Mark Cuban And JR Smith Are New Best Frenemies

Let’s face it, there’s no owner in professional sports today like Mark Cuban. Nobody even close. The HMIC has a long, sordid, often stupid history of making a big deal out of, well, everything. But his relationship with David Stern has grown quite a bit more distant than its heyday of a few years ago; nowadays, Stern probably responds to all of Cuban’s communique with a memo like, “Well, that’s very interesting, and we’ll get right on it. Say, I noticed you still haven’t redeemed the coupon I sent you for that 7-month vacation in Siberia. Now’s as good a time as any, right? Sincerely, David. P.S. I hope a bear eats you.”

Mark Cuban Complaining
(”So if you guys see J.R., you tell him–hey! Chauncey! I’m right here! Someone please listen to me!”)

So Cuban probably needs a new outlet for attention, and sayyy, who’s that moody, heavily tattooed young man who’s menacing Dallas player Antoine Wright? Why, it’s Denver swingman J.R. Smith, and that’s an elbow he just threw! Let’s go confront him! How exciting! Indeed, during halftime of Tuesday’s Dallas-Denver tilt, Smith and Wright got into it, and Cuban responded by approaching Smith on the court and confronting him. Denver coach George Karl condemned Cuban’s as “barking” at his players, but according to Cuban’s emails with the ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, cooler heads prevailed:

In an e-mail sent to the Rocky Mountain News early Wednesday morning, Cuban talked about the circumstances surrounding the exchange.

“I do take exception with players throwing elbows that could have severely injured one of our players,” Cuban wrote. “I was very cordial in letting Mr. Smith know that I will be turning it into the league, and I expected him to be suspended for it.”

Hey, great, they kept it cordial. And it says here that Smith even sent a signed pair of shoes to the Mavs locker room for Cuban. Now that’s a nice, thoughtful gesture. Friends?

“I sent them back, saying he should sell them, if you could get anything for them, to help pay for the fine he was going to face.”


For a sower of discord such as this author, there’s something supremely entertaining about Cuban when he’s getting catty like that. Still, if he wants to present an image of sanctimony and highroadery (new word) to the RMN like he’s trying in those emails, he should probably leave the high school bitchiness to, like, the cast of The Hills.