Mark Cuban supports David Stern fining the Spurs

By Royce Young | Blogger

December 2, 2012 1:58 pm ET

Cuban supports the NBA fining the Spurs. (Getty Images)
Mark Cuban is in agreement with the commissioner. Yes, this is indeed real life.
David Stern fined the San Antonio Spurs $250,000 for sending four players home prior to a national TV game against Miami, and of all people, the Mavericks' owner has come to Stern's defense. Sort of.
Cuban put it this way: He said protecting the league's network partnerships is the most important thing because those agreements are “the money train, period, end of story, no questions asked.”
“If he would have done the same thing the next night, it'd be a completely different conversation,” Cuban said. “Common sense. Recognize who pays your check.”
“Look, I respect the Spurs,” Cuban said. “Pop is the best coach in the league. I understand why he did it. I might even take the fine if it was us, but I understand why the league [fined the Spurs]. It maybe should have even been higher, because the amount at stake is enormous.”
But come on. It's not like Cuban was going to let Stern completely off the hook here. After all, he is Mark Cuban.
“It's just as stupid to put a team in their fourth game in five nights on national television,” Cuban said. “That's just as dumb. You're not going to get as good of a performance, and that's what you want to show. So I guess you can make the counter-argument that even though the Spurs did what they did. The league was just as guilty for putting them in that position, which was pretty stupid.”
So really, Cuban has probably taken the appropriate viewpoint here. Both sides were dumb, and everyone is really to blame. The Heat were coming off four days' rest while the Spurs were playing their sixth game in nine days. You can understand coach Gregg Popovich's angst here.
Cuban is no stranger to getting fined by the league; no one has piled up near the tab he has in his 13 years as an owner. And he said he might just eat that fine, too, if he thought it was for the betterment of the team. But not on national TV.
“I'm not saying I wouldn't do the same thing if coach [Rick Carlisle] came to me and said we should rest these guys, but I'd willingly pay the fine knowing what's at stake,” Cuban said. “Rest your starters for the long haul? One game earlier, one game later? Sure. Rest them when you've got our biggest customer at stake; that's a whole different animal.
“I'm not saying the Mavs would do the same thing, but I'd realize it's a fineable offense. And for me, it'd probably be 10 times as much.”