NBA fines Mavs owner Cuban $25,000

Updated: January 17, 2009, 11:05 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has been fined $25,000 for walking onto the court and yelling at Nuggets guard J.R. Smith at halftime during Tuesday night's game in Denver and for actions afterward, the league announced Friday.

Cuban took offense Tuesday when Smith threw an elbow that barely missed Mavericks forward Antoine Wright late in the first half.

Cuban
Cuban

Cuban said Wright could have been severely injured and that he was going to ask the league to suspend Smith. The NBA said Thursday Smith would not face discipline for the incident.

Cuban responded to the fine Friday with a tongue-in-cheek post on his blog, blogmaverick.com.

"The NBA tells me a tech should have been called on you for throwing the elbow and that I should pay a 25k dollar fine because owners aren't supposed to get mad. Ever," Cuban states in the blog post, which is written as a letter and begins with "Dear JR."

Nuggets coach George Karl has said he was OK with Cuban's stance but took exception to him calling out a player from an opposing team.

Part of the fine also stemmed from Cuban's language toward an official as he exited the court after the Mavs' 99-97 loss at the Pepsi Center -- something Cuban has denied.

Cuban could be seen mouthing an obscenity shortly after Chauncey Billups made two free throws with 2.2 seconds left for the game-winning points following a highly questionable foul call against Jason Terry.

"In the spirit of the joy of my getting fined and your not getting the tech, have the Nuggets PR folks contact the Mavs PR folks and I will donate 25k to the charity of your choice," Cuban writes in his blog, presumably to Smith.

"Unless of course your coach thinks [that's] the wrong thing to do, or the NBA says I can't because it would be a violation of a rule. In which case, I will find a charity that I think you would like and make the donation in your name."

The post ends with "bff m" -- short for "best friends forever, Mark."

The penalty Friday was the 14th the league has announced against Cuban, who has been penalized about $1.5 million over the years and suspended from three games.

Information from ESPN.com's Chris Sheridan and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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