details," Cuban told the newspaper. "So I really don't know."
Cuban believes certain owners are trying to make an example out of him.
"Some owners don't like the way I do my business," Cuban told the paper, "except, of course, when their organizations ask me to come speak to their customers and season-ticket holders to help them sell tickets and suites."
Cuban has been fined by the league numerous times since he bought the Mavericks in January 2000. He was fined $200,000 last May after Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinal series against San Antonio for going onto the court and for criticizing the league's selection process for playoff officials.