Report: Nelson battling Mavs owner over $6 million

Updated: October 30, 2006, 2:42 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has probably paid some big bills in his day. But $6 million?

Don Nelson
Nelson

According to a report in the Dallas Morning News, former Mavs coach Don Nelson is trying to recoup that amount from agreements on deferred payments he made with Cuban's predecessor, Ross Perot Jr.

Nelson, who is in the first year of his second stint as coach of the Golden State Warriors, has not discounted taking Cuban to court to get the money.

"Mark Cuban has been very good to me and my family, but he doesn't like me very much," Nelson told the paper. "I've asked nicely for [the payment]. We'll see what happens from here."

Cuban declined to comment to the paper on Nelson, who worked for the Mavericks from 1997 until this past June.

"There's no question that there was money that was to be paid over time in the contract Nellie signed during the Ross Perot ownership," said Frank Zaccanelli, a former minority partner with the Mavericks who negotiated Nelson's contract. "When we added the coaching responsibilities, Nellie wanted the money deferred, and it was a big help to the cash flow for the franchise. Now, what happened to it from there, I don't know."

This wouldn't be the first money battle between Nelson and Cuban. The coach said their relationship "wasn't easy going," especially after bitter contract negotiations in 2003.