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Mikhail Prokhorov Takes Shot at Mark Cuban While Complimenting Mavs

Since Mikhail Prokhorov has taken over as owner of the New Jersey Nets, he and Mavs owner Mark Cuban seem to have developed somewhat of a love-hate relationship.  The two teams aren’t rivals or anything, so the banter between them cannot be taken for much more than friendly word play.  In any event, the dynamic between them is entertaining.

Just a few short months after Prokhorov took the reins in New Jersey, Cuban was already criticizing the way he runs the team.  One of Cuban’s main issues with Mikhail’s style is that he rarely shows up to games.  As we told you before, the Nets seemed to play better in their owner’s presence, so Cuban may have been onto something.

Cuban remained unusually quiet throughout the entire postseason as he watched his Mavs go on to upset the Miami Heat and win the franchise’s first ever NBA Championship.  Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki voiced his opinion about Marky Mark staying out of the spotlight during the run a few weeks back, and Prokhorov alluded to it as well on Thursday when he congratulated Cuban with a note.  Here is what the letter said courtesy of Nets Daily via SB Nation:

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How the Dallas Mavericks Mounted the World and Became 2011 Champs

It’s over now, the journey that led the Mavericks through heartbreak and frustration and, finally, redemption. They won the title Sunday. They beat the Heat and bathed in champagne, 250 bottles worth apparently.

After 13 seasons, Dirk Nowitzki and Mark Cuban finally became champions. They made their mark. They partied with Lil Wayne.

Dallas was the unexpected contender. Few expected them to get out of the first round, much less win it all. They kept coming, though. Kept coming like a tidal wave, Hurricane Dirk crashing on the shores of Portland, Los Angeles, Oklahoma City and Miami. Hurricanes Terry and Barea crashing intermittently behind. Rick Carlisle orchestrating the whole thing like Poseidon, a crafty, Grinch-looking sea wizard.

The Mavs were resolute. They didn’t complain when they lost, didn’t brag when they won. They were a team of destiny. They defied setbacks and challenges, including Dirk’s illness and the injury to Brendan Haywood. Like Khal Drogo they aimed to mount the world, and they did. Few of them did it beside a woman as hot as Daenerys, though. And by few I mean J.J. Barea. Lucky jerk.

Ultimately, the Mavs stunned LeBron James and Dwyane Wade and won their first title in franchise history.

How did they pull it off?  Here were three keys to Dallas’ 2011 Finals victory:

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Mark Cuban Pees with Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy in Hand (Picture)

I know Dirk Nowitzki and many Dallas Mavericks players worked their entire life to become NBA champions, but I’m not sure if anyone is enjoying the team’s title more than owner Mark Cuban. Not only did Cuban rent out Club LIV for his team to celebrate Sunday night and spend $110,000 doing it, but he’s taking that Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy with him everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Check out this awesome picture Busted Coverage uncovered of Mark Cuban peeing with the trophy in hand:

If you had won the NBA title, would you take the trophy into the urinal with you? Probably so. Can’t blame the guy, can we?

Mark Cuban Drops $110,000 Celebrating Win Including $20,000 Tip

What is more insane: dropping $110,000 during a postgame celebration or working as a waiter and getting a $20,000 tip?  We don’t mean to beat the concept of the Dallas Mavericks celebrating their championship win at Club LIV in Miami to a pulp, but the tab Mark Cuban ran up and the tip he left is worth it’s own post.

As we mentioned before, Cuban reportedly bought 250 bottles of champagne for the celebration.  According to the NY Post via Ben Maller, the final damage on the night — or should we call it a nick when you have as much money as Cuban does — was $110,000.  A $90,000 bottle of Armand de Brignac that the Mavs owner purchased for Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry, Brian Cardinal, and Shawn Marion made up the largest chunk of the bill.

I know the wait staff in a place like Club LIV is used to high rollers, but imagine scoring a $20,000 tip in one night?  I don’t care who you are, that is a chunk of change that can be put to good use — even if they had to split it 10 ways.  We all know Cuban has an endless amount of money, so what better time to spend it.  What I’m really wondering is if a $110,000 celebration doesn’t qualify as something special other than championship rings, what will?  People may be annoyed by Cuban and think it’s dumb that he’s trying to be unique, but you have to be curious about what he has up his sleeve.

Mark Cuban: Championship Rings Are Done, Time to Take it to Next Level

When fans talk about winning championships in sports, they often use the word “rings” to describe it. It’s a pretty simple reason why — players and teams get championship rings after winning titles. Rings may be an old concept, but teams keep trying to take the rings to the next level by making them bigger, more bejeweled, and more customized with commemorative events such as the ones the Lakers received last year.

No surprise, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban thinks that the rings idea is old, so he may be following his team’s nickname by doing something different for his players.

During an interview on NBA TV after his team won the NBA title (at least he didn’t cuss in this one), Cuban said “I might not get rings. Rings are old school. You’ve seen it before, there’s guys who pick up the sweats and towels and they have these big, blingy rings, and I’m like, ‘Rings are done. It’s time to take it to the next level.’”

This is the exact core of my issues with Cuban. I love the guy for being an innovator and wanting to do something original to reward his players. I can’t stand it when he opens his mouth too much and overshadows his players. If he’s going to let his players play like he did during the NBA Finals and just stay in the background and generate cool ideas like this, then I support him. The key though is to let his team win before he does his talking.

Now that we have that out of the way, got any suggestions for what Cuban should get his players? Private jets? Mini-giraffes? Their very own NBA teams? 18-wheelers like Ochocinco? I can’t wait to see what the Cubes has planned, and his outside-the-box mentality is part of what makes him so enjoyable.

Video: Mark Cuban Drops S-Bomb During ESPN Interview with Hannah Storm

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban remained silent throughout the NBA playoffs, much to the dismay of the media and fans. Earlier in the season he was happy about the struggles of the Heat, so you know he took extra joy in seeing his team beat them to win the championship. When he finally did speak up, he made a point to drop an s-bomb on live TV during an interview on ESPN. Check out this video courtesy of Ben Golliver on twitter:

“Our fans just punked the s*** out of the Miami fans,” Cuban made a point to say. He says his team’s fans were louder than the Miami fans even though it was a road game for Dallas. It’s something we noticed about the Heat fans throughout the playoffs, and something I would figure Charles Barkley would say.

Thanks to A. Liu for the tip

Dirk Nowitzki: We’re Better with Mark Cuban Keeping Quiet

Where in the world is Mark Cuban?  The outspoken owner’s Dallas Mavericks just swept the defending NBA Champion L.A. Lakers.  Dirk Nowitzki and company can no longer be labeled perennial playoff chokers, and while the Mavs have been tearing up the postseason there has been no name-calling or trash talk about other teams from Cuban.  If you ask Dirk, Dallas is better off that way.

“It should be about the players and not the owner,” Nowitzki told the Star-Telegram via Pro Basketball Talk. “We played a great series. We fought hard and battled. That was fun. I haven’t seen Mark since then, and that’s probably a good thing.”

Marky Mark has been known to make comments that result in fines from the league.  He loves to stir up trouble on Twitter, but lately we have seen nothing more than the occasional “Lets go Mavs!” or a thank you to an opposing team executive.

“He is still fired up,” Nowitzki said. “He is still such a huge fan. He is still in it with his heart. He is positive. Sometimes he yells. He picks his spots better. He is not as hands-on as he once was. He is still hands-on for an owner but not as hands-on as he used to be.”

Maybe the fact that Cuban has toned it down has helped take some pressure off the Mavs.  Perhaps this is a better Dallas team than we have seen in past years and their success in conjunction with their owner resting his jaw is a coincidence.  In any event, I’m sure Cuban, Nowitzki, and the entire Dallas area would agree that whatever the Mavs are doing is working.