Saturday , May , 20 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

The Mavs and Spurs Talk Tough

Given the teams still in the mix have the night off, it’s little surprise that news has been a little slow over the past twelve hours or so. Still, with the playoff situation being what it is, there’s more than enough to discuss before the deciding games take place. In particular, the escalating war of words between the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs has been a source of interest, with both sides launching fresh verbal darts by the minute.

Despite an approaching game seven between the west’s best teams, the media continues to focus on the hype surrounding what I’ve taken to calling “Nutgate”. Even if public interest in the fiasco dies down soon, Michael Finley’s groin will already have received as much attention as any NBA player’s since Wilt Chamberlain roamed the earth.

Mark Cuban, of course, had a lot to say about the situation, and much more besides.

Every action film’s got a villain, and Mike plays one on TV. When he was here, there were many times when he’d bait a guy into doing something so he can try to get a technical…When it’s your team, it’s a crafty veteran move, and when it’s the other team, it’s a plot. It’s not personal.

The Mavs and Spurs Talk Tough

At least Cubes is being honest about his double standard. Also reflective of his mixed attitude towards Fin were the simultaneous warm gesture and character assassination.
I like Mike. I offered him the use of my suite to put his family in there with my family.
I have a lot of respect for Michael Finley. I just don’t have respect for his acting ability.
I’m no expert, but it seems to me as if taking a shot to the family jewels is something that would be fairly difficult to fake. If Fin’s acting skills are sufficient that he could make it look as if Jason Terry had swung for his neither-regions merely by acting, he might be in the wrong profession. Mark wasn’t done with just calling M.F. an actor, though.
I love Michael Finley, but maybe the crybaby from Tim Duncan wore off on him.
Them’s fighting words, even if they are part of an “I love…but” clause. Of course, Cuban’s response on being asked if he and Mike had beef were as indicative of schizophrenia as those which preceded them.
Not on my end at all. Do I still want everybody in the arena to boo him? Yeah. And when they see him walking down the street, I hope they shake his hand.
Unsurprisingly, Findog was less than pleased with the shabby treatment he’d received from Mark Cuban and, perhaps more so, the fans of his former team.
The boos, I think, are unfortunate, especially in a place where I felt I gave my all for eight years, blood and guts on the court. I tried to be a model citizen in the community. To come back and hear the boos, it’s kind of disheartening…I’m hearing things like “Traitor”. I’m not a traitor. The Mavs got rid of me.
I can see why he’s disappointed with the people who once chanted his name for the right reasons, but I have to admit that I’d do much the same if I were a Dallas fan. My mother could be hired as an assistant coach for the Spurs, but if the Mavericks were my team, I’d be yelling abuse from the cheap seats with the rest of them. Personal is personal, but being a fan is strictly business.
Still, Greg Popovich had Finley’s back even if his former peoples didn’t.
I’m thrilled for Michael…He’s such a class act, no matter what the circumstances or what’s going on in the game. He’s been one of our leaders. He comes in a tough situation for him and in a place where he was a leader for so long, without malice. He comes in and competes with class. I couldn’t be more proud of him.
Fine words from a fine coach there, but Pop got gully when made aware of the following comment from, you guessed it, Mark Cuban.
There’s not going to be one fan in here that doesn’t believe that we can kick their butt all the way back to that ugly-ass, muddy-watered thing they call a “River Walk”.
Coach Greg’s comeback was one which is bound to make my “Year in Quotes” article this summer.
You want me to react and say something mean about Mr. Cuban’s highly intelligent, incisive comments? After one margarita, I don’t know what’s in the river. Maybe he should come down and have one and he could look at life a little more maturely.

It shows you just how hardcore Popovich is that he could admit to being a margarita-drinking lightweight and still come off gangsta. Typically, Tim Duncan played it smooth when asked if he had a spot on the River Walk to recommend to Cuban.
I have nothing to say to Mark Cuban. Not a thing.

What’s cooler than being cool? A pissed-off Tim Duncan. Let’s just hope that some of this spills onto the court and helps to turn a great game into a classic. I’m not asking to see a fight, but I am hoping for a battle.