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The (Mini) Mark Cuban Q-and-A Print E-mail
by Mike Fisher    Sat, Feb 14, 2009, 02:29 PM

On the eve of tonight’s Celtics-Mavs duel and the NBA’s All-Star Break, we Q’ed the heck out of Mavs owner Mark Cuban. And he gamely A’ed us right back, touching on everything from his team’s biggest problem (“pouting’’) to his thoughts on the first-place Lakers (“we’re not intimidated’’) to his views on Dallas taking advantage of a changing NBA landscape (“nuclear winter’’). Consider this a midseason mini-State-of-the-Union address from the Mavs owner, an exclusive Q-and-A with Mark Cuban:

On his evaluation of any Mavs’ flaws at this point, as they are at 31-20 and in a virtual tie for fifth place in the West:

CUBAN: “Right now our biggest problem as a team, outside of injuries, is when we miss a shot, we pout. We don’t stay focused. That’s part of the reason Rick (Carlisle, Mavs coach) turned the (play-calling) reins over to J-Kidd. We have to stay focused.’’

On whether the economy might be forcing other NBA owners into budgetary moves that Dallas can take advantage of as the trade deadline approaches, an acquisition along the lines of last year’s Pau Gasol-to-LA deal:

CUBAN: “That’s hard to say. It’s possible. It’s hard to say it can be along the lines of a Pau Gasol deal because there aren’t many Pau Gasols out there, are there? But you just saw the Lakers make a (salary-related) move with Radmanovic  

“Financially, we’ve got options. We’re flexible. We can wait it out and free up cap room. … (or) my modus operandi is to go against the grain, to make a move that is against the grain. If everybody else is focused on future cap room, maybe there’s a move to be made (to take advantage of that).’’

On whether “against the grain’’ means trying to strike it big in 2009 instead of the conventional-wisdom year of 2010:

CUBAN: “In ’09, it could be a nuclear winter. I think we’ll see a lot of guys, anticipating 2010 and also with an eye to a new collective-bargaining agreement, sign one-year deals. While everybody is clearing room for 2010, I’m looking for bargains for ’09. As people wait to make their move in 2010, there could be a lot of one-year deals.’’

On whether retaining Jason Kidd with a one-year deal is part of the Mavs strategy. … and if the parties have already discussed that:

CUBAN: “We haven’t. There’s no reason (to have already discussed it), because that’s not my style. I’m hoping he wants to stay. But either he sees reasons to stay, or he doesn’t.

 On his faith in Kidd, acquired a year ago in a controversial move that sent Devin Harris to New Jersey:

CUBAN: “I’d do it again, 100 times out of 100. J-Kidd has been incredible for us.’’

On whether the Mavs are a contender:

CUBAN: “Yes. But it will take us getting some breaks.’’

On the Western Conference presence of the 41-9 Lakers:

CUBAN: “The Lakers don’t intimidate us at all. In the West it's going to come down to whoever stays the healthiest and gets hot at the right time. … We’ve got a shot.’’



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