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kriD
03-21-2007, 11:38 AM
Cuban backs Isiah efforts

BY MICHAEL OBERNAUER
DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER
Wednesday, March 21st 2007, 4:00 AM

The Knicks sold out Madison Square Garden for the 11th time in 13 games with the NBA-leading Mavericks in town last night, and about the only one in the seats who was impressed with the home team's performance was the guy who owns the visitors.

Mark Cuban, the never-shy superfan owner of the Mavericks, watched his team's 92-77 victory from his perch behind Dallas' bench, and afterward, he raved about how much the Knicks have improved since his last visit to Broadway, when Larry Brown's Knicks beat his Mavs in overtime.

"It's night and day," Cuban said. "You can feel the difference in the Garden, you can feel the difference when you see the guys and talk to the guys. They're not shaking their heads. They all like playing together, they respect each other, they love playing for Isiah.

"I'll tell you this: If they're able to keep it together and just add little pieces like we've done, they're tough."

They're also seven games under .500 after missing 50 shots from the field and another 15 from the foul line last night. But then, when it comes to the Knicks, it's been a long time since the bar was set all that high.

"If the expectation was they're going to go 82-0 and they're six games under .500, then you're not meeting expectations," Cuban said. "But the expectation is, you won 23 games last year....There's been a cultural change (at the Garden) of going from a place where people didn't want to be, where there's so much drama, to a place where people want to be."

That's effusive praise from a man who acknowledges that if his team, the defending Western Conference champion, fails to win the NBA title this June, its season is a waste. But Cuban was in high spirits last night, so much so that he sent a little love the way of his longtime nemesis, NBA commissioner David Stern - for, of all things, fining people.

Speaking on recent penalties to Bobcats part-owner Michael Jordan and Celtics GM Danny Ainge for publicizing their interest in Texas freshman Kevin Durant, Cuban said: "I think it's great. From my perspective, if you start making an amateur player into a brand and start defining their value, then I think you attract all the people to basketball that we're trying to get rid of."

Cuban, who might still be chatting up reporters if the Rangers didn't need the building tonight, sported a new goatee, an old Mavs sweatshirt and a pair of blue Starburys, the line of sneakers Stephon Marbury markets at affordable prices for low-income families. That drew his highest compliments of all: "Take a look at NBA players, take a look at what I've done for charity," Cuban said. "The NBA's never ever done anything as impactful as what (Marbury) has done."

Flacolaco
03-21-2007, 11:43 AM
Cuban, who might still be chatting up reporters if the Rangers didn't need the building tonight....

wow. F you buddy.

DarenG
03-21-2007, 12:19 PM
Yeah but it's true. Unless he is coming off a rare loss. Then he would rather shove a camera man. :D I actually thought that was funny.

WraithXx
03-21-2007, 02:34 PM
Yeah but it's true. Unless he is coming off a rare loss. Then he would rather shove a camera man. :D I actually thought that was funny.

It's a lot tamer than what I felt like doing at that point...

sike
03-21-2007, 03:39 PM
love him or hate him, the dude loves this team....I like admitting that its a wasted season without a ring and a trophy...most owners would never have the guts to say this...

jayC
03-24-2007, 04:23 PM
Cuban loves basketball and life for that matter. It is great that guys like Marbury and Shaq have shoes that kids and their parents can actually afford. 200 dollars for a pair of sneakers is crazy.

As for the Knicks they need a defensive force alongside Eddy Curry.

Dtownsfinest
03-24-2007, 07:58 PM
Yea Marbury definately deserves praise for his shoes. I've noticed a lot of children wearing his shoes and that's a great look. Not everyone can afford 200 dollar pairs of shoes. Not only does he charge a great price but the quality is great.

The Crippler
03-25-2007, 01:15 AM
I didn't know that about Marbury. Very cool of him, especially if the quality is as good as you say. There's no reason for bball shoes to cost that much.