For one of the rare times, Mark Cuban was surprisingly speechless.
When told Thursday about some of the rather scathing comments that players’ union executive director Michele Roberts said about NBA owners, the collective bargaining agreement and the way the league financially treats its players, the Dallas Mavericks’ outspoken owner decided to simply smile and take the high road.
“I just saw the note from the NBA, so that’s about all I can say on it,” Cuban said before Thursday’s lopsided win over the Philadelphia 76ers at American Airlines Center. “I just figured now is not the time to discuss it.
“I’ll wait for a right moment to be fined on comments about CBA matters. This isn’t it.”
Asked if he was running scared of Roberts, Cuban said: “Running scared of being fined. It’s always a fineable offense to discuss the CBA.
“Anything related to the CBA, which that is.”
Roberts, hired in July, told ESPN The Magazine she wants the players to have more than a 50-50 split of basketball-related income.
“Why don’t we have the owners play half the games?” Roberts asked. “There would be no money if not for the players.
“Let’s call it what it is. There. Would. Be. No. Money.”
Roberts has disdain for the NBA’s salary cap, the league’s age limit and the rookie wage scale. She even described all 30 NBA owners as expendable.
When asked if anybody has ever called him expendable, Cuban laughed and said: “Oh yeah. About five girlfriends.”
Roberts said she is disturbed by back-to-back games and that the NBA has a monopoly. Overall, the way the NBA has treated its players, Roberts said: “It’s incredibly un-American. My DNA is offended by it.”
Felton not ready
Raymond Felton won’t be activated yet because the 10-year veteran guard has not fully recovered from a high right ankle sprain.
Felton sprained the ankle Oct. 10 during a preseason game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Felton was expected to return to the active roster this week, but coach Rick Carlisle said the feisty guard isn’t ready.
“It’s just a little bit slow,” Carlisle said. “Not a setback.”
Whenever Felton is placed on the active list, he must sit out four games for an NBA suspension related to gun charges after an incident in New York in February.
“The rules state that he’s got to be healthy to begin [the suspension],” Carlisle said. “We’re not going to mess with league rules.
“Mother Nature is difficult sometimes. He’s working hard at it — just keep pointing in that direction and hopefully it’ll be soon.”