One of President Donald Trump’s staunchest critics during the recent presidential race was Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
Cuban watched Trump be sworn in Friday as the nation’s 45th president. The ardent support of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, however, has his doubts whether Trump can make American great again.
“I don’t think America needs to be made great again, but sometimes it’s like talking about the Mavs,” Cuban said before Friday’s game against the Utah Jazz. “Sometimes you speak to your fan base, and sometimes you tell the truth.
“It’s like I’ve always said since the day I bought the team [on Jan. 4, 2000]. Take what I say seriously, but not literally.”
Cuban said he watched most of President Trump’s inauguration speech Friday and was fine with it.
“He’s our president and this is my country, and country first,” Cuban said. “It was a peaceful transition of power.
“I know people expect me to give him a lot of [expletive], but to me facts matter. And rather than shadow box about what he might do, I’d rather deal with what he does, because there’s some positive things and some negative things, like with any president.”
Cuban noted that the presidential race reminded him of sports.
“And then when [Trump] won, like I said before, it’s like the No. 1 draft pick,” Cuban said. “He’s the salvation.
“And so in the immortal words of [former Philadelphia 76ers general manager] Sam Hinkie, I’m going to trust the American process.”
Cuban fined $25,000
Cuban revealed Friday that the NBA fined him $25,000 for comments he made this season involving Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers.
During a Nov. 29 game against the Brooklyn Nets, Rivers was fined $15,000 for verbally abusing a game official and for not leaving the court in a timely fashion after he was ejected. Cuban said the NBA should have disciplined Ken Mauer, the lead official during that game.
“Suspended him, demote him, make him ref a game in the D-League,” Cuban said at the time.
Cuban said it’s the only time he’s been fined this season.
Curry starter kit
Coach Rick Carlisle likes the idea of starting Seth Curry in the backcourt with Deron Williams rather than of bringing Curry off the bench.
“He and Deron together is sensible because Deron is a guy that is good with the ball and Seth is a guy that’s comfortable with the ball or without the ball,” Carlisle said. “It’s been positive from that perspective.”