LOS ANGELES, CA – APRIL 12: Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban talks to a referee during a timeout in the game with the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. The Mavericks won 120-106. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has revoked American Airlines Center season credentials from ESPN reporters Marc Stein and Tim McMahon, Mavs Moneyball reports.

Cuban was reportedly angry that ESPN had pulled McMahon off the Mavs beat to have him report on the NBA more broadly. He threatened to revoke credentials from ESPN reporters and followed through when ESPN refused to return McMahon to the beat.

Cuban told Mavs Moneyball that, “They’re not banned from the building. They can still buy a ticket.” He later declined comment to SI.com’s Richard Deitsch.

Cuban is already taking a lot of heat for this decision.

Meanwhile Tim Cowlishaw, who writes for The Dallas Morning News and appears on ESPN’s Around the Horn, compared Cuban to Donald Trump.

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.

Per Mavs Moneyball, the NBA is working to resolve the situation between the Cuban and ESPN. Surely McMahon and Stein will get their credentials back soon, but this is not a good look for the Mavs.

[Mavs Moneyball]

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports, MLB.com, SI.com and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.

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