Hopefully we can put the whole Kenyon Martin-Mark Cuban feud to rest now that the Mavericks owner has apologized for his childish behavior following Dallas' Game Three loss to the Nuggets.
For any who missed the initial story, Cuban threw a tantrum after Carmelo Anthony hit a three-pointer to win the game and told Martin's mother that her son was a thug. It was a bad moment, one that Cuban made worse by trying to write off his behavior because Martin's mother had engaged in trash-talk after a previous game. When he finally addressed it on his blog early Tuesday morning, however, he showed more class.
When tempers and such start impacting the fan experience both in Dallas and Denver, and it requires special security, thats not what I want for Mavs or Nuggets fans. No one takes more abuse and gets more threats on the road than I do. So I know exactly how it feels. I’ve also had my family and friends spit on at games in this series. So I know how unpleasant that is as well. It’s a dirty secret that all arenas need to do a better job of protection for visiting team fans, particularly during the playoffs.
So at this point I would like to apologize to you and your mom KMart for my comment. I should have not said anything and I was wrong. Hopefully you will accept the apology and we can move on.
He also invited Martin's mom and other Nuggets players' family members to join his family in their suite during Game Six, which would necessitate his team winning Game Five in Denver. That may be a stretch, but was still a nice gesture to try and quiet down a situation that looked like it might get even further out of hand when Martin yelled at Cuban while leaving the court following Dallas' 119-117 win on Monday night.
Cuban didn't address shoving a cameraman as part of the same tirade that set this whole mess in motion, hopefully that's going to happen soon as well. Cuban has long stood as the professional sports owner who seems closest to being a "regular" fan, but that doesn't excuse moments when he acts out the worst impulses of that group. Frankly, it happens far too often for a 51-year-old man to explain it away by being caught up in the emotion.
A player who did either of the things that Cuban pulled after Game Three would surely be suspended, and it's hard to say that Cuban doesn't deserve the same punishment.
Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com.