Cuban gives thumbs up to Silver on officiating

BRIAN MAHONEY AP Basketball Writer Published:

NEW YORK (AP) -- Even Mark Cuban thinks NBA officiating is moving in the right direction.

New Commissioner Adam Silver's policies have won over the Dallas Mavericks owner, who had a long-running and costly feud with former commissioner David Stern.

"I think he's taken some great steps on the officiating. There's been more changes in 15 days or whatever it is than I saw in 14 years. So I like what he's doing there," Cuban said Monday.

Cuban said the league is sending teams more examples of plays that were called incorrectly and other data to help them understand how the games will be officiated.

"Those are things that never would have happened" under Stern, Cuban said.

The NBA did not comment on the changes.

Cuban was fined more than $1.5 million by Stern, often for his public criticisms of referees. That included a $500,000 penalty in 2002 when he said he wouldn't hire former director of officials Ed Rush to manage a Dairy Queen.

Cuban said he always found Stern to be open to new ideas on most areas, but was "closed minded" on one.

Silver said during his first press conference at All-Star weekend that he planned to bring more transparency to the league, and the officiating policies apparently represent a noticeable change.

Cuban used as an example a play late in Houston's victory over Phoenix on Sunday night, when Dwight Howard appeared to bolt into the lane early during a Rockets free throw attempt but wasn't whistled for a lane violation.

"My expectation is that they'll say something proactively to the teams, maybe not publicly, so that we know A, are they going to allow that, or B, they're not going to allow it, it should've been called and next time it will be called," Cuban said. "In the past, you found out the hard way."