A story began to bubble up last night about Mark Cuban and the Mavericks refusing media credentials for a pair of ESPN reporters. When these credentialing controversies pop up, we never know the full story behind the scenes. But in this case, all signs point to the Mavericks punishing ESPN because they’ve reduced their coverage and reporting of the Mavericks this season, which makes sense given the Mavericks have regressed back to being an average NBA team.
From our write-up:
“The Mavericks have reached the playoffs 15 of the past 16 years but haven’t won more than 50 games since 2010-11. They were 0-5 this season before Sunday’s overtime wine over the Bucks, so it’s no mystery why ESPN might view them as less of a priority these days. Plus, with the shuttering of ESPN Dallas and the other regional sites, it makes sense ESPN would feel less obligated to send a reporter to every Mavs game.
But regardless of whether ESPN has good cause to reduce coverage of the Mavs (which, as it happens, they do), how much to cover a given team is a news organization’s decision, not the team owner’s. Disciplining McMahon and Stein for an editorial decision made above their heads is unfair an unprofessional. Besides, there’s some rich irony in Cuban punishing ESPN for not covering the Mavs enough by limiting how much ESPN can cover the Mavs.”
Enter SportsCenter host John Buccigross, who inserted this not-so-subtle dig towards the Mavericks.
Buccigross gets high marks here. Not only did he seamlessly work in a haymaker towards Cuban and the Mavs, but this was about an hour after this story began to get attention. George Costanza had multiple days to plot his infamous Jerk Store comment and even traveled to Akron, Ohio to deliver the comment, and it still failed to deliver. Buccigross crafted this on short notice, let it rip, and it was a monstrous blow.
I don’t really have much of a rooting interest, but the Mavericks are 1-5 and I’m going to go out on a limb and say the national audience isn’t exactly clamoring for much Mavs coverage.