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Cuban Whistle Crisis: NBA denies Dallas Mavericks’ protest in loss to Golden State Warriors

The obvious outcome to most observers

Dallas Mavericks v Chicago Bulls Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

The Dallas Mavericks’ protest of the March 22nd loss to the Golden State Warriors has been denied, according to the NBA. It ends an over two-week wait for a call that seemed obvious to everyone but Dallas.

In the press release, the NBA explains the facts of the situation: an improperly administered inbounds pass resulted in a free basket for the Golden State Warriors. The incident occurred with two minutes left in the third quarter, with nearly 14 minutes of game time left for Dallas to push past the miscue. According to the release, “Dallas was not able to show - as required under the standard for NBA game protests - that it was deprived of a fair opportunity to win the game, and the protest failed on that basis alone”

The report goes on to call out Dallas governor Mark Cuban for inaccurate public statements about which team was initially awarded possession of the ball prior to the timeout. In the written submission to push the protest, Dallas agreed that the referee signaled possession to the Warriors.

This is pretty brutal, once one reads past the public relations language and just not because they lost the protest. Rather the protest was baseless and the Mavericks knew that by the time they submitted the paperwork. Instead, it seems Cuban opted to follow through with his intention to file the protest that he stated during the game, telling the ESPN broadcast crew that if Dallas lost, they would file one.

Despite efforts from Dallas partisans to indicate the referees made a massive mistake, it seems that the Mavericks agreed it was one of miscommunication in their submission of the protest. In the end, this was a dog and pony show distraction in a season rife with mistakes and lacking accountability from the people chiefly responsible.

Pair this protest loss with Cuban’s pre-game comments on the Jalen Brunson situation, and it’s been a tough 24 hours for the Dallas Mavericks, despite the win over the Kings.