Loss to Heat in 2006 NBA Finals still haunts Cuban

Posted Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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Owner Mark Cuban said he’s still haunted by losing to the Miami Heat in six games in the 2006 NBA Finals.

Cuban said he thinks about the setback a lot and that he doesn’t believe he’ll ever let it go.

“It’s not really about Miami,” Cuban said. “Really, it has nothing to do with Miami.”

When asked if it had anything to do with the NBA and the referees, Cuban said: “Basically. But that’s a long time ago.”

The Mavs led the Heat 2-0 in that best-of-seven series, and were ahead 89-76 with 6:33 left in Game 3. But they wound up losing that game 98-96, and losing the series in six games.

“Look, it still bothers us, 2006, the way it happened,” Cuban said. “You know how I feel about it.”

Cuban was fined $250,000 by then-NBA commissioner David Stern for his outburst following the Mavs’ 101-100 overtime loss in that series. In that game, the Heat attempted 49 free throws, and Miami guard Dwyane Wade had as many free throw attempts (25) as the entire Mavs team.

Cuban nixes rumors

Cuban downplayed media reports that the Mavericks are making trade offers to acquireMinnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love.

“I know what we’re talking about and what we’re not talking about, so you guys know me,” Cuban said prior to Tuesday’s game. “We take pride in the fact that you’ll never read about our deals before they happen.

“So if you read about them, you know what that means.”

Cuban selling ads

During All-Star Weekend in New Orleans, new NBA Commissioner Adam Silver talked about the league placing ads on the players’ jerseys.

The practice in a big hit in the European leagues and with some soccer teams, and it would generate more revenue for the NBA.

“I love it [because] it lets me charge less for tickets,” Cuban said. “I’m more of the mindset that I don’t ever try to just maximize revenue.

“I try to maximize fan participation and involvement, and so the more sources of revenues that we have that don’t come out of fans’ pockets, the less I can charge for tickets.”

Sellout mark hits 500

The Mavs reached a high-water mark Tuesday with their 500th consecutive sellout dating to Dec. 15, 2001. It’s the longest active sellout streak among the four major pro sports.

“We went from being an afterthought to being the most popular sport in the fall,” Cuban said. “I’m proud of just the connection we have with the community.”

Heat over Mavs

Miami center Greg Oden admitted Tuesday that when he signed a one-year free agent contract on Aug. 7, he had narrowed his choices to the Mavs and the Heat.

And why did he choose Miami over Dallas?

“I just thought [Miami] would be the best fit for me,” Oden said.

Oden’s career has been clouded by injuries. Before this season he had played just 82 games since he was drafted.

Dwain Price, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @dwainprice

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