by Marcel Mutoni@marcel_mutoni

We saw a different Mark Cuban during the 2011 NBA Playoffs: he avoided the media, left the refs alone for the most part, and did not make himself the center of attention as per usual.

And it worked. His Dallas Mavericks improbably won the championship, and Cuban says it was absolutely excruciating to sit through the entire postseason.

Oh, he also nicknames the Miami Heat the “Evil Empire” (which New York Yankees fans will surely take offense to.)

From the Dallas Morning News (via Cuban’s appearance on CNN last night):

“The playoffs run 57 days,” Cuban said. “For me, it was 56 days, 23 hours and lots of minutes of pure anxiety. I really didn’t start to enjoy it until there were about 30 seconds left in the game, and it finally dawned on me that we had finally beaten the Evil Empire and all those doubts.”

“Literally, our first round against Portland, people were calling us the ‘one and done boys,’ meaning one series and we were going to be knocked out.” Cuban said that as the final seconds ticked down, he thought of his father, wife, brothers and founding Mavericks owner Donald Carter, whom Cuban designated to receive the Larry O’Brien trophy from commissioner David Stern.

“I’ll tell you the interesting thing,” Cuban added. “After Game 3 of the Miami series, our guys said, ‘They aren’t making any adjustments.We got ‘em.’ And so the confidence was through the roof.”

Cuban also touched on a number of different topics during the interview, including his background and the latest political drama.