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Lamar Odom says he would apologize to Mark Cuban, feels no guilt for bad season

Lamar Odom spent last season with the Dallas Mavericks and had the worst season of his career. When the Mavericks acquired the 12-year veteran, they thought they would be getting the same type of versatile role player the Los Angeles Lakers had during the seven previous years. That did not happen, and Odom’s only season in Dallas ended with the team paying him to not be on the roster.

As you might expect, Mark Cuban was not happy. On Tuesday, Odom told ESPNDallas.com that he would apologize to Cuban for the way things went if he had a conversation with the Dallas owner. However, he also stressed the fact that he doesn’t feel guilt over it.

“Guilty? No, no, no,” Odom said. “It happens. I was telling one of my friends, right, that you got some people, they meet and they can be married for 40 years and after 40 years they get a divorce. They could have been high school sweethearts. Then you got people that meet one night, have a glass of wine with each other and they talk and then they’re married for 100 years.

“This is a relationship-built business. Sometimes people just see things differently.”

Cuban and Odom saw things a lot differently, as evidenced by the reported halftime confrontation they had when Lamar’s career in Dallas was nearing its end. When asked what he would want to apologize for, Odom said that is between him and Cuban. He added that Cuban might also want to apologize, but I wouldn’t be so sure about that.

For whatever reason, it simply didn’t work out. Cuban even tried giving Odom personal pep talks, but some feel that Lamar was so hurt by the Lakers trading him that he was never the same after it happened. He’s only averaging 4.1 points with the Los Angeles Clippers this season, so perhaps Odom is simply getting old. Father Time catches up to everyone.

Mark Cuban, Mavericks fans boo Derek Fisher

Derek Fisher ThunderDerek Fisher was booed in his first game back in Dallas since signing with the Oklahoma City Thunder last month.

The Associated Press says Fisher was booed by Mavs fans when he entered Sunday’s game with 1:45 left in the first quarter. Mavs fans also cheered when Fisher was called for a foul about 10 seconds later, according to the AP.

Even Mavericks owner Mark Cuban joined Mavs fans in the boos. Before the game, which OKC won 107-101, Cuban said he was going to boo Fisher.

“I’ll just boo him like hopefully everybody else,” Cuban said, via ESPN Dallas.

Cuban is still upset with Fisher for the way he handled their business dealings. Cuban says Fisher, then unemployed, repeatedly called him before the season asking for a chance to play. After an injury in November, the Mavericks owner signed the veteran point guard. But after Fisher got hurt, he asked the Mavs to release him supposedly so that he could rehab from a knee strain closer to his family. Dallas obliged in good faith, only to see Fisher later sign with the Thunder.

“It’s not so much what he did. It’s how he did it,” said Cuban before the game.

No surprise, OKC won the game. If it’s any consolation to Dallas fans, Fisher had three fouls, two points, and one assist in 12 minutes.

Photo credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Mark Cuban lends Bulls the Mavericks’ plane after mechanical issues

Mark Cuban is one of the most opinionated owners in all of sports. Let’s not sugarcoat it — he’s downright obnoxious at times. However, the Chicago Bulls would tell you that the Dallas Mavericks owner can also be incredibly generous.

On Saturday night, the Bulls were flying to Indianapolis for their Sunday game against the Pacers when they had some frightening mechanical issues with their plane.

“Apparently a compressor in engine No. 3 had some trouble, and it sounded like it exploded, but I guess it’s like a jet engine backfire, which is very loud,” Bulls radio analyst Bill Wennington told ESPN 1000′s “Waddle & Silvy Show” on Monday. “Sparks fly out of it. It happened actually right after … the captain thrusts the engines forward and it revs up and starts to go, about three seconds after that you hear a ‘Boom!’ ‘Oh, what was that, are we stopping?’ The plane keeps going down [the runway] and you’re thinking, ‘Oh no, why aren’t we stopping?’”

Fortunately, the plane’s pilots were able to safely turn around and get the team back to O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, where they were sent home and returned the next morning to use the Chicago Blackhawks’ plane to get to Indianapolis. They used their hockey compadres’ plane to get back to Chicago after a loss to the Pacers, but Cuban came to the rescue after that.

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Kobe Bryant blasts Mark Cuban over Twitter after beating Mavs

Kobe Bryant took a shot at Mark Cuban after his Los Angeles Lakers beat the Dallas Mavericks 103-99 Sunday. He sent a succinct yet powerful tweet following his 38-point performance:

Kobe BryantBryant isn’t always efficient on the court, but he sure as heck was with that tweet. Two words, one sick burn.

Bryant’s tweet came in response to Cuban saying on Friday that the new salary cap rules are so harsh that the Lakers theoretically could consider releasing Kobe via the amnesty provision. The Lakers were upset with the Mavericks owner for making the remarks, while Kobe responded that Cuban was saying that so he could slyly pick up Kobe if the guard became available.

Cuban defended his comments by saying they were just hypothetical, though he did admit that he would never do it with Dirk Nowitzki, who, as a franchise icon and champion, holds a similar value for Dallas as Kobe does for the Lakers.

Clearly the remarks stuck in Bryant’s mind and motivated him Sunday. He went off for 38 points, 12 rebounds, and 7 assists, two days after he scored 40 in a win over Portland.

Bryant was locked in for the fourth quarter. He re-entered the game with 9:06 left and made three straight tough shots. He went 5-for-5 in the fourth quarter and 3-of-4 at the line, and you could tell he wasn’t going to lose that game.

At 34 years old, Kobe is looking for anything to keep him motivated. He can thank Cuban for providing him with some fuel the past few days.

As for Cuban, well, he handled Kobe’s taunt quite well:

It’s not the first time Cuban’s mouth has gotten him in trouble, and it won’t be the last. We can thank the two of them for giving the game an added element of interest.

Lakers are not happy about Mark Cuban saying they should amnesty Kobe Bryant

On Friday, Mark Cuban raised the question of whether or not the Los Angeles Lakers could benefit from releasing Kobe Bryant through the amnesty provision next season. From a financial standpoint, it makes sense. The Lakers are looking to sign Dwight Howard to a long-term extension and are about $30 million over the luxury tax. Kobe is set to earn $30.45 million next season, and he isn’t getting any younger. That being said, he’s Kobe Bryant.

“If you look at their payroll, even if Dwight (Howard) comes back, you’ve got to ask the question: Should they amnesty Kobe?” Cuban told Ben and Skin on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM. “You just don’t know, right? It’s the same reason I wouldn’t get rid of Dirk (Nowitzki). I’ll take a hit for a season rather than get rid of Dirk. That’s just it. I’ve made that commitment to him over the years, and he’s returned that commitment. Maybe that’s selfish, but that’s just the way it is.

“So I’m just saying that hypothetically. When I say amnesty Kobe, I don’t think they’d do it, but they’ve got some choices to make. Now, they’re in a big market, but they’re still limited. The Knicks, the same thing. Boston, same thing.”

The conversation had to do with salary cap issues, so Cuban’s idea makes sense when thinking strictly in terms of dollars and cents. Despite that, the Lakers were not pleased with Cuban for making the comments.

“We’re aware of Mark Cuban’s comments and feel they are inappropriate,” Lakers spokesman John Black said in a statement, via ESPNDallas.com. “As to the issue itself, we will not comment publicly on the amnesty issue as it relates to any of our players.”

The Lakers said they will not file a formal complaint, but the league could still fine Cuban for violating its policy of talking about players in that way who are under contracts with other teams. Personally, I don’t see the big deal — especially since Cuban acknowledged he’s in a similar situation with Nowtizki but would never release him to save money against the salary cap.

“I said it hypothetically,” Cuban later added according to the Dallas Morning News. “I didn’t say they  were going to. I just used it as a hypothetical.”

Releasing Kobe would be a PR nightmare. But if the team is as committed to Dwight Howard as they recently said they are, it would make sense on some level. Will it ever happen? Absolutely not. They’d be better off finding a trade partner.

Mark Cuban has some suggestions for improving NBA Slam Dunk Contest

The NBA Slam Dunk Contest is not exactly getting better as the years go on. Despite the efforts of some of their fellow players, superstars rarely ever feel inclined to participate in the event anymore. Since convincing high-profile players to partake clearly isn’t working, Mark Cuban has some other ideas.

“Star power helps,” Cuban told the Dallas Morning News. “But I think you can add some technology to it. You add a height meter, a distance meter, just simple things, where it makes it more entertaining on TV.

“Because the tech(nology) is there to measure it in real time. And then you include that in the score. So more guys are going to try to jump from the free-throw line. More guys are going to try to get up. That will add to the excitement. ‘Who can jump the highest? Who can jump the furthest?’ And it will all be there in real time, so you can’t back away from it.”

I like it. We wrote a few years back that it is crucial for more superstars to start competing in the Dunk Contest for it to be enjoyable  but that clearly isn’t going to happen. There were a few exciting dunks over the weekend in Houston, but there were also too many misses that made the competition feel like it was dragging out. Measuring how high and far participants are jumping would certainly add a new element to the contest.

“Look, you’ve got to remember who’s there and who’s watching it,” Cuban continued. “Kids, kids, kids, kids. Not you guys (media). When you go to the All-Star game, it’s everybody taking their kids. When you go Saturday night, Friday night, it’s everybody taking their kids. They’re not nearly as critical when they go, ‘Ooh. Daddy, can we have some more popcorn? Aah. Can we get a T-shirt? That’s their level of criticism.”

Players seem to be running out of ideas and ways to be creative. Using technology like Cuban is talking about could only help.

Once again, the Cubes comes up with a good business idea.

Mark Cuban: Chris Webber is a ‘horrible analyst’

Mark Cuban Larry O Brien TrophyMark Cuban likes Chris Webber as a person, but he thinks the former NBA All-Star is “horrible” as an analyst for TNT.

Webber was in Oakland calling the Dallas Mavericks-Golden State Warriors game on Thursday. Apparently Cuban, the Mavs’ owner, didn’t like what he was hearing from C-Webb.

Cuban chimed in on a tweet sent by Haralabos Voulgaris, an expert NBA gambler, who noted that Webber was “blabbing” a lot during the telecast:

Cuban called Webber a “great guy” but “horrible analyst” who adds nothing and doesn’t do his homework before games.

We’re not sure exactly what Webber said to irritate Cuban, but we have a few ideas.

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