SBD/Issue 167/Franchises

Franchise Notes

Media Weighs In On Cuban's Actions
During Nuggets-Mavericks Playoff Series
In N.Y., Mike Lupica wrote of Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban's actions during the Nuggets-Mavericks Western Conference Semifinal playoff series, "Cuban is rich and thinks that money means he can say anything he wants to anybody. So he did. Then he thought apologizing in a blog was enough." Cuban is "no thug for doing that, just an idiot," and NBA Commissioner David Stern "thinks that Cuban making a phone call is enough, upon further review." But how would Stern "have reacted if one of his basketball players had confronted an owner's mother?" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 5/17). Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan said, "If there was such a thing as ‘conduct unbecoming an owner,’ David Stern would bar him from his own building for at least 30 games" ("The Sports Reporters," ESPN, 5/17).

ZEROING IN ON A CANDIDATE: In Minneapolis, Jerry Zgoda reported the T'Wolves appear to have "focused on hiring" Trail Blazers Assistant GM Tom Penn to lead the team's basketball operations after former Heat GM Randy Pfund withdrew from consideration on Friday. Penn is the "last known candidate interviewed" by T'Wolves Owner Glen Taylor and CEO Rob Moor (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 5/16).

COSTLY TURNOVER: In California, Carl Steward wrote the Warriors "don't deserve" outgoing Exec VP/Basketball Operations Chris Mullin, whose contract was not renewed. Mullin "gave the franchise a level of respectability and admiration it hadn't had since" Owner Chris Cohan bought the team in '95. Steward also characterized new GM Larry Riley as coach Don Nelson and President Robert Rowell's "puppet" (CONTRA COSTA TIMES, 5/16).

LOSING THEIR BITE? About 2,400 Sharks fans attended the annual state of the team meeting last Thursday at HP Pavilion, and it was "far from a hostile crowd." About half gave coach Todd McLellan and four players a "standing ovation." However, there were "plenty of fans who remained seated with their arms folded across their chest, silently showing their frustrations" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 5/15).

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