Mark Cuban calls Dwight Howard’s judgment childish

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Billionaires usually get their way.

That’s why they’re billionaires. Those who didn’t get their way never amassed such a large fortune.

Then, once they reached that status, they have the means to continue getting their way.

The best NBA example is Dan Gilbert’s infamous letter when LeBron James left Cleveland. That was whiny and shameful, and Gilbert should regret sending it. (As of last check, he doesn’t.) Gilbert didn’t get his way, so he threw a tantrum and blamed others.

The latest example: Mark Cuban didn’t get what he wanted – Dwight Howard – so now the Mavericks owner is acting childish.

Cuban, via Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News:

“Obviously, he made a mistake in judgment,” Cuban said with a laugh when asked if he could blame the 6-11 center for choosing young James Harden and the Rockets over older Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks. “Do I blame him? No, that’s what young kids do. They make mistakes in judgment.”

So he doesn’t have any ill feelings?

“None,” Cuban said. “Not even a little bit, because I think we came out pretty good. If we were stuck, then maybe. But like I say about every other team, I hope they suck. I say that every year. It’s nothing personal. I still like Dwight as a person. But I still want the Rockets, like every other team, to have a horrible season. It’s nothing personal. I just want them to suck.”

The irony is so rich – how rich is it? – it would whine incessantly if it didn’t get its way.

Most of what Cuban says is forgettable talk from an admittedly sore loser. But comparing Howard’s judgment to that of a child, even if said somewhat in jest, crosses a line.

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Howard brings a lot of the derision upon himself, and he can be immature. But he’s still a grown man who handled his free agency, once he finally got to that point after the true Dwightmare, as well as possible. He heard from interested teams and then made a decision.

Unless Cuban and Howard are closer friends than I think – and Howard passing on the Mavericks suggests they’re not the very best of buds – Howard doesn’t deserve that type of public swipe from someone like Cuban.

Watch Kawhi Leonard chop boards ‘karate styyyle’ (video)

AP Photo/Eric Gay
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Kawhi Leonard, enabled by the Spurs’ no-nonsense culture, is probably the NBA’s most boring superstar.

He’s widely recognized as the league’s best defender, and he has worked himself into an elite offensive threat. He has already won a Finals MVP, and regular-season MVP could eventually be in the cards.

But Leonard is notoriously reserved. For someone who has been on this stage for so long, we know little about him.

Except we now know he apparently likes karate.

Leonard:

Gonna chop y’all up. Look at all of us. Karate styyyle.

If “karate styyyle” doesn’t become Leonard’s catchphrase, I don’t even know what we’re doing.

Leonard will finally have the chance to chop up an NBA opponent tonight, when he makes his return from injury.

Michael C. Wright of ESPN:

Kevin Durant brings fan to tears with autographed shoes (video)

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Kevin Durant has become a villain to many.

Clearly not to this Warriors fan, though.

Carmelo Anthony leaves without speaking to media, will probably get fined

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Lately, Carmelo Anthony has parsed whether the Thunder are frustrated or angry and said he’s going through the roughest stretch of his career.

It didn’t get any better last night.

Anthony scored 11 points on 12 shots with three turnovers, and Oklahoma City got outscored by 21 points with him on the floor in a home loss to the Hornets. The Thunder have now lost two of three, falling to the lowly Nets and Hornets and needing overtime to beat the freefalling Grizzlies.

Royce Young of ESPN:

Anthony today:

I’m sorry. My bad. I had a FaceTime session with my son, so I skipped out on you guys yesterday. I apologize. It’s true, though. That’s true. It’s true. He had a school night.

The NBA’s media-access rules state: “All players must be available to the media for a minimum of five to 10 minutes during the postgame media access period.” It’s been a while since someone got punished for violating the policy, but Kevin Garnett was fined $25,000 for not speaking to the media after Game 7 of the 2012 Eastern Conference finals.

I’m sympathetic to Anthony wanting to speak to his son, who’s still in New York. But the league tends not to take these personal concerns into consideration, which is probably for the best. There’s a rule. Anthony violated it. Assessing which personal calls should supersede the rule is a can of worms not worth opening. Besides, Anthony probably could have returned to the locker room for an interview after concluding the call.

Anthony earns a lot of money. If he wanted to risk a $25,000 fine to speak with his son, I have absolutely no problem with that. But that’s probably the choice he made.

In my experience, Anthony has been forthright with the media. He spent years as the face of the Knicks, dutifully answering for problems created by James Dolan and Phil Jackson. Because he was available nearly daily while his superiors avoided interviews, Anthony was the grilled by the New York media.

I bet he expected a reprieve in Oklahoma City. Instead, the spotlight has shined on him as a problem with the underwhelming Thunder.

It’s understandable he’d rather talk to his son than reporters. But it’s also understandable the NBA wants to promote its business through the media, and the league has power to enforce its rules.

Grizzlies fan absolutely owns kids halftime scrimmage (video)

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The Grizzlies lost for the 15th time in their last 16 games, a 25-point drubbing at home against the Heat, last night.

But it wasn’t all doom and gloom in Memphis.

This young fan – while playing in the halftime scrimmage – stopped his dribble, stepped on the ball, whipped off his youth jersey to reveal a Marc Gasol jersey, flexed, re-started his dribbled then drove for a basket.

Matt Ellentuck of SB Nation:

The Grizzlies don’t deserve this hero.