Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is facing a $500,000 fine by the NBA for "public criticism and detrimental conduct regarding NBA officiating," following comments he made after a game on Feb. 22.
After the game, Cuban questioned how a put-back basket was counted when officials had blown the play dead while making a goaltending call.
With about 10 seconds left in the game, Hawks guard Trae Young drove in and put up a layup that was blocked by Mavs forward Dorian Finney-Smith. Finney-Smith was whistled for goaltending -- and a half-second later Atlanta's John Collins grabbed the rebound off the rim and sank a put-back shot that not many gave much thought too since the refs had blown the whistle.
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The goaltending call was ultimately reviewed and overturned -- and then officials awarded the Hawks Collins' bucket with just 8.4 seconds left to play in the game. At the time, the league said the whistle was ruled "inadvertent" since the goaltending call was overturned … and therefore the bucket was good.
Seconds later, the final score read Hawks 111, Mavs 107.
Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle and owner Cuban said that instead of awarding Atlanta points there should have been a jump ball since the players stopped playing once they heard the whistle.
The next day, the Mavericks filed a protest with league commissioner Adam Silver's office, citing a "misapplication of the rules."
The team learned Friday that the protest was rejected and that the final nine seconds of the game will not be replayed.
The league said Cuban was fined because after the game he walked onto the court and talked to officials where he could be seen shaking his head. They added that afterward Cuban, "spoke to reporters in the arena and tweeted several times that night and into the next day with comments that were highly critical, personal and demeaning to the league and its officiating staff."
Silver said team executives must be held to a higher standard and that "demeaning league employees also creates an intimidating workplace environment."
The NBA added Friday, "Silver determined there was no misapplication of the playing rules. The Replay Center Official correctly understood the rules to require that Collins’ basket count if he was in the act of shooting when the goaltending call was made."
Over the years, Cuban has been fined more than $3 million by the league for what they consider to be conduct detrimental to the league.
The team told NBC 5 Friday that neither they, nor Cuban, had a formal response to the fine.
The tweets the league found offending are below.