"Hate’s a strong word, but it’s probably not strong enough," Cuban said of the Heat, per the Dallas Morning News' Eddie Sefko.
One word most definitely isn't enough to justify Cuban's intense dislike for Miami. He would probably need a few hundred or so to properly convey his feelings.
Not that this should come as any surprise. Cuban's distaste for the Heat, specifically Dwyane Wade, dates back nearly eight years.
In 2006, the Mavs blew a 2-0 lead in the NBA Finals against Miami, prompting Cuban to write a fierce blog post in February 2007 after Dirk Nowitzki and Wade exchanged verbal jabs.
Here's a brief excerpt from Cuban's post, along with the quote he's responding to:
”At the end of the day,” Wade said, “you’re remembered for what you did at the end. . . . I think that’s the reason — Dirk says they gave us the championship last year, but he’s the reason they lost the championship, because he wasn’t the leader that he’s supposed to be in the closing moments. That’s because of great defense by us, but also he wasn’t assertive enough as a leader’s supposed to be.”
You are an amazing player Dwayne. I love watching you shoot free throws. What you know about Dirk’s leadership skills is non existent. You don’t have a clue. Your ability to evaluate leadership skills….well you obviously have an overinflated value of your own. Did you take business classes at Marquette?
Roughly seven years later, and that's still an amusing read.
The rivalry intensified in 2011, when Dallas exacted revenge on Miami in the NBA Finals, dispatching LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Wade and friends in six games. The Mavs essentially helped shape a narrative that lodged inquiries into James' ability to win and the Big Three's legitimacy.
Two championships later for the Heat, all is relatively quiet.
Both teams are headed in different directions—Dallas is attempting to make the most of Nowitzki's remaining days, while Miami is on the brink of forging a dynasty.
But to some extent, the rivalry lives on.
Everyone involved will never forget the animosity shared between these two squads, between Cuban and Wade—least of all the outspoken Cuban, who's about as forgiving as he is poor. Though the franchises are tracking toward different ceilings, the spirit of competition lives on, if only in Cuban's profound hatred for Miami.
"In life, I don't really hate much," Nowitzki told ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM's Ian Fitzsimmons and Richard Durrett of the Heat last June, per ESPN Dallas' Tim MacMahon. "I'm an easygoing guy, but that's probably about as close as it gets."
Cuban's not just closer to hating the Heat. He's already there. And he's not going anywhere until his feelings of gut-wrenching abhorrence laced with unrelenting rancor can be encapsulated in one word.