Mavericks owner Mark Cuban likes to receive attention, and he likes to take shots at the Lakers. He got to do both on Friday, when he suggested during a radio interview that the Lakers amnesty one of the greatest players to ever play for the franchise in Kobe Bryant.
For the uninitiated, the amnesty provision was negotiated into the new collective bargaining agreement to allow teams to wipe one player’s salary from the books, either before this current season or the next.
With the Lakers’ payroll and luxury tax bill reaching astronomic proportions, Cuban sarcastically threw it out there that the easiest way for L.A. to shed payroll would be by cutting Bryant loose.
Hilarious idea — unless you’re the Lakers, who weren’t exactly laughing about Cuban’s comments. In fact, the team responded by issuing an official statement.
“We’re aware of Mark Cuban’s comments. We feel they’re inappropriate,” Lakers spokesman John Black said. “As far as the issue itself, we’re not going to comment publicly on the amnesty issue as it relates to any of our players.”
Cuban wins here, for the simple fact that he was obviously trying to get under the skin of the franchise, and the official response means that he did exactly that.
As for any action from the league in the form of a fine issued to Cuban for his remarks, there’s about as much chance of that happening as there is of the Lakers cutting ties with Bryant by amnestying him next summer.