Aptly describing the boldness that seems to only exist on the Internet, Cuban explained that Lakers supporters had been mustering plenty of "Twitter courage" in their attacks over the popular social media platform.
Cuban is no favorite among loyalists of most Western Conference teams, as his outspoken, often attention-seeking nature make him an easy target. But he really riled up Lakers fans last month when he used Kobe Bryant and his salary as an example of the difficulties owners were going to face under the NBA's new collective bargaining agreement.
If you look at their payroll, even if Dwight [Howard] comes back, you’ve got to ask the question: Should [the Lakers] amnesty Kobe?…I’m just saying that hypothetically. When I say amnesty Kobe, I don’t think they’d do it, but they’ve got some choices to make.
For what it's worth, Bryant himself might have started the barrage of hate Cuban suffered on Twitter, zinging the billionaire owner shortly after the Lakers handily dispatched his Mavs.
Amnesty THAT— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) February 24, 2013
From there, Lakers fans apparently reached out to Cuban bravely, threatening him from the safe confines of their living rooms. And even members of the media—albeit ones known only for deliberately inflammatory rhetoric—piled onto Cuban.
Nice move by Mark Cuban, costing his team a key home game by setting off Kobe with that smartest-man-in-the-league "amnesty" remark.— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) February 25, 2013
Most of the real vitriol Lakers fans leveled at Cuban isn't fit to print, but of the ones he re-tweeted for comedic effect, these get the point across nicely:
Mark Cuban is dumb Af— Omid Mirhosseini (@Omid_B_Ballin) February 24, 2013
Stfu mark Cuban— Kobe's Protege (@Nicky_Santoro23) February 24, 2013
Cuban can be abrasive, and he's certainly a fan of giving his opinion whether people are asking for it or not. But his hypothetical explanation of a tricky aspect of the CBA certainly shouldn't have spurred such mean-spirited (and generally ignorant) responses.
I guess we have "Twitter courage" to thank for that.