It was with great anticipation that we awaited Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban’s response to our inquiry about the $100,000 fine levied against Kobe Bryant by the NBA on Wednesday for shouting an anti-gay slur at a referee.
After all, Cuban is no stranger to being fined by the league. According to Wikipedia, Cuban has racked up more than $1.5 million in fines for 13 incidents, including several involving criticism of referees.
On the other hand, Cuban was once on the receiving end of an anti-gay slur from a player. Kenyon Martin of the Denver Nuggets called Cuban a “faggot motherfucker” after a playoff game in 2009 (video above). Martin was retaliating for Cuban’s comments a few nights before, when the Mavs owner told Martin’s mother that her son was a “thug.”
Finally, Cuban is no homophobe. After former NBA player John Amaechi came out as gay in 2007, Cuban went on national TV and said that if a current player came out they would be a hero and become rich, despite some “idiots” who might condemn them. Read Cuban’s subsequent interview with Dallas Voice here.
So, how would all this factor in to Cuban’s thoughts on Kobe’s fine? Here’s his response to our email from this morning: