Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is more than willing to give Adam Silver a chance when he takes over for David Stern and becomes the new NBA commissioner Saturday.
Cuban, who racked up nearly $2 million in fines under Stern’s tenure, believes Stern and Silver look at the league from different perspectives.
“David knows that somebody’s got to win every game and he doesn’t care who that is, and he doesn’t care whether anybody on either team cares,” Cuban said. “I think Adam’s got a little bit different nuanced opinion of it, but we’ll see.
“You’ll know if something changes. If nothing changes, then I’ll be right where I was.”
Cuban has been fighting for change for the 14-plus years that he’s owned the Mavs. His beef has mainly been with the officiating, which he says needs more transparency.
“I think the NBA is one of the professional sports where studies have shown that people honestly believe that it’s fixed,” Cuban said. “And if you can reduce the percentage of people who honestly think it’s fixed, I think more people would watch on television and that will lead to higher ratings and that leads to more money in our next TV deal.
“So I think this is a business issue, and David never looked at it that way. So we’ll see if Adam does.”
Calderon’s star shot
In Jose Calderon’s first year in the NBA, he shot a dismal 16.3 percent from 3-point range during the 2005-06 season. Now he would like to be appreciated for what he’s accomplished.
Last season Calderon led the NBA in 3-point shooting at 52 percent, and this season he’s fourth at 45.2 percent. The nine-year veteran hopes that is enough to earn him his first trip to All-Star Weekend and a spot in next month’s 3-point shooting competition.
“It could be my only chance to be at All-Star Weekend,” Calderon said. “For me it’s a great story.
“I was really bad when I got to the league with the 16 percent 3-point shooting, so to be able to be up there every year has been great for me and hopefully I’ll get the chance. I’d love to be there for sure.”
Coach Rick Carlisle also would love to see Calderon in the 3-point contest.
“He led the whole league last year, so I would think that he’d get consideration,” Carlisle said. “Plus he’s a very, very popular European player that is very well thought of in the league, so I’m sure he’ll get every consideration.”
Dirk to find out
Dirk Nowitzki will find out Thursday night if he’ll be playing next month in his 12th All-Star game.
Cuban has gone back and forth on whether he wants Nowitzki to play in the game or get some much-needed rest.
“Do I care?” Cuban asked. “I want what Dirk wants.”
Nowitzki said after not making the All-Star team last year for the first time in 12 years, earning a spot would validate the hard work he’s put in to get back among the NBA’s elite.
“I don’t feel like Dirk needs to validate anything,” Cuban said. “His play validates everything.
“If Dirk wants to go, then everybody is an idiot if they don’t vote him in, coaching-wise at this point.”
The Western Conference coaches vote to decide the seven reserves out West. Houston coach Kevin McHale said of Nowitzki’s All-Star status: “I think Dirk should be on the All-Star team.”
Asked if he voted for Nowitzki, McHale said: “That’s a secret vote, man.”
Cuban picking Broncos
Cuban is picking Denver to defeat Seattle 23-17 in Sunday’s Super Bowl. He also sees Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning being voted the game’s Most Valuable Player and getting to do that famous commercial that goes to the game’s MVP.
“I’ve got Peyton Manning and the Broncos,” Cuban said. “And instead of him saying, ‘I’m going to Disneyland,’ he says, ‘I’m going to Omaha’ — and retires.”