Mark Cuban calls on NBA to discipline referee Ken Mauer

ByTim MacMahon ESPN logo
Thursday, December 1, 2016

DALLAS -- Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, appalled at a missed call on the opening possession of Tuesday night'sLos Angeles Clippers-Brooklyn Nets game, is publicly calling for the NBA office to discipline referee Ken Mauer.

"Suspend him, demote him, make him ref a game in the D-League," Cuban said during his pregame workout Wednesday night.

Cuban declined to mention Mauer by name, simply saying to watch the video that went viral of Nets shooting guardBojan Bogdanovic's blatant double dribble that went uncalled and see which referee is staring at the play.

Mauer, who found himself in the spotlight late in the Nets' double-overtime win due to a confrontation that led to the ejection of Clippers coach Doc Rivers, was standing feet away with whistle in mouth on the play. Mauer watched as Bogdanovic caught the ball above the top of the 3-point arc, dribbled once with his right hand, picked the ball up, dragged his pivot foot and dribbled again with his left hand before passing to a teammate.

"That call? At the beginning of the game? Right in front of him?" Cuban said. "That wasn't an error in judgment.

"Refs are going to miss things because there's other things going on, but there was nothing else going on. It was the first or second play of the game, and he was standing right there."

Cuban indicated that Mauer's missed calls was evidence of a bigger issue, but Cuban declined to be more specific when pressed on what that problem might be.

"This wasn't just a missed call. This was something else," Cuban said. "I don't know what it was. Sometimes it's the problem; sometimes it's the symptom of a problem. I think this is more reflective of a symptom of a problem."

Cuban has been an often-outspoken critic of officiating since buying the Mavs in January 2000. His fine total has soared into the seven figures, in large part due to his public criticism of referees, but those complaints have typically been directly related to Dallas games.

Why would Cuban care so much about a missed call in the first minute of a Nets-Clippers game?

"Because the quality of officiating matters in this game, you know?" Cuban said. "Standings are impacted. Mistakes happen. Lots of calls are hard, but not all of them. Some of them are just lack of focus and attention, and that's the one thing you should be able to avoid at all times, particularly from such an experienced ref."