Mark Cuban had to love it. He was surrounded by reporters before tonight's game and most of the questions were about what he plans to do with his team in the off-season.
And he quickly said that "no decisions we make will be based off this series. Or hopefully the next series or the series after that. It'll be an interesting summer regardless.''
He wouldn't say anything about Rick Carlisle, but it's hard to envision any scenario where his job security would be at risk. Cuban basically said as much when he said of his coach: "It's not something we'll evaluate now. It's not something we'll evaluate this summer. It won't change anything. It'll be the same as every summer.''
Mostly, Cuban bristled about the line of questioning about off-season maneuverings. And justifiably so, really.
"I'm not ready to talk about the summer,'' he said. "You guys are talking like this season is over and we're down. I mean, I know it's hard for you guys to come up with something original. But we haven't lost. We got every shot to win this game, go down there and win and then come back here.''
Eddie Najera doesn't regret his hard, flagrant foul on Manu Ginobili in Game 4 and he's hoping it sent a message not only to the Spurs, but to his Maverick teammates.
His action on Ginobili earned him a flagrant foul, penalty 2, and an ejection, but no additional fine or suspension.
It's the jolt that it seemed to provide the Mavericks that Najera was happy to provide. The way he sees it, somebody had to do it.
"It was kind of frustrating to watch some of them hit Dirk in the face,'' Najera said today after shootaround. "It was the same (kind of) foul. So I just came in and tried to prove a point that we're going to fight back. And that's what's going to happen tonight.''
Najera, who played only 47 seconds at the start of the fourth quarter Sunday before he collared Ginoibili on a drive to the basket, is hoping he gets a chance to have an impact in Game 5 tonight. Coach Rick Carlisle hinted on Monday that he may go more to Najera for his energy and toughness, two areas where the Spurs have been better than the Mavericks.
Najera added that he thought the NBA acted correctly in not suspending him for his play on Ginobili.
"It's the first time I've ever done that,'' he said. "I wasn't worried about that (a suspension), because I'm not that type of guy.''
Before Mavs' fans whine about Dirk Nowitzki's lack of free throw attempts, you should consult the official NBA statistics.
Dirk said yesterday that "it's already wrestling out there'' in regard to the physical nature of the series.
Today, Spurs' coach Gregg Popovich said when asked if he thought this series was a physical one: "Not especially. No.''
As far as the statistics go, Nowitzki is tied for fifth in free-throw attempts at 8.8 per game. Only Deron Williams, Kevin Durant, Nene Hilario and LeBron James average more free throws per game in the playoffs.
The going rate for ripping refs these days is $35,000 and that's what Erick Dampier got this afternoon from the NBA.
Dampier was critical after Game 3 in San Antonio.
The best news is that he did not become the first player to be made an example of by David Stern, who has said the next step in ref-protection will be suspending players or coaches who verbally jab or psychologically prod refs.
As well as Twitter-ing my angry. @Engeljen. Follow me.
What I also did was obey The Golden Rules of social media: Do not drunk Tweet. Definitely, do not Tweet drunk and angry. And do not insult racial and ethnic groups.
Obviously, this page was removed from Ticket personality Mike Bacsik’s playbook.
About the only person who melted down more than your little Mavs was Bacsik (left, as a Texas Ranger in 2004), and boy, to use a Ticket-ism, did he shoot his wheels off.
His Twitter feed was laced with inappropriate sexual overtures regarding NBA commish David Stern, plans to go postal if diagnosed with cancer and, his lowest Tweet:
“Congrats to all the dirty Mexicans in San Antonio”.
Yikes. Inappropriate much? In fairness, he admitted being 12 beers and many shots into his game-watching, which does not excuse him. My Ticket friends say to expect news of a suspension today.
I watched his Twitter meltdown live, but his inflammatory had been scrubbed from cyberspace when I checked back this a.m. In its place was an apology.
It should be accepted. We all screw up.
It might be wise, though, if The Ticket attached a Breathalyzer to his computer.
NOTICE FROM 1310 THE TICKET:
Radio station KTCK in Dallas has suspended the employment of KTCK producer, talk host and former major league pitcher Mike Bacsik in response to comments he made on his personal Twitter account following San Antonio’s win over Dallas last night. With regard to the suspension, KTCK and Cumulus Market Manager Dan Bennett said, “Mike Bacsik’s comments were unacceptable and offensive, and are inconsistent with the core values of KTCK and Cumulus. We have made the decision to suspend Mr. Bacsik with the hope that he will take this time to consider the insensitive and hurtful nature of his comments.” ----- I'm sorry for my horribly insensitive tweet last night about the Hispanic community in San Antonio. I have embarrassed myself, my family, friends, The Ticket, and my host Norm Hitzges. I am deeply sorry and understand why so many people are upset. I am dealing with my actions by asking for forgiveness from my wife, kids, parents, The Ticket and Cumulus family, friends, and everybody who was and should have been offended by my tweets last night. Most importantly I am asking for forgiveness from my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I have made a terrible mistake. I apologize and I hope you can forgive me.
Here's the list of teams that have come back from 3-1 deficits in NBA history.
Boston (vs. Philadelphia)...1968 East finals.
Los Angeles (vs. Phoenix)...1970 West semis.
Washington (vs. San Antonio)...1979 East finals.
Boston (vs. Philadelphia)...1981 East finals.
Houston (vs. Phoenix)...1995 West semis.
Miami (vs. New York)...1997 East semis.
Detroit (vs. Orlando)...2003 East first round.
Phoenix (vs. L.A. Lakers)...2006 West first round.