Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban's problems with NBA officiating are well-documented, but this may take the cake.
After the Miami Heat's controversial six-game victory over the Mavs in the 2006 NBA Finals, Cuban decided that the officiating in the series needed to be investigated further. Many people watching the series (including Mavs officials) saw a clear bias when it came to foul calls, especially in regard to Heat superstar Dwyane Wade.
Wade shot 96 free throws in those six games, a staggering number which allegedly prompted Cuban to take drastic action. According to a five-part investigation on NBA referees conducted by The Oregonian's John Canzano, that action may have included the FBI:
Retired FBI agent Warren Flagg, a 20-year veteran of the bureau, said he consulted with Cuban after that playoff debacle. Flagg now runs his own New York-based investigation and security firm. He looked deep into officiating, as Flagg said, Cuban was considering a lawsuit.
“Cuban asked me what he should do,” Flagg said of the 2006 Finals. “I told him, ‘Sue and you’ll win your case,’ but he knew he’d be killing the Golden Goose.”
When asked about his discussions with Flagg, Cuban said: “I don’t remember.”
Cuban's call to the Feds came during the same time frame as the Tim Donaghy game-fixing investigation, so you may have to forgive him for a little bit (or a lot of) paranoia.
Thanks to Adi Joseph of For The Win for the find.
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