Mavericks owner Mark Cuban talked again about the comments he made after the Mavs' disappointing loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Basically, he said, he just thought the Mavs needed a kick in the butt:
"Sometimes pressure coming from multiple places has a different impact than just coming from someone they see every day, so we'll see what happens. It's all just talk."
"Our guys aren’t stupid. They know what’s at stake. Now it’s just a question of where their priorities are and what they’re willing to do. It starts at the top with me and Rick (Carlisle) and Dirk (Nowitzki). I’ve got to try to help define the culture or monitor the culture, Rick’s got to implement it and the guys have to execute it."
"You can't scream "wolf" every day and expect people to respond, so hopefully they will respond. Hopefully, they'll take it on themselves. There's nothing else we can do. I mean, look, I've been doing this nine years now, going on 10 years. It's not like we haven't been through these spurts before. We’ve been in this situation. We've been in this situation in the playoffs a couple of times. It's just the nature of the beast. Sometimes you need a kick in the pants."
Cuban was asked if the team's leaders need to set a better example:
"As far as energy on the court, absolutely. Every team has to have someone, and we haven’t had that somebody yet. Josh (Howard) or Dirk or Jason Kidd, they have to take that role."
Cuban was also very happy with what Howard's done this season, despite struggling with a bad ankle:
"He’s been a warrior. You know, the guy, you text him or call him up at home and say, 'What are you doing?' 'I'm icing.' In the morning, 'What are you doing?' 'I'm icing.' 'What you got going on today, Josh?' 'I'm icing.' The guy hasn’t gotten nearly the credit for playing through the pain that he has … I know coach has said it, I’ve said it, I don’t know anybody else in the league that gets so little respect from the officials as Josh. That’s not to say that Josh has played perfectly every game. He hasn’t. But in terms of not taking games off that he could have, Josh has fought back from his last injury and played in a lot of pain over a long period of time."
-- Tracey Myers