Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban says Miami return is not sentimental

By Tim Reynolds
Associated Press

MIAMI — For Dallas owner Mark Cuban, being back in Miami brought out little sentimental value.

Cuban made his first trip back to the arena where his team won last season’s NBA championship, as the Mavericks were facing the Miami Heat on Thursday night. The Mavericks beat the Heat in six games in the NBA finals and clinched on Miami’s floor, turning the tables after a six-game loss to Miami in the 2006 title series that was capped with the Heat spraying champagne in Dallas.

His ring was at home, too, where it typically stays. Cuban said he wore it once at home with his kids, and that’s about it.

“Do I look like a jewelry guy to you?” Cuban asked before the game. “Trust me, I don’t have to tell anybody we won.”

It’s been a somewhat up-and-down season for the Mavericks, who entered Thursday fifth in the Western Conference standings. The Mavs have already had four losing streaks of at least three games, one more than they had last season.

Nonetheless, it’s no surprise that Cuban is enjoying this season — and defending the crown.

“Yeah, no question. Because you got one. There’s a lot of guys who came close and never got one,” Cuban said. “It’s certainly more fun. Again, it’s a funky season, so we haven’t had a lot of time to enjoy it. The games come so quickly that it’s an aberrational season. You just deal with it.”

The Mavericks seemed to be echoing their owner on the question of sentiment that comes with being back in Miami.

At this point in the season, there’s bigger priorities than a trip down memory lane.

“It’s a good memory,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “But look, we can’t be focused on that … otherwise we’ll get our brains beat in. All that was great, but it’s in the past.”

So, too, is the Heat win in the 2006 finals.

But Cuban was reminded of that as well on Thursday, when he again saw the walls of photos on certain walls in the arena, part of Miami’s tribute to that championship team.

“Walking by all the pictures from ‘06, scene of the crime, that’s what comes to my mind,” Cuban said.