After Cuban suggested the Lakers would have to cut ties with Kobe on account of their payroll, the NBA is currently deliberating whether or not to fine the Dallas Mavericks owner (via Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times):
The NBA is debating whether to fine Cuban for saying Friday that the Lakers should consider waiving Bryant next season via the one-time amnesty provision. The Lakers would still have to pay Bryant his $30.5-million salary next season but would save the corresponding amount, if not slightly more, in luxury taxes.
Though Cuban stated he was just speaking hypothetically, I wouldn't be surprised to see the league slap him with a heavy fine.
The NBA notoriously frowns upon owners speaking on the subject of opposing players. Anything outside the realm of "he played well today" is liable to incur a thorough investigation. And when you're a repeat offender like Cuban, forget about it.
To say good ol' loose-mouthed Mark actually deserves a fine or any kind of sanction here is dramatic, though.
Proposing that Los Angeles should amnesty the team's crown jewel of scorers isn't what I would consider acceptable decorum. Kidding or not, Bryant has earned more respect than that. If Cuban wants to make an example, make one of someone else.
Still, it's not as if he was imploring the Lakers to part ways with Kobe. That anyone would broach such a topic is comical in itself. The Black Mamba is the Lakers.
Anyway, Cuban has already been punished.
Kobe embarrassed him on Sunday by torching the Cuban-constructed Mavericks for 38 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists on 61.9 percent shooting.
He then embarrassed him even more by bringing Dirk Nowitzki into the conversation (via Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register):
KEVIN DING @KevinDing
Kobe also said postgame about @mcuban: "I'm sure if he wants to amnesty Dirk, that's something that we'll entertain."2/24/2013, 11:25:49 PM
And in a final act of revenge, Kobe took to social media and forced Cuban to eat his own words.
Kobe Bryant @kobebryant
Amnesty THAT2/24/2013, 9:54:35 PM
Is that not comeuppance enough?
Kobe's a man; he wears "big boy" pants and urges others to do the same. He can fight his own sound-bite battles. There's no need to reprimand Cuban for poking fun at Bryant.
If anything, though, the NBA should fine him for tampering.
Because we know damn well that if the Lakers ever amnestied Kobe, Cuban would be the first of many to come groveling at the Mamba's feet.