Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and NBA Commissioner David Stern have butted heads a lot in their careers. Cuban has specifically been a recipient of numerous fines from Stern, particularly for criticizing referees. He was fined $500,000 in January of 2002 for declaring that he wouldn’t hire NBA head of officiating to manage a Dairy Queen. He was fined $250,000 for criticizing officiating during the 2006 NBA Finals.
There are no hard feelings though.
“I love David,” Cuban said during a Tuesday interview on NBA TV. “I mean, David and I have banged heads a couple times, [but] the truth be told, David Stern made me. Nobody knew who Mark Cuban was until he started fining the hell out of me and sent me to work at Dairy Queen. So he made my job of selling tickets a lot easier.”
“David took us internationally. Even when I came in, I wasn’t a big proponent of international, and David was there. David was a big proponent of digital — the Internet — [and] I remember sitting down talking to him. Even before I bought the team [in Jan. 2000], he invited me in to talk about streaming and the Internet. I helped him set up his first Twitter account. He was always open-minded about expanding into new areas and you really have to respect that.”
“Despite the fact that we disagreed on a lot of things, we really agreed on far more. I’ll miss him. I really like David.”