In the wake of Mark Cuban getting random projectiles thrown at him, the Portland Tribune thought it was smart to get a few more details regarding the incident in a pre-game interview before Game 5 but all the paper got in return was a bucket of profanities from the billionaire.
Here is the transcript from reporter Kerry Eggers interview with The Dallas Mavericks owner:
I started the interview by asking Cuban if he knew what hit him.
“I got hit by something,” he said, pleasantly enough. “All I know is the pretty lady next to me jumped, something hit me in my face and that was it.”
Any idea what the object was?
Suddenly, Cuban’s mood darkened to the color of the Dallas sky (tornado warnings) that afternoon.
“What the (expletive) does it matter?” he asked. “Does it make a damn bit of difference at this point?”
“Well, I …” I began.
“Does it make a damn bit of difference at this point?” Cuban repeated.
“You sound irritated by it,” I said.
“Yeah, because it’s a dumb-ass question,” he said. “What’s the point of bringing it up? Are you going to go find somebody? Are you going to hunt the person down? … Ask me a real question.”
Gee, Mark, I thought that was a real question.
“The question turns into something antagonistic to somebody,” he said. “Either you try to get me to accuse somebody of something …”
“I’m not trying to get you to accuse anybody of anything,” I broke in. “I’m just trying to get the story on what happened in your words.”
“You could have read other accounts, because about 50 people wrote about it,” he said.
By this time, other writers had joined us by the Stairmaster. Uncomfortably, one of them offered a question.
Then it was back to me again.
“How disappointing was it to lose Game 4 the way you did?”
“Obviously, we hate losing any game.”
“I mean, the way you lost it, losing the big lead.”
“That’s just one game.”
“Do you feel OK about the team going into tonight’s game?”
“No, I think I’m going to quit. I’m not going to let the team play,” he said, sarcasm dripping.
At this point, Cuban smiled and changed directions. He apologized. Even called me by name.
Then he shifted gears again, explaining his reason for unloading on me.
“It’s just the same ol’ (expletive) over and over,” he said. “The same thing comes up, the same bit of (expletive). So I apologize for being a jerk, but at least have some respect. Not repetitive, asking the same stuff over and over. That stuff’s been asked 50 times.”
I guess, I offered, I could ask about his love life.
“That would be more interesting,” he said.
After another question or two from other reporters, I decided to try again – and frankly, I didn’t expect him to like the next question, either.
“There’s speculation that (coach) Rick Carlisle is in trouble if you lose this series. How do you …”
“Why don’t you speculate?” he said. “I’m not going to. The reason I get upset, because there are all these cliché questions, and you go down through them, one after the other. I find that disrespectful, that you couldn’t put in enough time to ask something new.”
Uh huh. And the Japanese thought they were hit by a tsunami.
Cuban tossed a couple of more insults my way, even using a “both teams play hard” reference. Give him credit there for knowing his Rasheed Wallace/media history. He had kind of a wild look in his eyes when he said it, actually. He was really getting worked up.
“If all you’re going to ask is cliché questions, why would I waste my time answering them?” he asked finally.
“Well, I don’t think I’ll waste my time asking any more,” I responded,