Dallas Mavs boss Mark Cuban, one of the true Mavericks of the NBA, will go down in history as one of the most interesting owners in major sports.
Mark Cuban is deeply devoted to his team, often sitting courtside during games and refusing to stay in the luxury box like most owners do. He even travels with the team in most road games.
He’s not your typical suit and tie type of executive either, usually just donning a Mavs T-shirt or hoodie while screaming his lungs out cheering for the team.
The 61-year-old billionaire is indeed a character, standing out of the crowd with his eccentric and loud personality. Mark Cuban is quite vocal about what he perceives as injustices in terms of officiating, which often gets him in hot water in the league.
It seems that not a season goes by that Mark Cuban doesn’t get fined for his outspoken remarks. The “Shark Tank” investor is the most fined individual person in NBA history, despite not playing a single second in an actual game.
Mark Cuban remains unapologetic during these outbursts and is an image of defiance each time. His most recent dig at the NBA — where he wore a shirt plastered with money symbols — came after he was handed down a half a million-dollar fine by the league after denying his team’s protest.
To be fair, Mark Cuban says he matches the amount of each fine by donating it to a charity of his choice.
All in all, the spirited owner has coughed up a staggering $3,115,000 in fines since 2000, according to Marc Stein. That number could actually even be higher, since not all fines are publicly announced by the league.
The tech mogul does have plenty of money just lying around to pay these fines. He currently has a net worth of $4.3 billion, meaning these penalties just make up for .07 percent of his total wealth.
Let’s have a look at all the fines that Mark Cuban has paid throughout his 20 years of Mavericks ownership.
Cuban’s seemingly never-ending war with NBA officiating began almost as soon as he purchased a majority stake with Mavs. He collected three fines in a span of eight days in his first season as owner.
Nov. 14, 2000 – Mark Cuban got his first taste of disciplinary sanction after getting fined $5,000 for criticizing a referee versus the Los Angeles Clippers. “The policy is to fine anyone who criticizes the officiating,” he said at the time. “I knew that before I said anything. But it still doesn’t address the issue.”
Nov. 22, 2000 – Cuban was asked to pay $15,000 after getting himself ejected off the court after a confrontation with a referee in a game versus the Utah Jazz. Don Nelson, who coached the Mavs at the time, even stepped in and said Cuban’s actions were hurting the team.
Nov. 22, 2000 – Cuban has always had an eagle eye in terms of spotting missed goaltending calls. He verbally abused official Gary Benson in-game in the team’s loss to the Seattle Supersonics. He continued to lambast officials after the game and was handed a $25,000 penalty.
Jan. 4, 2001 – Mark Cuban coughed up $250,000 (the biggest fine in league history at the time) after referees missed a goaltending coal. He even ordered replay of the possession on the Jumbotron. “The refs were pitiful tonight and I don’t care if I get fined,” he said at the time.
Jan. 11, 2001 – Cuban certainly acts like he own the place (which he does) each time. He was fined $100,000 after sitting on the baseline against the Minnesota Timberwolves. “They said it wasn’t fitting for an owner to sit there,” he said.
April 13, 2001 – Players and coaches get suspended all the time, but Mark Cuban took it on another level by having an owner barred for a game. Apart from paying a $100,000 restitution, Cuban was suspended for one game for making a derogatory gesture to officials.
Feb. 16, 2001 – Cuban did not seem to learn his lesson as he was suspended for two more games after brazenly running onto the court to break up a fight between the Mavs and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Jan. 8, 2002 – Mark Cuban personally targeted official Ed Rush following the Mavs’ slim defeat to Texas rivals San Antonio Spurs. “Ed Rush might have been a great ref, but I wouldn’t hire him to manage a Dairy Queen. His interest is not in the integrity of the game or improving the officiating,” he said. He was fined $500,000 for his comments.
May 10, 2006 – Mark Cuban has had a penchant for entering the playing court every time he pleases. He was fined $100,000 for entering the floor to complain in a playoff game vs the Spurs. He was fined another $100,000 for a blogpost entitled: “How to improve NBA Playoff Officiating.”
June 20, 2006 – It seems Cuban’s ire doesn’t just apply to referees. He stared and screamed toward commissioner David Stern and a group of league officials during the Mavs’ 101-100 overtime loss to the Miami Heat in Game 5 of the NBA finals. He was asked to pay $250,000 for “several acts of misconduct,” including another personal attack to ref Joe DeRosa.
January 16, 2009 – Mark Cuban got fined $25,000 for hurling obscenities to then Denver Nuggets player J.R. Smith. This a first for Cuban, who usually vents his ires on officials. He even asked the league to suspend Smith for elbowing Mavs player Antoine Wright.
May 22, 2010 – Mark Cuban had to shell out $100,000 after what the league deemed as tampering. The Mavs owner discussed the possibility of poaching LeBron James that summer.
January 7, 2013 – Mark Cuban took his criticism to a different platform, lambasting officials on his Twitter account.
“I’m sorry NBA fans, I’ve tried for 13 years to fix officiating in this league and I failed miserably. Any suggestions? I need help.”
His comments cost him $50,000.
January 18, 2014 – Mark Cuban was slapped with a $100,000 fine for “confronting the game officials on the court after the conclusion of the game and directing inappropriate language.” Cuban joked afterward that the fine was a sendoff to then outgoing commissioner David Stern.
February 21, 2018 – Cuban had to pay the NBA $600,000 for “public statements detrimental to the NBA” during a podcast with Hall of Fame Julius Irving. He publicly admitted that Dallas was tanking at the time, adding that “losing is our best option.” This is Cuban’s largest fine to date.
March 6, 2020 – The NBA rejected the Mavs’ protest to replay the dying seconds of their Feb. 22 loss to the Atlanta Hawks. Adding insult to injury, they penalized Cuban $500,000 for yet another lengthy Twitter tirade shortly after the game. Cuban also entered the playing court twice during the match.