Mark Cuban,  Brian Forte

NBA now sending teams blown call reports on referees


It can feel like every fifth word out of new NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s mouth is “transparency.”

However, he is not just talk. He is walking the walk.

Mark Cuban has been pushing for the league to provide more transparency to teams on officials since he bought the Mavericks in 2000 and now he’s getting it — bi-weekly reports on blown calls. That’s what Cuban told Howard Beck of Bleacher Report.

“I think he’s taken some great steps on the officiating,” Cuban said. “There’s been more changes in 15 days, or whatever it is, than I saw in 14 years.”

Cuban then divulged the most significant of those changes: The league is now sending its teams regular reports on blown calls by the referees. It’s one of the first steps in Silver’s push for greater transparency….

“So I like what he’s doing there,” Cuban said.

Beck notes these reports are not new — the NBA tracks and grades its referees (and yes, even fines them at times) — but they had been in the hands of a few at the league office before and that was it. Now teams are getting those reports in their inbox. How, or even if, that changes officiating around the league remains to be seen.

The big difference between Silver and David Stern is not broad picture concepts but rather style — Silver is more of a consensus builder, a believer in the free flow of information and ideas. Stern was much more the dictator, and like all dictators he wanted to control the flow of information.

That doesn’t mean sweeping changes in the product or even how things are done, but it does mean more discussion about changes. That’s a good thing.

James Harden: “I am the best player in the league. I believe that.”

James Harden, Stephen Curry
1 Comment

James Harden was the MVP last season — if you ask his fellow NBA players.

The traditional award (based on a media vote) went to Stephen Curry (in the closest vote in four years), and that was the right call (in my mind). But from the time it happened Harden did not buy it. And he still doesn’t buy it. In the least — and he’s using that as fuel for this season. That’s what he told Fran Blinebury over at

“I am the best player in the league. I believe that,” he said. “I thought I was last year, too.”

Well, it’s a more realistic claim than Paul George’s.

“But that award means most valuable to your team. We finished second in the West, which nobody thought we were going to do at the beginning of the year even when everybody was healthy. We were near the top in having the most injuries. We won our division in a division where every single team made the playoffs.

“There’s so many factors. I led the league in total points scored, minutes played. Like I said, I’m not taking anything away from Steph, but I felt I deserved the Most Valuable Player. That stays with me.”

That’s very Kobe Bryant of you to turn that into fuel. Defining the MVP Award is an annual discussion that nobody agrees on.

I could get into how Harden was the old-school, traditional stats MVP, how that ignores how Steve Kerr used Curry, and how that opened up the Warriors’ offense to championship levels. Curry put up numbers, but he was also the distraction, the bright star that Kerr used to open up looks for Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and others. Curry’s strength was not just what he did with the ball in his hands, but his gravity to draw defenders even when he didn’t. Did the Warriors stay healthier than the Rockets? No doubt. Should Curry be penalized for that?

It’s simple for Harden — if he can put up those numbers again, if he can be the fulcrum of a top offense, he will be in the discussion for MVP again. And, if he can lead the Rockets beyond the conference finals, nobody will talk about that MVP snub anyway.