Mark Cuban questions officiating

DALLAS -- With his team eight games under .500 for the first time since his first few months as the Dallas Mavericks' owner, Mark Cuban is firing away at one of his favorite targets: NBA officials.

"Im sorry NBA fans. Ive tried for 13 yrs to fix the officiating in this league and I have failed miserably. Any Suggestions ? I need help," Cuban tweeted after the Mavs' 99-96 overtime loss Saturday night to the New Orleans Hornets, the team with the worst record in the Western Conference.

After Vince Carter's 3-point attempt at the buzzer bounced off the rim and to the hardwood, Cuban marched to midcourt and engaged in an animated discussion with referee Bill Kennedy.

Via email, Cuban declined to specify why he was upset with the officiating after the Mavs' eighth loss in nine games or otherwise elaborate on the incident.

However, prior to the game, Cuban complained about the officiating late in regulation of the Mavs' overtime loss to the Miami Heat on Wednesday, a game he watched from his vacation home in the Cayman Islands.

"They were lucky I wasn't there," Cuban said while doing his normal pregame stairstepper routine Saturday night.

Cuban was particularly perturbed about an out-of-bounds call that went the Heat's way despite replays appearing to show the ball go off of Miami's Dwyane Wade. The officials are supposed to use replay to review such situations in the final two minutes if there is any uncertainty, but the crew of James Capers, Mark Ayotte and Eric Lewis didn't take a second look at the play.

"Let's just say I thought there was a misapplication of the rules when they didn't review the out of bounds with 1:45 to go," Cuban said. "At least from the replay on TV, it looked like Wade hit it.

"I would have thrown the challenge flag on that one."

Mavs coach Rick Carlisle has mentioned that a couple of debatable calls went against the Mavs down the stretch. (There was a lot of contact between Wade and Dirk Nowitzki on a steal that led to a Miami breakaway basket.) Carlisle declined to elaborate after the game in Miami, saying he wasn't in the "money-spending mood."

Cuban, whose fine totals from the NBA office have reached seven figures during his 13-year ownership tenure, expressed frustration that the NBA hasn't been responsive to behind-the-scenes complaints this season.

"I will tell you this: We used to turn plays in all the time," said Cuban, who did complain to the NBA office about the out-of-bounds play. "We don't do it anymore. I just turned it in because I was mad, but it's just not worth the time. You know the definition of insanity."

Miami's AmericanAirlines Arena was the scene of Cuban's most infamous referee-related tirade. He got fined a personal-high of $250,000 after Dallas' controversial Game 5 loss in the 2006 NBA Finals, when he stormed the floor to scream at the officials and made critical postgame comments after Wade shot 25 free throws in Miami's one-point win, matching the Mavs' total.

Cuban said he seriously considered selling the franchise after the Mavs lost that series.

"We put out feelers, but it was going to cost me too much money," Cuban said. "I was really questioning some of the integrity, but I got past it. That was a long time ago, so we'll let it go."