Cuban may still face punishment for spat

Updated: January 15, 2009, 9:10 PM ET
Associated Press

DENVER -- The NBA said Thursday that Denver Nuggets guard J.R. Smith won't be suspended for throwing an elbow that angered Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.

The excitable owner might still face punishment for going onto the court to voice his displeasure with Smith.

NBA spokesman Tim Frank told The Associated Press on Thursday that Smith has been cleared of any wrongdoing and "Cuban is still being reviewed."

Cuban took offense when Smith threw an elbow that barely missed Mavericks forward Antoine Wright late in the first half of Dallas' game at the Pepsi Center on Tuesday night.

As the teams walked off for halftime, Cuban came onto the court and hollered at Smith, which in turn angered Nuggets coach George Karl.

Cuban said Wright could have been severely injured and that he was going to ask the league to suspend Smith.

Karl was OK with Cuban's stance but took exception to him calling out a player from an opposing team.

"Stay away from my players, stay off the court, don't get involved," Karl told reporters at practice the day after the incident. "If you want to interact, interact with the league office and interact with your own players, but don't mess with my players. There's no room for it.

"If this was a normal fan, he would have been banned from the building and maybe not ever let back in the game," Karl said. "When the game starts, he is a fan. After the game, he's an owner, but during the game, he's a fan."


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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