Tuesday, August 30th, 2011 at 9:00 am  |  54 responses

Mark Cuban: Mavs Beat ‘Evil Empire’ for NBA Title

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.

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  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    “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.’ Two Words: Filipino SIMPLETON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

  • Bubba Glickman

    aaahhhhh, yes!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Cheryl

    Interesting about the no adjustments thing. Not that we had much to make adjustments with, but that’s a coaching issue. When and if the season starts, Spo will be under even more scrutiny than last season.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Cheryl

    Funny, we thought the same thing, E. :)

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    What coach doesn’t make game to game adjustments in the playoffs?
    Pacquiao’s chauffeur, that’s who.

  • http://64dollacologne.tumblr.com/ cramzy

    The ONE adjustment Spo made came far too late. And by that I mean it should have been made after game 1 or 2 of the first round. Why the hell is Mike Bibby starting with averages of 4 points and 1 assist? Mario should have been in there from the jump.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    Considering Dallas lost game 3, and barely won game 4, that was probably just idle talk by Terry and co. I don’t like Spoelstra, but the blame for the finals falls on the big 3. When you are so far and ahead the best players on your team, and the leaders, it has to be on you.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    Wasn’t this the same Cubes who was trying really hard to sign up this evil Empire during the free agency summer of 2010?

  • T-Money

    To be fair, the Miami guys probably said omething similar. It’s only a fun fact whn you win. That doesn’t excuse Spo at all though. It DOES take him too much time to adjust, everybody knew Bibby wasn’t doing sh… but it took him an elimination game to sit him.


    I don’t care if Doc Rivers were coaching the Heat, the Mavs were winning the 2011 championship.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    How bout actually double-teaming Dirk on those two GW layups?
    How bout taking CB off Chandler after seeing that he couldn’t keep him off the glass?
    How bout sitting Bibby after seeing that he couldn’t make a wide open 3, all while giving you nothing on the defensive end?
    How bout playing James Jones, you know the same guy that won the 3pt contest in ASW?
    How bout speeding up the tempo?
    How bout taking a seat next to Riley because I’m sure an empty seat can do a better job coaching than you?


    Damn it feels good to be a gangsta. Sincerely, Marc Cuban



  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    Apart from one game against Boston, James Jones was almost non existent. At least Mike Miller can pass, rebound and dribble. Coaches want James Jones to shoot quick, or pass it to some one else quicker.

  • jimmer

    The adjustments thing is right, from all angles, because the two most important assets, the coach and best player, are incapable of it. Coach either didn’t have the ideas or the minerals, most likely both, and Lebron didn’t adjust, because he cant – what he does either works spectacularly or not at all, and when it doesn’t, he just stops playing – (and wades only adjustment was to become a guy who pouted and whinged.) Miami have the best pickup squad in the world, but they’ve constructed something uniquely incapable on winning it all. They are the anti ’04 pistons (or ’11 mavs!)

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    What? Miller didn’t do ish in the playoffs despite taking all of JJ minutes. He couldn’t make a shot in the RS and it continued throughout the playoffs. At least, Jones made those shots when he got the chance in the RS. Remember those shots were open shots created off the attention Wade and Bron demand, so when your designated 3pt shooter is out there missing wide open shots, he’s useless to the team.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Mark Cuban is doing nothing but gloating and throwing darts at the most hated team in Sports History. Dirk will choke next year and Dallas will be back to its old ways. Cuban needs to enjoy it now, because next year he will be the hunted and Dirk will choke, like previous 13 or so years. BOOK IT!!

  • mdshuai33

    To me the biggest indicator of Spoelstra’s failure as a coach in the finals was they way he talked to the team; he always seemed to be trying to pump his team up like it was an after-school special basketball movie and he was giving a halftime speech to a losing team. Go back and listen to the pre-game stuff he says and compare that with what Carlisle tells his guy’s pregame; and every post game all he would ever say, essentially, is “we’re better then them, we just need to play better.” Fourth quarter of game six, he says that Miami needs “mental stability to stay the course.” Really, you’re down 3-2 in the series and 12 points at the end of the 3rd quarter and that’s your biggest problem? Why not try addressing your team’s woeful inability to run actual plays in crunch-time situations?

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Yall stop blaming Spoelstra, Phil Jackson the greatest NBA coach ever, will say players win games. Lebron James choked every 4th quarter in the NBA Finals, if he could only average 4 to 8 points a 4th quarter down the stretch. Heat win Finals easily. Lebron lost the series, blame the real cat. Lebron knows it, the World knows it, except some slam cats. BOOK IT!!!

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    You think playing James Jones over Miller would have won them the title? He is worse at everything besides shooting. At most Spo should have gave him the Eddie House treatment, put him out there for a few minutes, see if he is making shots, if not take him out. You can’t stick with a guy like James Jones for extended minutes in the play-offs.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Who said anything about winning a title? All I’m saying is that MIA depends on it’s 3pt shooters to spread the floor for Bron/Wade and when those 3pt shooters aka Miller and Bibby aren’t making their shots, it’s becomes easier for the defense to clog up the lane.
    Also, everyone on the heat had a part to play for their Finals loss. Wade has to take some blame for his mediocre Gm5/6, Bosh for giving up 2 GW layups, MIA’s 3pt shooters for not doing their job, Spoelstra for failing to make adjustments and Bron for his lack of aggression and 4th qtr scoring. You can’t just sit there and place the blame on one singular player when it’s a “team” game, this is not tennis or golf.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Meh, like T-Money said, people only take this as gospel when you win the series. If the Heat never made any adjustments and the series was tied 2-2, they are pretty damn good. Now, I do agree that Carlisle won the coaching matchup, but the Heat still should have won.

  • flash

    that evil empire is about to takeover ala starwars! enjoy it while u can fools.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    The majority of the blame should fall on Bron, though. He is their best player, and he was invisible during fourth quarters.

  • tomtom

    Nice to see the usual sheep baaaah-ing on que. I never did like change. Blame it on the suits if you want, but they got all the way to the finals, beating quality teams. Spo didn’t have a horrible game in a key moment, he didn’t brick any jumpshots or miss a defensive assignment, that was the guys with the numbers on there backs and shoe deals.

  • Byron

    Maybe it’s me, but I don’t think he was calling the Heat the evil empire. It reads as if he could be talking about the NBA. The NBA as in David Stern and the system.

  • http://www.twitter.com/dfrance21 dfrance21

    ^^I agree with Byron. Never once in the article did he say the Miami Heat was the “Evil Empire.” The writer and Slam are just taking leeway with his statement. The tone I think he was taking is that the “Evil Empire” were all the doubters of his team. The people that thought Dallas would choke like in the past, the NBA who probably would have preferred the Heat win, etc. Not the Heat specifically.

    Anyway, Dallas one so I think that gives him the right to gloat a little. It doesn’t matter if Dallas doesn’t win another playoff series, they won this one and its in the history books forever.

  • mike

    i like how all the haters on this post thinks they can do a better job coaching than spoelstra. The only person who could post on this and give advice would be rick carlisle…. all other professional coaches did’nt make it as far as Spo , and yes that includes Phil Jackson , Poppovich , Sloan. Stop hatin

  • http://stapledesign.com Spaceship Jay

    Co-sign Allenp.. While Cuban made a good point, if the Heat would have won this would’nt have been an issue; plus in my book, with Lebron Wade and Bosh, how much adjusting with the support players can you do.

  • MaxIsNative

    Mark Cuban > everything.

  • Heals

    Byron and DFrance got it. I was gettin all ready to jump-on his comparison of the Heat-Yankees, but that wasn’t the case. Also Allball leave JJones out of this, cause I jus started to get over that game he lit up the C’s…

  • http://www.ballislife.com/profiles/blogs/kobetop10moments nbk

    Nobody was beating Dallas. Nobody

  • flipnoyce

    Yo Eboy what you got against Filipino? I’m sure if Riley wanted to get rid of him they would of already. You know kind of like Mike Brown from Cleveland who won Just about every coaching job except the ring.The point is he can only show LBJ the door but LBJ needed to finish the job when it matters. As good as LBJ is, he failed at the moments that he should have risen in the occasion. Race has nothing to do with how one plays basketball. Dirk was simply a beast this year not the same soft Dirk in 06. That so called Heatles just became Heatless in game 6 specially in the 4rth quarter. They didn’t want anything to do with the German. Don’t hate cause your 3 stooges lose and the funny thing is they were all cry babies in the end!!!!

  • Stillballin

    It’s evil empire will strike back.. Guarantee that!!!

  • http://gmail.com z

    EBOY where you been, dawg? I’m not gonna lie, i’ve missed your smart aleck remarks quite a bit with the lockout dragging on…probly are just saving yourself some annoyance with all the heat hate (still) going on…and cheryl’s analysis is always spot on, you two are some folks the comment section NEEDS, especially on the articles about the lockout, and who’s to blame for it. One person who i thought summed up miami’s undoing pretty succinctly was jimmer, who pointed out that the problem was lack of adaptability from the coach and best player (who make no mistake, is definitely lebron–dwyane might be the leader of the team, but it’s bron’s team).

  • Feez22

    Lebron failed. Its as simple as that. If you look at it closely the mavs played lebron like the bulls played wade. They took him out of the game with the doubles on the wing/post help. HOWEVER as a damn POINT FORWARD lebron should have found the open man easier. All the heat have is spot up shooters and wade so really… Not only that but lebron looked like a slug out there. He couldn’t even slice and dice the defense like he did a couple years back in cleveland. He lost some weight this summer so maybe that lebron will come back. However there is really no excuse. Wade played piss poor in the conference finals and there is no excuse for that. If the heat lose to the bulls in the conf finals all the blame goes on wade. So therefore, lebron gets the MAJORITY of blame in the finals for his play. I don’t want to hear about his damn shooting percentage we ALL saw what happened. He was unagressive, soft, disconnected… It was like an extended game 4 (not game 5) of the 2010 2nd round matchup vs. boston. He pretty much died. Maybe it was because of the minutes… who knows and at this point nobody cares. Its all about results. Lebron failed. Spoelstra has been failing all year but in the finals the heat had the advantage. The heat were the better defensive team, one of the best 3pt defensive teams and had 3 of the 4 best players talent wise on the damn court. They lost. Bosh gave it a lot of effort. Wade gave it all he had. Lebron DID NOT leave it all on the floor. Spoelstra should still be fired or demoted because he clearly can’t handle this team but if the heat lose with lebron/wade/bosh balling out then fine id blame it on him. They lost because lebron stopped playing. its that simple.

  • MikeC.

    With all the money Cuban has spent over the years in an attempt to buy a championship roster, couldn’t a case be made that the Mavs are the evil empire? If NY starts winning big, they’re on deck for evil empire status.

  • http://twitter.com/HarryByrdMan44 LA Huey

    Wait until the ‘Empire’ strikes back…


    how can the heat be the evil empire when Orlando, L.A., the C’s, the Mavs, the Spurs and the hawks are all ahead in payroll. Cuban wanted to say that the evil empire won but you know how words slip.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    The entire NBA is the evil empire.

  • http://360special.blogspot.com/ dev0

    Cubes is power-clashing; because he can

  • Mike

    i dunno about evil empire. lebron and wade and bosh got together – and tried to take on the bigger empires of LA , Boston , and even Dallas. franchises with more money- greater history and real corporations. how can we consider 3 individuals , talented as they may be- more powerful than storied franchises in megacities. if anything- dallas is the empire, run by a billionaire – that has the highest payroll in the league. these guys took less money to play together for friendship and winning, instead of money, and theyre the empire??!?! marketing folks. its all marketing. funny when a franchise dumps a player , its about business, when a player leaves a franchise, its about loyalty.

  • http://dfklf.com Jukai

    It’s hard to gauge how much blame Spo deserves. On one hand, for the series falter, you have to blame Lebron for not being able to adjust to Wade’s on ball dominance. Spo wasn’t doing anything different— he didn’t work on ANY plays for the team, he still went super small even tough it was CLEAR it’s a bad idea for some teams and they had plenty of bigs, his rotations are still atrocious and his speeches are still high-school. Yeah, but that’s been going on for THE ENTIRE SEASON. It’s not like it’s suddenly a new thing.
    Lebron and Wade killed Boston and Chicago by running a boatload of 2/3 pick and rolls. They stopped during the Dallas series, for reasons I can’t even fathom figuring out. Is it Spo’s fault they stopped? No, they stopped on their own because I guess they thought iso’ing with Wade and having Lebron spot up was a better idea. But should Spo, as a coach, have said “Hey, we need to start running that 2/3 pick again! Lebron needs to start getting some touches!” Yes, he absolutely should. But that has been a problem the entire damn season.

  • http://dfklf.com Jukai

    I mean, he was starting Joel Anthony. JOEL ANTHONY. The only thing he did was convince people that a guy who doesn’t belong in the league deserved to be starting.

  • Aizen

    Wait, the Miami Heat are the Evil Empire? And here I thought it was the Lakers…

  • http://www.wayandpath.com Phil Winram

    Congrats Mark, You deserve the attention and the awards. It must have been very difficult not to interfere in those 57 days, but you did it. You even let the light shine on the the former owner of the Mav’s. Class AND the Championship, now that’s how you do it!

  • http://bilibid.com deezndhaus

    Why do you guys always have to bring up the subject of race here? what wrong of being filipino and a simpleton? I mean if you know better y dont u guys try to cracl the coaching job? you all are so opiniated here , I wonder if you guys can walk your talk.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    ^ was that trolling?…


  • http://bilibid.com deezndhaus

    wahts trolling?

  • http://bilibid.com deezndhaus

    ^ i dont know. you tell me. u seem to know a lot.

  • http://slamonline.com Ugh

    @Seed: ‘greatest coach.. players win it’
    So how’s he a great coach? Because he happens to be on the chair at the sideline at the time? Does that also mean that Boston fans are better than LA fans because Boston has more rings, or that the best chef is one the one with the biggest oven?

  • http://pickandpop.wordpress.com Tripset30

    @Seed Dirk “choking” the last 13 years is still one of the best 30 players of all-time. Dirk having clutch moment after clutch moment en route to the championship despite lacking a true sidekick? He can choke next year all he wants, won’t knock him out of the top 20.

  • Big M.D.W

    Cubans awsome

  • Justin

    For those that are saying “It’s on the big 3″ or “It’s all Lebron’s fault” (although he did play like a wimp in every 4th quarter), have any of you stopped to think that maybe Dallas was just the better team in that series? Just sayin’