To call Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban's words for NBA commissioner David Stern surprising would be an understatement. As Stern announced his retirement, set to take effect on Feb. 1, 2014, Cuban got in touch with USA Today regarding Stern's future departure. Take it away Jeff Zillgitt:
More Cuban on Stern: "We didn't always agree but we have always respected each other. It won't be the same when he leaves."— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) October 25, 2012
Cuban is certainly spot on about one thing: he and Stern definitely didn't always agree. Cuban picked up nearly $500,000 in fines during the 2006 playoffs. After a Game 5 loss to the Miami Heat, 101-100 in the NBA Finals, Cuban stormed onto the court, flung profanities at the officials and stared down Stern as he left the floor. That cost him a cool quarter million. Earlier in the playoffs, he was nailed with $200,000 in fines for complaining about the way the league selected playoff officials and for going onto the court to protest the officiating during the conference semifinals against the San Antonio Spurs.
This season, Cuban picked up another fine for complaining about officiating, this time for $75,000. Over the years, Cuban has picked up nearly $2,000,000 in fines. While Stern has certainly made Cuban's wallet a little lighter, that doesn't mean the Mavericks owner doesn't want to honor the longest-tenured commissioner in league history in some way:
More Cuban on Stern: "I guess we will have to think of something good to name in his honor."— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) October 25, 2012
One can only imagine what Cuban could think of to name after David Stern.